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Labeling Solution Reduces Printers Required Onsite By 66% | Automotive

Custom, single label design shrinks overhead and user-error for auto parts supplier

CHALLENGE

An automotive parts supplier used three printers at the end of each line, each with a direct thermal label of a different color loaded inside. When a finished part passed inspection, a specific printer would print a barcode on one of the labels based on part type and end user. The color label was used to quickly identify the end user of the part. 

SOLUTION

To streamline this process, RRD designed a single label with three color blocks on it. Now, instead of requiring three different colored labels at the end of each line, only one is required. A revised process would resemble the following: 

When the part passes inspection, the barcode is printed on the label, and two of the three
colors are covered up by the thermal printer, exposing only the required color, which alerts the customer of the type of product they’re receiving.

Note: This product was produced as a direct thermal label. We recommended a better way to go on this type of application would be through thermal transfer. The customer chose direct thermal in this case because all other labels in the plant were printed by that method.

RESULTS

Eliminated 36 out of 54 printers

One-label solution may replace six incumbent labels 

As a result of this application, the client successfully reduced the amount of printers required at the end of each line by two-thirds. In turn, this application also removed the costly possibility of loading the wrong stock into the wrong machine.

The parts supplier is now looking at a single six-color option to replace the six that are currently ordered and inventoried. The  greatest savings here went beyond the label itself, but realized in both cost and process.