Quality assurance levels improved

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n A sophisticated barcode labelling solution by Paxar UK is helping hi-fi speaker manufacturer Monitor Audio to achieve unprecedented levels of quality assurance and customer satisfaction. Monitor Audio is now also able to accurately track and trace goods despatched to dealers worldwide. The solution covers speaker assembly, packing, warehousing and final despatch.

n Engineers from Paxar’s Systems Integration Group worked closely with Monitor Audio staff and devised a fully tailored and integrated solution for the company. A key objective was to ensure that Monitor Audio’s distributors and dealers always receive matched pairs of speakers which are constructed of “the finest quality veneers”, making it imperative that the grain of the timber on one speaker perfectly matches the grain on the other.

n Paxar’s solution enables Monitor Audio to identify, using a unique serial number and dealer code, which re-seller has received which pairs of speakers.

n With 85% of Monitor Audio’s production being for export it was essential to replace its company’s old unreliable hand-written method of product identification, which was overly prone to human error, with a system that was accurate, dependable and would win the confidence of the company’s 35 distributors worldwide and 85 specialist dealers in the UK.

n Monitor Audio’s quality control manager, Eric Lytra, established clear process improvement and data integrity targets for the project. These ensured that the final solution would form the basis for Monitor Audio’s standards and protocols, including data formats and barcode symbologies, so that production output could also be assessed more accurately. This also required Monitor Audio being registered with the European Article Numbering Association so that it could sell barcoded products into existing and new markets.

n The company now uses a barcode system to track every stage of the production and despatch procedures. Every speaker has a Paxar Tuff Mark label containing the same barcode information that links to Monitor Audio’s warranty records. Each speaker is packed in a carton which is scanned as soon as the speaker is packed, and the information downloaded from the scanner into the company’s despatch database.

n The labels are produced on Paxar’s high-volume, high-speed 9800 Series thermal tabletop printer. A single 102mm by 74mm label replaces two labels that were required under the old labelling system – a serial number label and a CE label.

n Lytra comments: “In the old days, when serial numbers were hand written, we were plagued with errors and far too much time was wasted trawling through documentation. The Paxar solution enables us to guarantee our distributors and dealers in advance that they will be receiving matched speakers. It has improved warehouse efficiency and utilisation.”

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