Stock/Warehouse Control System

System Components

RF bar code terminal - Radio Frequency (RF) portable bar code terminal allows collection and display of data in real time. The portable RF terminal basically becomes another terminal on the network and can thus access data live from the server the same as any other terminal on the system

RF Access Point - RF access points allow the RF terminal to communicate with the network. Multiple RF access points can be used to provide wider reception if a large area needs RF coverage.

Application software - Often no additional software is required to get the system working although software to reformat the screen display for the smaller displays on the portable terminal can be required. This can be set up from the host or the portable terminal.

Recharging/Communications cradle - A cradle is required to recharge the internal batteries on the portable terminals. These cradles can also be used for software update if any is required on the terminals.

Item bar code label printer - Bar code labels are attached to all items to facilitate scanning of data into the system. Labels can be supplied pre-printed or a thermal printer can be supplied with blank label stock, however for stock type applications an on site printer is usually required to add labels to items as they come into the system.

How it Works

Overview A RF scanning system allows complete real time control of stock and items within a warehouse or retail environment. The system allows picking lists or orders to be accessed from the portable RF terminal. The orders can be filled by staff on the warehouse floor, scanning the items as they go. This immediately updates the stock information in the system giving true stock levels continuously. Once an order has been picked, a packing slip can be initiated from the portable RF terminal, ready to be attached to the picked order, and an invoice can be generated in the office. An RF terminal can also be used in the dispatch area to record when goods are actually dispatched allowing accurate shipping information to be supplied to customers.

Using the portable RF terminal The portable terminal functions much like a desk top PC being used elsewhere in the system. The significant difference is the screen size. Software can be set up so that the full screen displays of the desk top PC can be reformatted for display on the smaller portable terminal screens. Essentially the operation of the system is then the same as entering information from a fixed terminal with the exception that product codes can be scanned using the built in scanner rather than having to key information in. Additionally, paper work such as packing slips can be bar coded to allow scanning at point of dispatch etc.

Labeling Products can be Labeled as they are received. This usually entails a thermal printer in the goods inwards area. As items are received and unpacked, they are entered into the system and labels are printed automatically. This ensures goods are entered and labeled in one operation.

System Variations

  • Batch system - For some applications totally live data is not required. In these systems a batch terminal can be used instead of an RF system. With this system, multiple orders are uploaded to the portable terminal, the worker then picks the orders and assembles the goods. The terminal is then bought back to a cradle and the collected data is downloaded into the system. Data collected in this way is only as recent as the last download but there are cost savings over an RF system.

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