RFID: Diagraph University
1/28/05 WELCOME TO DIAGRAPH® UNIVERSITY:
RFID TRAINING CENTER AND APPLICATION TEST LAB- LEARN HOW RFID CAN CHANGE BUSINESS PROCESSES FOR YORU COMPANY
Diagraph, An ITW Company, announces the introduction of DIAGRAPH UNIVERSITY: RFID Training Center and Application Test Lab.
Finding new ways to help customers—that’s the idea behind “Diagraph U.” Diagraph University: RFID Training Center and Application Test Lab is a workshop that offers informative, educational seminars for beginner to advanced, plus the ability to test YOUR product and application in our RFID Testing Lab. Whatever your current level of RFID knowledge, Diagraph is ready to conduct a 1-2 day workshop, just for your company, at our St. Louis Training Center and Application Test Lab.
The Curriculum includes the following:
• History & Benefits of RFID
• How RFID Can Change Business Processes
• Theory of Operation
• RFID Label Options
• Specifications & Compliance Standards
• Hardware & Software Availability
• Component Technical Capabilities
• Implementation Solutions
• Equipment for Your Application
• Lab Testing for Your Application
There is no pre-determined class schedule at Diagraph University. Instead, workshops are scheduled to accommodate each company that wants to participate. Our preference is for each workshop to be focused on just one company. This way, we can personalize the course content and make certain that it is always 100% relevant to every student.
The workshops are intended to take 1-2 days, but will vary slightly in length, depending on the entry level knowledge the participants bring to the seminar. From beginner to advanced, all interested parties in learning more about RFID and how to implement an RFID solution are encouraged to attend. At Diagraph we are much More then just another radio frequency identification tag company, we trully are onf of the nations top rfid solutions providers. Come to our class and see for your self.
To help offset the costs of meals and lodging, Diagraph charges a reasonable tuition for each RFID workshop participant.
For more information about Diagraph University, to request a Curriculum, or to schedule a workshop for your company, please use the contact method that is most convenient for you:
• Phone 800-722-1125
Diagraph, an innovator in product identification technology for over 100 years, manufactures and distributes marking, coding and labeling systems and supplies. Diagraph offers a complete line of RFID and bar code printing systems; small character ink jet, large character ink jet and high-resolution ink jet systems; label printer-applicators and label applicators; thermal transfer label printers; stock and custom labels; labeling consumables; and traditional marking and stenciling equipment and supplies. Diagraph is a global supplier, with sales and service offices located across the United States and throughout the world.
DIAGRAPH is a registered trademark of Illinois Tool Works Inc.
Diagraph RFID Quick Links: Diagraph RFID Solutions Diagraph Partner Company RFID Solutions Providers RFID versus Barcode
Download the full whitepaper, “Pallet Labeling: The Final Step In Your Production Tracking Process”
The final step in your production process can often easily be overlooked. After rigorously completing all the upstream processing, packaging and coding processes, the final palletized product seems to be a small step before crossing the finish line. However, labeling at the pallet level is a crucial process for identifying palletized products being shipped to retailers.
Imagine this: You’re completing a custom job for products specific to one regional retail chain. To differentiate the pallets for the custom job from your standard products, you plan on printing the identifying batch information on the license plate label and applying it to the outside of the shrink-wrapped pallet. When the time comes, your shipment is sent to the retailer only to discover that the products sent are not the custom printed containers they ordered. Now not only is your relationship with this retailer tarnished, but you are on the hook for reprinting all of their products at your own cost.
This scenario might sound familiar if you’re still in the business of manually applying labels. Some level of human error is always a risk and it can be a costly one. Ensuring a consistent, accurate label on every pallet that leaves your facility doesn’t have to be a trying task. It is possible to guarantee proper label placement while also avoiding common safety issues often occurring from the entanglement of the labeler in the pallet shrink wrap.
Our pallet labeling experts at Diagraph have complied a helpful guide for assessing automated pallet labelers for your production line. This guide steps through the main questions you should ask when evaluating your pallet labeling automation process and reviews the top areas of consideration you should work through before you make any kind of investment.
Download the full whitepaper, “Pallet Labeling: The Final Step In Your Production Tracking Process”, here to learn more.
What was wrong with barcodes that Wal*Mart has placed the burden of new expense and complication into the midst of regular production woes? The answer to this can be found by looking into the past and the future. First, the past and how cellular came to be more than just a luxury item for the wealthy. The first cellular radios had one channel to communicate, and if someone was already using the “line”, one would have to wait until it was free. As the technology evolved, several channels were created, but still there was a limit. Using cell towers that could cover several miles in all directions, a system of frequency re-use was established. If channel 868 was in use in one part of the city, channel 868 wasn’t used by another cell tower for 20 or more miles. A hexagonal pattern was created to help determine what frequencies could be used where, and further division of the frequencies could be accomplished if the channels radiated at 60 degree angles (thus creating 6 directions of signal beams), versus the omni-directional (circular beams) patterns of the past. As the cellular industry boomed and nearly everyone had a phone, city areas could not service most subscribers, resulting in “No Service”. How did they resolve this issue? Smaller, less powerful cell towers, call microcells where implemented in a dense pattern throughout the city, reusing the frequency channels over and over, but in a “micro” fashion. This meant less expensive tower construction, less power consumption, better reception, and most importantly, more customers talking whenever they wished. In this new age, the phone booth had become a small history museum.
There is no doubt that RFID will one day replace the barcode. The barcode will still exist, just like the phone booth, for the occasional need. The need for RFID today is not easy to understand, since today’s version is much like the first cell phones, bulky and cumbersome, and “who is really going to use this?”. Go several years into the future, where the RFID tag is a fraction of a cent (yes, just like every memory technology, the cost will 1/2 itself each year for the same memory size), and nearly every product that would make sense to include it has one attached or embedded. Take the cellular analogy and go RFID microreaders, where dock door portals and hand scanners are antiques. Picture every cubic inch of the superstore covered in the RFID read sweep. Aisles are embedded with inexpensive microreaders, and any product (tagged) can be inventoried real-time. Warehouses, supply trucks, freezers, storage areas, and checkout counters are all inventoried and instantaneous decisions are made. Would you run a tighter and more efficient business if you knew exactly how much product you needed to create, down to the single item level? Would you re-route a supply truck to a store with a higher out-of-stock level than an alternate store? If your product was placed on the wrong shelf, would it sell as well as it could have on the appropriate shelf? If this product was a featured sales item in a marketing campaign, but the item was not yet in some stores, would you advertise differently
As the technology blankets the product at all stages of its supply chain, decisions can be made real-time, saving millions, if not billions of dollars in lost perishables, incorrect sequencing of batch runs, overstocks, stock shortages, and stock shrinkages. Barcodes simply cannot provide this level of information due to the physical nature of the technology. Line of sight readings, corruption of the barcode markings, and environmental conditions limit the ability to perform mass reads to a population. As the RFID technology matures, and cost of implementation is reduced, the number of products tagged will increase. As the collected data becomes available and it is interpreted, new thoughts and ideas on how to optimize the supply chain structure will become apparent. By removing the lag in response time to changes in the supply flow, the corrections can be applied sooner, and reduce waste in the process. There are many who believe that the barcode can provide many of the same pieces of information today, but the same level of collection is not performed today for barcodes. This is true of singulated events, such as barcoding performed in production batch runs. Once the product is cased, bundled, or containerized for shipment, the tracking capabilities have become significantly reduced.
Looking into the past, and then back in the future, it seems apparent that RFID has capabilities beyond the present-day implementations, and the electronic format of the data allows yet another layer of separation from the barcode. Even with the miniscule size of memory being 96 bits, the entire product id can be assembled completed with a fairly large serialization field number. Further technological features can be implemented as dictated by the product, such as temperature, shock, and expiration period. RFID today is a new technology to the supply chain, even if RFID is not a new technology. Implementing the technology is a several phase undertaking, including the foundation level of properly encoding a tag, the infrastructure of selecting the correct data to encode, management of the database, interfacing systems to share data, and the physics of RF communication environments. Knowing where the technology is ultimately headed helps prepare for the journey, and justifies the trip expense.
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Errors can create downtime and missed deadlines. In today's environment, extended downtime is not something a company can afford to have happen. It is vital to understand why errors are occurring and to keep those coding errors to an absolute minimum. If an error is made at the start of the process but not detected until the end, the cost of rework and rescheduling reduces profits.
Mistakes can and do happen. Below are some of the main reasons coding errors occur so frequently.
Of course, it is a good practice to audit coding errors and analyze their causes. This can pinpoint clear actions for improvements such as individual or group training requirements or identify which equipment needs updating or replacing if it has become unreliable.
Eliminating 100% of coding errors is not possible due to the human factor. However, with the wide choice of user interfaces on the market, it makes sense to incorporate as many beneficial features as possible which suit your requirements and workforce. This approach helps reduce operator errors and keeps your downtime to an absolute minimum.
Remember, no one piece of equipment is going to solve your coding errors. You will always need good staff training, teamwork and processes. However, a good user interface that guides employees through initial set up can ensure errors are kept to a minimum. This will go a long way to keeping costs low, reducing downtime and most importantly, keeping your customers happy.
The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is transforming manufacturing and a whole host of other industries. IIoT connects industrial devices that can monitor, collect, exchange, and analyze data, and leverage that data and connectivity to help you make smarter, faster and more effective business decisions.
Chances are, you’re already automating parts of your business -- but IIoT takes automation to a whole new level. Two major IIoT trends to watch for in 2020, according to Mobidev, are wireless connectivity and predictive analytics. If you aren’t leveraging IIoT as part of your marking and coding process, it’s a wasted opportunity.
Centralized printer management software connects wirelessly to your printing and coding equipment, creating a central database so that operators can review printing status and start jobs remotely using their mobile devices – among other capabilities. Centralized printer management software can also track prints and analyze operational history, to deliver valuable insights about your processes.
The robust interconnectedness of IIoT technology such as a centralized printer management system, can innovate the product identification process in a number of ways. For example, imagine being able to run your production processes without having to constantly keep an eye on your coding and labeling equipment.
Some other benefits of centralized printer management software include:
Here’s a checklist of common complexities and pains that manufacturers experience with production. If any of these experiences sound familiar, you could benefit from deploying printer management software in your facility:
Improving manufacturing processes is an ongoing challenge, and IIoT can help. For your marking and coding process, centralized printer management software offers many benefits and seamlessly automates a complex operation.
Take the next step to automating your coding and labeling operations. Try NEXTConnect™ printer management software for free for 90 days. Contact a Diagraph representative today at email@example.com for a trial license.
At Diagraph Marking & Coding, we believe that service interventions should always be planned, never a surprise. There are several components to an operations and maintenance program that make this possible, but one of the most important ones that we like to focus on is operator and maintenance team training. A well-trained equipment end user can keep systems running at their ideal performance level for longer.
When working with customers to develop a training program that is right-sized to their coding and labeling operation, we focus on the following:
Operator and maintenance team training is critical at time of installation. We want the operators to understand how to navigate the user interface, perform commands that are relevant to their application, evaluate the system’s performance, and properly perform routine maintenance.
When working with maintenance teams, we cover routine maintenance expectations, system diagnostics, and the steps needed to perform required service interventions on the system. A discussion around service intervals recommended for the unique manufacturing environment as well as what parts are required (if any) to perform maintenance are also identified.
Because we understand that questions come up after users have spent some time with the equipment, we like to do a post-installation check-in to ensure that everything is running smoothly and questions get answered.
Although customers can request training for their workers at any time, we incorporate regularly scheduled training intervals into our contract service programs. This ensures that operators remain proficient in using Diagraph coding and labeling technology throughout their use of the equipment and helps account for the training of any new workers that may have joined with our customers since the last training date. Performing regularly scheduled training also allows our field service team to inform our customers of new capabilities that may be helpful for their application that are unlocked by firmware upgrades.
We offer advanced technical training for customers that takes place either at our training facility in St. Charles, Missouri or on-site at the customer’s facility in a training or meeting room. Our advanced technical training is ideal for largely independent maintenance teams that perform the bulk of diagnostics and service work on their coding and labeling technology. At Diagraph, we customize all advanced technical training programs to the unique goals of the maintenance team and manufacturing environment.
All of our training programs are performed by Diagraph Factory Certified Service Technicians to ensure that you are getting the most up-to-date information about how to best use your coding and labeling equipment.
Interested in scheduling a training session or building a full training program for your team? Speak with a Diagraph representative today by calling 1.800.722.1125 or contacting us through the website.
If you haven’t had a top-to-bottom review of your coding and labeling operations within the past 5 to 10 years, you are probably overdue for a comprehensive product identification site audit. Technological advancements have allowed for manufacturers to achieve greater efficiencies and accuracy with their product coding efforts for all levels of packaging – from primary products all the way to pallet level labeling.
Diagraph can take the guess work out of coding and labeling operational best practices by offering free comprehensive site audits. We make a series of recommendations that span anywhere from making modifications to current equipment or practices for enhanced productivity to the complete retooling of your product identification operation to help you achieve your production and packaging compliance goals.
Our site audits include a close review of the following key areas:
After reviewing these key areas and other aspects of your packaging compliance requirements, we provide a site audit report with simple recommendations that you can implement immediately as well as bigger picture recommendations that can be implemented overtime with planning and support. At Diagraph, our goal is to make it easy for our customers to achieve the perfect mark on their products. Regular site audits and account reviews are just one of the ways we work in partnership with our customers.
Call us today at 800.722.1125 to learn more about how Diagraph partners with manufacturers to achieve product identification and packaging compliance success.