The simple answer to this question is “yes,” but there are dangers that come along with forcing different systems and software together.
We run into this problem very regularly with automatic box labeling because customers understandably have their own software and databases. This is most often old 3rd party software which has been used for some time in the plant, possibly even before automatic labeling was used.
There can be a number of problems with software like this. If it was made pre-automatic labeling, it is probably missing out on a lot of features that get the most out of automatic labeling. If it is 3rd party, it could have been created by programmers who have never been anywhere close to an environment like yours. With no personal experience in a plant where labeling is actually occurring, they probably don’t have the understanding to provide you with what you need.
When asked to interface or share the work with proprietary software for labeling, we try to shy away because, in reality, this can actually hinder the labeling process.
Here is a regular example of how this workflow goes when we are requested to integrate software together. Most quality automatic box labeling scenarios involve a pre-identification scanner. This tells you what the product in the box is and any important data that needs to accompany it on the label. Normally, we would just cross-reference that product with data stored in our labeling machine’s database, but proprietary software often throws extra steps into the works.
With other software, we are often required to query a separate database for that product data after scanning the product for its PLU number. Adding this step adds communication time, but it also runs the risk of data loss and down time.
If your facility encounters any sort of network problems, the labeling system might be unable to get the appropriate data from the customer database, meaning that labels couldn’t be applied with the correct data. This system would effectively be down for the count when a network goes down.
With our system and software, the process can be contained to that unit, so as long as the labeler’s database is updated whenever PLU information is changed, it can run regardless of network troubles because it has a drive which can store information until the network is again active.
Using our software greatly simplifies the process and keeps the labeler running even when your network drops out on you
, and we can work with you to get the information that you need.