A new picking and packing app is available at the Google PlayStore—not where you expect to find a solution for an industrial problem. It is called Barcode Match but unlike the myriad other barcode matching apps at the PlayStore, this one does not do price comparison based on scanning the barcode on a commodity.
For the uninformed, Pola Yoke comes from a Japanese word meaning “to avoid errors”. Another good description might be mistake proofing. That is what Barcode Match does.
Barcode Match uses item and carton barcodes to make sure right stuff goes into a package or shipment. The app includes four modes of operation
- In the very basic ONE TO ONE mode, the user scans one barcode—call it the “master barcode”—to program the scanner. The user then scans one barcode—call it a “slave”—to test for a match. BARCODE MATCH in large green letters signals a match. BARCODE MISMATCH in large red letters signals a mismatch. A unique tone is also sounds for a match or a mismatch. The system automatically resets after each one-to-one test.
- ONE TO MANY allows the user to program one master barcode, then test an unlimited number of slave barcodes signally matches and mismatches as described above. When finished, the user cancels the operation and returns to the main menu.
- MANY TO SOME enables the user to program up to 50 master barcodes as a set and test an unlimited number of slave barcodes to test for inclusion in the saved set. Matches or mismatches are indicated as described above.
- BOX MODE is a very powerful and full-featured function. Define a master carton which is named and saved by its barcode—usually a GTIN-14 (aka SSCC or ITF-14). Then enter all the content items that go into that master carton (or pallet) by scanning their barcode and entering the quantity of each on a pop-up window within the app. When the box and its contents are all defined, press the SAVE SET key and begin to package that box.
Box Mode will count up each item as it is scanned and packed, and signals when an item has reached its specified quantity. When the entire box is complete, the system signals that.
Box Mode will remember that box (by its barcode) along with all the content items and their quantities for future use.
This is only a part of the power of Barcode Match. In addition to the 4 modes of operation, the app accepts Bluetooth-paired scanners so you can put the smart phone or the tablet running the app in your pocket and use a regular scanner to input the data.
You can provide your own scanner or get one from us. We have a very nice hands free scanner that leaves both hands available to pick and pack items.