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Case Study (PDF)

July 2016

When Tommy Moberg, the IT Manager at Ahlsell AB in Hallsberg, Sweden, needed printers that would function properly in the harsh and cold climate of his company’s Nordic warehouse, he championed a personal campaign to ensure that Ahlsell selected MP Compact Mobile printers from Honeywell, the world’s leading international barcode printer and RFID solutions company.

“The Honeywell MP Compact Mobile printer is much more robust, solid and well-built than any of the other well-known printers that it was competing against,” says Moberg. “When my bosses considered purchasing one of those ‘plastic’ printers, I put up a fight to get the rugged Honeywell units. The MP Compact Mobile printer is the only printer that can function properly in our harsh warehouse environment.” According to Moberg, competitive printers “just felt like plastic, and they didn’t appear to be built for mobile printing like the MP Compact Mobile.”

After nearly three years of non-stop use, Moberg is glad he convinced management to purchase the Honeywell solution. Able to deliver continuous operation in Ahlsell’s 24-hour warehouse operation, the MP Compact Mobile printer delivers ease of use, reliability and high performance. Further, the rugged and reliable MP Compact Mobile is ideally suited for the high-volume thermal printing requirements of Ahlsell’s on-demand printing application.

“I am really happy that we chose the MP Compact Mobile, because these printers have proven themselves over and over again to be extremely dependable,” says Moberg. “Additionally, the return on investment has been excellent, especially considering the money we’ve saved in service costs, running costs and spare parts.”

Moberg continues, “Production has never stopped due to a malfunction in the printer. In fact, in the last three years, we have only had 11 hardware errors on 140 printers – that’s really very few. The only service we’ve performed on the printers has been related to normal ‘wear and tear’ issues, such as worn-out pinheads and cleaning.”

The Honeywell MP Compact Mobile printers play a central role in the company’s distribution system, where the flexible, go-anywhere Honeywell printers are used to create labels for marking parts with part numbers and part names. However, it is the deployment of the mighty MP Compact Mobile printers within the warehouse that makes this printer application atypical. According to Moberg, 80 percent of the MP Compact Mobile printers are mounted to forklifts. The MP Compact Mobile printer is the only printer that Moberg tested that could operate from a connection to a forklift’s battery and has the vibration-proof design to stand up to the demands of mobile warehouse logistics.

Moberg explains how the mobile printing operation works: “The process begins when the forklift driver tears off a picking label generated by the forklift’s PC. This label contains information about every order he needs to pick. Depending on the customer’s requirements, every order contains a certain number of order lines. The forklift driver is given picking instructions and other information, including when the order needs to be ready for shipment. When every order line is picked, a new label is generated containing the part name, part number, ordering number, quantity, etc. This label is applied to every picked order line. When the driver has picked all the order lines and the order is complete, he takes the goods to a station where an address/shipping label is generated on an MP Nova printer. There is one label for every order. The goods are then unloaded in a shipping zone, where it is loaded onto a delivery truck.”

The Honeywell printers are also used in other applications inside the warehouse. According to Moberg, the MP Compact Mobile printer is used for marking arriving goods with a pallet label. The pallet label contains a part number, part name, quantity and a barcode. The pallet label is later scanned by the forklift driver to determine where he should place the pallet in the warehouse.

For Moberg, his dedicated efforts at getting Honeywell printers into Ahlsell has resulted in immediate success with long-term benefits. The adaptable, desktop-to-forklift MP Compact Mobile printers have stood up to the challenges of Ahlsell’s harsh and cold Nordic warehouse. As long as Tommy Moberg keeps the MP Compact Mobile printers clean (and changes an occasional worn-out pinhead), he has every expectation that his company’s essential warehouse operation will continue to run virtually problem-free for years to come.

Distribution Center  Rugged Productivity

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