Efficient Plant October 2017 - 54
A Perfect Pair:
DETERMINE THE PURPOSE OF BARCODING.
DECIDE WHAT NEEDS A BARCODE.
Including barcode capabilities in your CMMS and efficiently tracking assets,
inventory, employees, and other items/entities with the technology can result
in significant time and money savings.
PEOPLE SEE BARCODES multiple times each day, but few truly
understand their power. A barcode is a form of information encoded
in a visual pattern that can be read with a special scanner. The scanning
device reads the barcode and turns the information into a line of text
that computers can understand.
Barcode technology has become a critical add-on to any robust computerized maintenance management system (CMMS). When included
in a CMMS, it can help track assets, inventory, employees, and other
items or entities.
According to CMMS experts at Mapcon Technologies Inc. (mapcon.
com, Johnston, IA), not only does barcoding allow information to be
entered instantly, it also prevents costly mistakes due to human error.
They offer these tips for getting started with the technology:
For more information on a range of CMMS topics and solutions,
Before barcoding everything in your maintenance department,
consider what you hope to gain from the process. Your intentions
will determine what needs a barcode and what doesn't. Overall,
the technology offers an effective means for reducing human
error and saving time through decreased manual data entry.
When you're clear on what you want barcoding to do for your
operations, you can decide how/where to deploy it. Inventory
tracking is an ideal place to begin. After all, inventory counts go
a lot faster when personnel can scan items rather than manually
Barcodes can also be applied to individual equipment assets.
Then, to create work orders, instead of manually entering a
machine's ID number, personnel simply scan the barcode. Once
scanned, the equipment in question will show up in the CMMS
and a work order can be generated. Required tools or parts can be
added by scanning the barcode on the necessary items.
Keep in mind that workers can also have barcodes. Information such as name, employee number, shift, and crew can all be
included. Instead of manually adding the name of a person to a
work order, managers need only to scan the individual's barcode.
Options for convenient placement of worker barcodes include on
employee hard hats and other apparel and work gear, as well as in
PRINT YOUR BARCODE LABELS.
Once you decide which items need barcodes, the next step is to
print them. How you do that will depend on your particular CMMS
and whether you have a barcode printer. Some systems allow you
to add your company logo to the barcode for branding purposes.
This is especially helpful if you're selling or lending barcoded
assets. Some CMMS suppliers will design the labels for you.
DON'T FORGET YOUR SCANNER.
Barcodes aren't very helpful unless you have a scanner. A scanner is a device that reads the information on the barcode and
translates it into data that can be tracked. In the past, sites would
have to purchase separate scanning devices. These days, CMMS
systems allow users to scan barcodes with their smartphones or
- Jane Alexander, Managing Editor