Bar Code Module

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16.4.1 Overview

Bar coding increases efficiency and inventory control accuracy. A retailer from a large grocery chain once remarked, "We are on such tight margins, with so little room for error; we do not trust clerks to enter $6.95 let alone an 18 character part number". To print bar coded labels you will need to purchase a True Type Bar Code Font. To read the bar coded labels you will need to purchase a bar code wand.

 

16.4.2 Wedge Type Bar Code Wands

pc/MRP will work out of the box with any wedge type barcode reader. A wedge type bar code reader is defined as a bar code reader that inserts itself in between the computer key board and the CPU unit (i.e. the keyboard plugs into the wedge bar code reader and the wedge is plugged into the computer's keyboard connector). The computer will then read any input from either the wand or the keyboard.

16.4.3 Portable Bar Code Wands

 

Portable bar code wands can be used to take a physical inventory and then later download the part numbers and quantities from the portable barcode wand's docking station into pc/MRP's physical inventory program. The portable bar code wand must be programmed that it can download a comma delimited ASCII text file named physical.txt into the pcmrpw directory. The file must consist of part numbers and quantities separated by commas and line returns as shown below:

000000001,47.00
000000010,53.00
890000000,40.00
000003,100.00

The Percon 2000 can be programmed to provide such an output. However, you or one of your programmers must create the program.

16.4.3.1 UniTech’s PT630 Bar Code Scanner

Unitech's PT630 comes with a program for pc/MRP built in. To take an inventory with the PT630 follow the steps listed below:

1.      Turn on the PT630

2.      Select Option 2 for Terminal from the Menu

3.      Select Option 2 again for Form caching

4.      At Item:, scan the bar coded parts or bin boxes

5.      At Qty:, scan the quantities

6.      After you are finished, press ‘Esc’ to exit.

7.      Screen clears to operating mode


To download the physical inventory count follow the steps listed below:

1.      Set the PT630 into its cradle attached to the PC or connect the cable directly to the serial port.

2.      Go into Start, Programs, and run PTComm3

The following screen appears:

 


The program recognizes the Bar Code reader and displays the Form data file with the inventory data in the reader. Left-click on the file name and drag it to the directory structure you wish to save the file. This can be a server directory or your computer. Remember where you saved the data file.


 

After you release the mouse button, this screen appears to show that the transfer went OK.

 


Now continue with the Physical Inventory or Cycle Count by going to Modules, Inventory, Physical
Inventory.



For this example, Choose Physical.


Select the area to receive the inventory counts.



Select “Import” to get the inventory data from the data file you created.


 


Next:

1.      Select the saved inventory data file

2.      Choose to append or replace counts

 

3.     
Press ‘OK’

 

Most times you will be replacing the previous inventory counts. A situation to “Append” would be where there are multiple storage areas for a part within a single ‘STORES’ area.

 


The following screen appears (Hopefully you will not have any errors):


Correct any errors and re-process individually or in the next import.


You may now continue as described in section 6.1.4 for your Physical Inventory.

16.4.4 Software Arts Bar Code Font Option

Software Arts offers an optional 3 of 9 or UPC Bar Code True Type font that can be inserted into any pc/MRP form or label using pc/MRP's custom report writer. In versions lower than 7.01 users must call Software Arts for the disk set or download URL. In versions 7.01 and higher users can call Software Arts for the barcode activation codes. Both methods will utilize the instructions below.

Barcodes can be added to pc/MRP labels, forms, and reports by installing pc/MRP's optional True Type bar code font files, (3of9.TFF Version 1.0 or c39hdw3, c39hdn3, c39hdm3, c39n3, c39m3, c39w3 Version 2.0) into Windows Font folder.

While in pc/MRP,

1.      go to Configuration, About pc/MRP

2.      Press Ctl-‘B’

3.      Enter activation code.

The bar code fonts will be installed in a subdirectory of your pcmrpw directory. The next time you start pc/MRP, the bar code fonts will be automatically installed as fonts in your operating system.

If pc/MRP cannot install the fonts automatically, you can install the fonts into your operating system:

1.      Select Start, Settings, Control Panel

2.      Double-click the Fonts shortcut

3.      Select File, install new Font

4.      Locate the drive and directory where the pc/MRP Bar Code Fonts directory is located (usually [server mapped drive]:\pcmrpw\barfonts) and select all the fonts.

To modify a report or label, use pc/MRP's report generator, Configuration, Utilities & Settings, Option 24. Select Form or Label, select the report or label file name, select object such as part number, select font, and select a barcode font. The bar code font should be 26 points or higher and should not be printed out in bold. The 3 of 9 font requires that the variable be entered as:

"*" + UPPER(ALLTRIM(PARTNO)) + "*"

or

BAR39STR(PARTNO)

Note: Acceptable alpha-numbers values for the Bar Code reader are:

ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ.1234567890$%-+ and ‘space’

And Bar code fonts may be listed as:

BC C39 3/1 HD Medium,

BC C39 3/1 HD Narrow,

BC C39 3/1 HD Wide,

BC C39 3/1 Medium,

BC C39 3/1 Narrow,

BC C39 3/1 Wide,

BC UPC HD Wide

To create a custom part label with a bar coded part number you would.

1.      Go to the Configuration menu

2.      Select Settings & Utilities (enter configuration code)

3.      Select Report Writer (Option 24)

4.      Select Label

5.      Select PARLABEL.LBX in the file menu screen

6.      Save the PARLABEL.LBX as CPARLAB.LBX

7.      Click on the part number object,

8.      Select FONT, select ‘BC C39 3/1 Medium’, regular, 26 points

9.      Click on the part number object and change it from partno to read either:

"*" + UPPER(ALLTRIM(PARTNO)) + "*"

or

BAR39STR(PARTNO)

To print your custom part number labels:

 

1.      Go to the Inventory Module

2.      Select Labels

3.      Fill out the selection screen

4.      Select custom.


16.4.5 Controlling Bar Code Width

 

With normal true type fonts, the width of a character is a % of the height of the character (point size). If you reduce the point size of the object the width of each character is reduced. pc/MRP's true type barcode fonts are mono-spaced, meaning each character in the font set are the same width. You can select the true type bar code font that best fits your application. For example:

The low-density wide format has a height to width ratio of 1:1

If you select 36 points (1/2" high each character will be 1/2" wide)

 

The low-density narrow format has a height to width ratio of 3:1

If you select 36 points (1/2" high each character will be 1/6" wide)

The high-density fonts are narrower yet, and are designed for laser and CCD scanners.