Tag Archives: Industry Night

LoBue Citrus Reaps Rewards of Automation

LoBue Citrus was able to improve their food traceability, accuracy and efficiency with help from Intermec’s smart printers.

The Problem
LoBue Citrus, a family-run grower and distributor of oranges that make up 4-5 percent of the California citrus industry, recognized the need to automate its traceability. Their old process was manual, which took a lot of time and resources to maintain, in addition to increasing the margin of error.

The Solution
LoBue worked with a software solutions provider in conjunction with Intermec Technologies in order to create a Produce Traceability Initiative (PTI) friendly automated system with Smart Printing solutions.

“The key benefit for us is having a real-time, automated inventory control system, versus the manual system we’ve had in place, and being able to make decisions both in sales and production on what we have available to us in real time,” said Operations Manager Tom Clark.

LoBue used the Intermec PM4i industrial smart printer, which doesn’t require an additional computer to print labels, making it an affordable, easy-to-use solution.

“We always look at simple as being the best solution,” Clark said. “With the [Intermec] Smart Printers, all you need is a small area on a desk or a rolling cart to make this system functional. It seems to be a very cost-effective, simple solution to satisfying the requirements that are being requested of us today.”

By using the Intermec SR30 handheld barcode scanner, workers could easily scan barcodes, which then signaled the PM4i to print. Workers were then able to use the PM4i’s keypad to select a quantity. Since the PM4i doesn’t require an additional computer for printing, it was kept on a cart that could easily be moved to boxes that required tags. Once wrapped, the Intermec PB50 mobile printer was used to create a pallet tag. Between the PM4i and PB50, barcodes that identified the type of orange, ship date, destination, farm source and farm lot were produced. This powerful information allows LoBue to trace a shipment throughout its journey and back to its origin.

The Results
LoBue’s automated system can now trace oranges back to their origin in minutes, as opposed to 2-4 hours with their previous process. In addition, they improved their inventory accuracy to be between 98 and 99 percent. Best of all, having an automated system eliminated the need for physical inventories, which saved 16 hours of labor each day, or roughly $96-240 in labor costs per day.

Learn more about how automation improved LoBue’s citrus supply chain and watch the video below to see the automation transformation in action!

Retailers Are Watching: The EyeSee Mannequin

The EyeSee Mannuquin uses RFID and facial recognition technology to analyze retail customers’ demographics.

If you’ve ever seen the movie Mannequin, then perhaps you are intrigued, and maybe even slightly suspicious of them. As we begin 2014, it would be nice to put those fears to rest, but unfortunately, the new year will only bring more suspicion surrounding these plastic humans.

The EyeSee Mannequin utilizes RFID technology and has cameras for eyes, audio recording capabilities, a computer that can analyze shoppers’ faces and a modem to upload the data to a server. With the EyeSee Mannequin, retailers can acquire more data about their customers. Details such as sex, age range, ethnicity and time spend looking at the mannequins’ outfit can all be divulged through facial recognition software.

Retailers want to know more about their shoppers and how they look at displays. For example, if the majority of customers are male, but the majority of mannequins are female, the store might want to take note and add more male mannequins to encourage purchases. In addition, retailers can choose to have nearby lcd screens display ads based on the customers’ demographics.

Inside the mannequin, data is captured and uploaded to a portal for the store. Although it may seem like spying and an invasion of privacy, the EyeSee Mannequin does not store any of the images it captures. However, it will soon be able to capture keywords exchanged between people. That being said, words will be captured and analyzed, not recorded.

So next time you see a mannequin, she just might be watching you. But, it’s unlikely she’ll fall in love. Check out the video below to watch the EyeSee Mannequin in action:

Is this sort of technology an invasion of privacy? Share your thoughts by commenting below, or on our Facebook or twitter pages.

Hungry for a Barcode?

Barcodes are used a lot in pharmaceuticals, but mostly on the pill bottle, not the actual pill. Now, Honolulu-based TruTag Technologies is working on revolutionizing this concept.

They recently made edible barcodes that can be used for both edible and nonedible products. The TruTag is the size of a speck of dust and thinner than a strand of hair, but can be scanned to authenticate a product.

TruTags are made from silica, an inert compound that is edible, yet durable. They are made from etching microscopic barcodes onto silica wafers, which are then ground into a white powder that can be mixed directly into food, such as the coating of a pill.

Once an item is marked with the TruTag, companies are able to use special barcode scanners in order to send information, such as details regarding the products’ time and location of manufacturing, to their iPad or iPhone.

Since counterfeit pharmaceuticals are a huge problem, TruTag hopes to legitimatize pharmaceuticals and prevent people from suffering due to fake drugs. While TruTag is currently working with big pharmaceutical companies, they would ultimately like to incorporate their technology into a smartphone at the consumer level.

Learn more about TruTag edible barcodes.

Security in Retail

Many small businesses don’t have the means for as many resources as larger retailers. In 2012, retailers made up 45% of data breaches. While many small businesses assume this isn’t their fault, 95% of credit card data breaches happen to small business consumers. I recently came across an excellent infographic that raises awareness on the vulnerability of smaller retailers.

Some highlights include:

  • 64% of all affected business took over 90 days to detect a security breach
  • 50% of all business users are still using easily guessed passowords, such as Password1
  • 60% of business failures are a direct result of internal theft
  • 34% of 18-29 year old employees believe its justifiable to steal from their employer

Don’t let your business fall victim to security breaches—use the right retail solutions, such as inventory control to prevent theft.

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Enterprise Mobility in Healthcare

Mobile technology adoption in the healthcare industry has dramatically increased over the years. In fact, approximately 45 percent of healthcare workers use mobile handsets to collect data, all at the side of a bed! In addition, 25 percent of healthcare workers said that all data captured by their mobile devices fully integrates with health records.

However, with BYOD also on the rise, a strict security policy is of the utmost importance. While information must be readily available and easily accessible, it also needs to remain secure. Doctors, nurses and technicians often bring their personal devices to work, and they’d like to be able to use them on their hospital’s network to access patient data. An on-call doctor needs to be access healthcare records from home just as easily and securely as he/she would in the hospital.

In addition to staff needing secure access, visitors often request access to the network, which needs to be taken into consideration when developing your BYOD policy. Ensuring the network is secure will reduce risk and improve user experience, creating a reliable security strategy that supports BYOD for healthcare professionals and visitors alike.

Learn more about enterprise mobility in healthcare.

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