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Automated batch label printing

A time-based return on investment projected to be around £40K per annum.


Batten&Allen Limited opted for the 123Insight MRP system to replace an existing Microsoft Dynamics Nav system that had failed to meet business needs for several years. During the planning phase of implementation, the company was eager to digitise a significant portion of their operations. While the 123 Insight system was chosen as a good fit for the business, a crucial feature was missing: the ability to print batch labels with custom information to attach to shop floor batches. With approximately 100,000 batches produced annually, efficient labelling of batches with accurate information was vital for a successful transition to the 123Insight system.

Our Solution

Whenever a new batch is received into the 123Insight system or any other stock transaction occurs, the details are logged into a stock transaction log table. By running an SQL query every 5 seconds to filter and retrieve data from this table, it is possible to identify if a new batch has been received on the shop floor. Each row (representing a new batch receipt) returned by the query is then processed by a script. The script first gathers any additional data needed to populate the label, dynamically generates the label based on an HTML template using the HTMLtoPDF OperationalPackageᵀᴹ, and then sends the generated PDF to the powerful PrintNode API. Also passed to the PrintNode API was information about which printer on the shop floor should handle the printing of the label. Finally, using the CloudFile OperationalPackageᵀᴹ, the PDF label file is saved in cloud storage and metadata about the PDF and the print saved in the OperationalPlatformᵀᴹ database for traceability purposes and ease of reference.

Annual Return on Investment

The most viable alternative solution suggested was to provide each operator with a handheld label printer. It is estimated that printing each batch label with only the essential information would have taken approximately 2 minutes of the operator’s time. Based on this estimation, the time-based return on investment is projected to be around £40,000 per annum.

Other benefits include:


Elimination of operator errors in label printing.


Additional important information added to batch label with no operator input required.


123Insight compatible QR Code printed on label so any batch can be scanned and batch information automatically displayed.


Increased availability of operator time to focus on more important tasks, such as delivering samples to inspection.


Opportunity to execute additional logic such as printing a copy batch label in Inspection Department for certain types of parts.