Case Story: Consumer Goods Distribution Center
FOX IV provided label printer applicator equipment for both the west coast and east coast distribution centers of one of the world’s largest athletic shoe manufacturers. Their distribution centers operate seven days a week, up to 15 hours per day.
Shipping containers are packed per the sales outlet’s order and placed on a transfer conveyor. Each shipping container can receive from one to three labels. The exact number of labels is based on the sales outlet’s requirements.
The customer had an existing installed base of Intermec Model 4200 industrial table top printers. They wanted label printer applicators that incorporated the Intermec printers. FOX IV’s Model 4451 Uniwall integrates the Intermec 4200 table top printer into the label printer applicator. (Note: FOX IV also integrates Intermec’s current table top printers into our innovative printer-applicators).
Integration of the equipment was simplified by providing label printer applicators incorporating the same Intermec table top printers that were used in the plants. The customer did not need to change the label data format to match a new printer software interface. In addition, parts such as printheads, rollers, and interface boards are now common to all of the printer and printer applicators. This also simplified training for the operators and maintenance personnel.
Three FOX IV label printer applicators are mounted on each transfer conveyor – one for each of the three different labels that may need to be printed and automatically applied to the shipping container. The label printer applicators communicate via an Ethernet connection directly to the customer’s WMS. The WMS system sends label data directly to the label printer applicators. Since not all shipping containers receive all three labels, a “skip container” command is also sent to the label printer applicators in those situations where less than three labels are required. The “skip container” command causes the label printer applicator to not print and apply a label.
The FOX IV Model 4451 is a member of our “Intelligence Built-In” series of label printer applicators. This series of label printer applicators have sufficient computer processing power to perform specific operations based on the incoming data stream – an external PC is not required. FOX IV programmed the label printer applicators to not print and apply a label when the “skip container” command was received from the WMS.