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Barcode scanning can be a labor-intensive job. From finding the barcode to reaching it with the scanner and capturing the barcode, it’s a process that seems easy but can become more complicated than necessary if the scanner itself can’t handle the challenges. As part of our ongoing quest to optimize operational efficiency for our customers, Avalon Integration took a close look at the scanning potential of the new Zebra MC9300, an ultra-rugged mobile computer that reflects the company’s considerable knowledge of investment in what industries need from their barcode scanners.

Let’s start by looking at what a scanner’s optimal effectiveness does for productivity:

  1. Accelerate the pace of order fulfillment.
  2. Minimize fulfillment errors (from receiving through picking and shipping).
  3. Increase inventory accuracy.
  4. Expedite user training.
  5. Reduce repetitive strain injuries.
  6. Prevent downtime from a battery or device failure.

Solve any one of the issues and you increase the user’s productivity—work faster and more accurately. Solve ALL of them and you have a barcoding power tool! That’s what we’ve discovered with the Zebra MC9300 mobile computer. From a scanning perspective, it delivers on all counts.

Capture Every Barcode

The MC9300 from Zebra Can Capture Every Barcode

The MC9300 from Zebra Can Capture Every Barcode

The MC9300 is powered by Zebra’s industry-leading scanning technology. PRZM Intelligent Imaging, advanced sensors, and proprietary algorithms are designed to make data capture as easy as possible. Grab 1D, 2D, and direct part mark (DPM) barcodes—even those that are hard to read. If the barcode is smudged, scratched, dirty, damaged, poorly printed, or covered with frost or shrink-wrap, you can still point, click, and capture it.

Do It on the First Try

The mc9300 Is Here to Do It on the First Try Every-time

The MC9300 Is Here to Do It on the First Try Every-time

Barcode scanning shouldn’t make your workers feel like acrobats—twisting, reaching, climbing, and bending over backward to get to the barcode. Zebra’s omnidirectional scanner means you can scan from any angle. There’s no more wasted time spent trying to precisely align the laser with the barcode. Imagine if your workers had to spend three times as long to read a barcode. What does that do to your workforce productivity?

In addition to omnidirectional scanning ease, Zebra offers four different scan engine options with the MC9300. If your scanning requires short-range or long-distance data capture, the SE4850ER scan engine lets you read from as close as 3 inches to as far as 70 feet away—perfect for warehouses, distribution centers, transportation and logistics, and manufacturing plants. The SE4750DP is a good choice for any manufacturer that utilizes DPMs. If you’re only scanning 1D barcodes, equip your MC9300 with the new SE965 scan engine; however, if you might need both 1D and 2D without extended range, Zebra also offers the SE4750 standard range scan engine.

The MC9300 Scanner Is Here to Impress

The MC9300 Scanner is here to impress

The MC9300 Scanner is here to impress

No matter which scan engine you choose for the MC9300, your workers will be impressed with the lightning-fast speed. We also like the battery power that’s standard on Zebra’s new rugged industrial handheld. The high-capacity 7000 mAh PowerPrecision+ gives twice as long a charge as the previous MC9200 (which was still impressive). The battery charges faster and can be swapped without powering down the device. One of the features of the Mobility DNA app that comes with any of Zebra’s mobile computers is the PowerPrecision Console. One glance shows you the health and battery life so you don’t run out in the middle of a shift.

How’s your scanning efficiency handling all of your needs? If there’s room for improvement (and we suspect there is), contact us at Avalon Integration to see the ROI that the Zebra MC9300 can provide.

We recently took the time to examine Zebra MC3300 in our offices at Avalon Integration. This unique mobile computer doubles as a super scanner (or maybe it’s the other way around). The scanning power and intelligence alone for this rugged handheld computer will deliver rapid ROI. So many scanning features are built into it that warehouses, manufacturers, and retail operations are going to need to test it out.

The first thing you should know about the Zebra MC3300 is that you can choose from four form factors, so the “purpose-built” aspect really fits your needs. There’s the pistol grip, which is ergonomically ideal for heavy-duty scanning without wrist strain. The turret style with the rotating head makes it easier to scan in hard-to-reach places. Zebra also offers the Zebra MC3300 in a straight shooter style with either 0º or 45 º scan.

So, why do you need the Zebra MC3300?

MC3300 - SimulScan

As a scanner, the Zebra MC3300 is a workhorse. Zebra integrated its advanced scanning features, like SimulScan, which lets you scan multiple barcodes and even an entire document with one trigger pull. You can specify which types of data you want to capture—like barcodes, images, signatures, checkboxes, text fields, and phone numbers.

Since the job of a barcode scanner is to scan barcodes, we also need to appreciate that not all of these codes are perfectly positioned and in flawless condition. Zebra’s scanning excellence lets you grab barcodes that are hard to read, like those that are scratched, dirty, damaged, poorly printed, and even covered in frost or under shrinkwrap.

Here to Save You Time!

MC3300 - Close Range

That’s a big time-saver for scan-intensive jobs. In addition, the extended read range SE4850 engine goes from 3 inches to 70 feet, so just about no barcode is out of reach. Even at close range, the Zebra MC3300’s wide field of view reads large barcodes without having to maneuver the scanner.

While not necessarily a function of the scanning ability, the ruggedness of this Zebra mobile computer is worthy of note. The drop spec goes up to 5 feet on a concrete floor and withstands thousands of tumbles. You’ll appreciate that when you don’t have to repair or replace the sturdy device.

Contact Avalon Today to Schedule a Demonstration for the Zebra MC3300!

MC3300 - Friendly Features

In our next post, we’ll tell you more about the many qualities of the Zebra MC3300, like user-friendly features, reliable connectivity, and the ability to run multiple apps at once (including terminal emulation). You can also get a sneak peek by viewing this video.

Stay Tuned to Learn More About the Zebra MC3300

But if you’re intrigued enough already to want a closer look at the Zebra MC3300 mobile computer, contact Avalon Integration to schedule a demo.

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The barcode scanner is designed to capture, verify, and transmit the encoded data on the barcode with near-flawless accuracy. Management relies on the real-time visibility afforded by automated data collection. So, while it’s easier to just hold onto your legacy devices, the money you think you’re saving could be offset by the comprised productivity. When you factor in the number of scans each worker reads on an average shift and the time it takes to grab each one, making the move to a purpose-built barcode scanner could produce surprisingly rapid ROI. Look at standard versus long-range barcode scanners. Which do you need for the most efficiency?

Differences Between Standard and Long-Range Scanners

Long Range Scanner Scanning Barcodes from a distance

Long Range Scanner Scanning Barcodes from a distance

A standard range barcode scanner will easily grab barcodes as close as a fraction of an inch or as far away as a few feet. It’s a great solution for industries like retail and healthcare and doing inventory where the items are in close range, like office supplies.

Other environments—including warehouses, plant floors, docks, yards, and terminals—benefit from a long-range scanner, which can read a barcode as far away as 70 feet. If you have products high on a rack or not easily reachable, along- or extended-range barcode scanner will prevent your workers from dangerously trying to scale obstacles in order to read a barcode. You’ll also save the time it takes for them to capture that scan.

Can we use a long-range barcode scanner for other purposes?

Long Range and Standard Scanner

One of the questions that Avalon Integration’s customers often ask, is “Can we use a long-range barcode scanner for other purposes?”. With the right technology, the answer is, “Yes.” The scanning engine in an extended-range scanner allows for a broad read range, which can span a few inches to a long distance. The Zebra LS4308-ER reads from as close as .25” to as far away as 45 feet. Zebra’s corded DS3608-ER and cordless DS3678-ER have a read range from 3 inches to 70 feet. These two models are part of the Ultra-Rugged Series so you also get the most durable scanners on the market!

The scanning distance is a key factor in your choice of barcode scanner. You should also add in the value of the ease of use, ergonomics, battery life, and scanning performance. If you often encounter barcodes that are hard to read, look for a device that can handle scratched, smudged, and dirty barcodes. Some scanners can capture barcodes that are covered with frost or under shrinkwrap, so be sure you understand the functionality of the barcode scanners you’re considering.

Avalon Integration has more than 20 years of experience dealing with automated data collection. We know the technology and what it can do. Talk to us to determine the right choice for your applications.

The loading dock is the gateway to your warehouse. Establishing a high level of operational efficiency here can reduce errors throughout the facility. Mobilizing the loading dock gains critical efficiency and accuracy that delivers strong ROI.learned”? Mobility is a must to expedite tasks like cross-docking without compromising accuracy. A trailer that’s sitting in a holding pattern is a waste of time and money. To get the right products on the right trailer in the right order, your workers need a real-time view of the activity. In this busy and demanding environment, rugged enterprise technology enables quick decision-making without interruptions like device or battery failure. Shipping and receiving also rely on moving inbound and outbound shipments with a steady flow through the loading dock. Bottlenecks create delays as well as downtime, cutting deeply into your operational efficiency.

Enterprise computing: Smart + Rugged
ET50 in Tough Environment Efficiency

An enterprise-class tablet delivers a high level of computing power with the durability you need to survive the tough environment of a loading dock and yard. The expanded real estate of a tablet enhances the visibility and ease for the user. An enterprise tablet, like the Zebra ET50, incorporates a higher level of data capture, longer battery life, and more robust connectivity, along with the processing power to drive complex applications.

The TC8000 all-touch mobile computer revolutionized enterprise computing when Zebra launched it last year. The lightweight design features a single-plane user interface that eliminates the tilt-and-verify action, which saves time and reduces wrist strain. This high-powered mobile computer comes pre-loaded with Mobility Extensions (Mx), an enterprise-class Android operating system, meaning it’s a significant upgrade for security, connectivity, data capture, and device management—ideal for business use.

The mobile workforce efficiency
VC80 3600 ZT600 QLN Efficiency

Material handling vehicles, like forklifts, should be equipped with an onboard mobile computer that has fast connectivity to keep up with the activity. The Zebra VC80 mounts can grab Internet connections quickly and has the processing power to deliver real-time updates—even in extreme temperatures. You can also add a heated keyboard if you need one.

For any and all verification tasks at the loading dock, you need barcode scanners that keep up with the steady movement of large containers. Workers also benefit from devices that handle long-range scanning in any weather conditions. Zebra’s 3600 Series Ultra-Rugged Scanners are designed specifically to handle this tough task. No other scanners can stand up to the snow, ice, water, dirt, dust, and heat like the aptly-named Ultra-Rugged devices. Scan up to 70,000 barcodes on a single charge. With the long-range option, capture barcodes up to 70 feet away.

You can also increase efficiency at the loading dock by generating barcode labels on demand. Track the shipments with more accuracy and add information as needed. Zebra’s rugged mobile printers, like the QLn series, are lightweight but deliver heavy-duty performance. For printing volume barcode labels and shipping labels at the loading dock, an industrial printer, like the ZT600 Series, is encased in metal and engineered to deliver 24/7 performance with ease. Add RFID capability to encode and print passive and active RFID tags that enable even greater efficiency, a distinct advantage for verifying and tracking large containers.

Avalon Integration focuses on meeting the technology needs of today’s warehouses and manufacturing facilities. Contact us to learn how you can gain efficiency and accuracy at your loading dock with customized solutions that handle your specific challenges.

 

Today, companies need every advantage they can find to stay competitive. Rising customer expectations force companies to look for innovative ways to improve productivity, especially when dealing with a mobile workforce with dedicated workers. Here are some ways that mobile devices are helping companies like yours stay ahead.

Real-time Visibility

Whether in a bricks and mortar retail shop or order from an online site, customers prefer to know that the item they seek is in stock. In the retail store, equipping floor personnel with mobile devices allows them to check inventory at the warehouse or other locations to find out of stock items to satisfy the customer.

In e-tail, equipping workers with mobile computers and handheld barcode scanners allow them to process inventory transactions in real-time, so on-hand balances are always up to date. This keeps customer satisfaction levels high and expectations realistic.

Increased On-Time Delivery

Whether it’s a B2C or B2B transaction, late deliveries and extended lead times compromise customer satisfaction and cost your company money. When warehouse personnel has mobile computing devices, they can pick orders and process transactions faster and more accurately than with a manual process. Automating the process can literally cut hours out of the order cycle time, resulting in faster delivery and more on-time deliveries.

Improved Order Quality

Many companies use DIFOT (Delivery in Full and On-Time) as a key metric for their distribution and warehousing operations. Barcode automation helps reduce errors by eliminating situations where workers pick incorrect items or the wrong quantity. When they scan an item label, the device provides immediate feedback if it’s the wrong item. The use of hands-free mobile devices like a barcode ring scanner help improve accuracy as items are picked and packed because the scan happens during the operation, and workers have complete hands-free mobility.

Scanning can also speed up shipping palletized orders. Adding a pallet label that links to all the items and quantities on the pallet—a process known as license plating—enables workers to transact an entire pallet worth of goods with a single scan. Even without license plating, using handheld devices provides enough mobility for the worker to scan every item on the pallet quickly and accurately.

For forklift operators, being mobile means a big boost in productivity. If a worker has to continually stop and get off the vehicle in order to scan items on the rack, the process slows down dramatically. A forklift-mounted mobile computer can easily direct workers to the right warehouse locations for picking and then process the transaction using a long-range scanner.

When you speed up your picking and increase your picking accuracy by using scanning devices, your DIFOT and productivity will both improve.

One Visit Repairs and Service

Equipping field service personnel with mobile devices offers a variety of process improvements that lead to increased productivity:

  • Order accuracy improves when manual data entry is eliminated
  • Inventory accuracy improves when tracking becomes automated
  • Delivery times improve when GPS and other features help drivers find their next stop
  • Customer satisfaction improves when delivery of the product is correct and on-time

For field service workers, insight into the problem the customer has can allow the worker to ensure they have the right tools, part and skills to complete a repair during the visit. Mobile devices can also be used to display schematics or repair instructions, ensuring the repair is done correctly. Increasing the number of one-visit repairs and service calls will reduce the cost or service while increasing customer satisfaction.

For more warehouse process improvement ideas and recommendations for a strategy to mobilize work teams, visit our website or contact us today.