RENOLIT (Cova Products) Increase Reliability of Shop Floor Printers
When RENOLIT Cramlington Limited (Cova Products) wanted to improve their print solutions they turned to SpaceTec and the InterForm400 application to deliver a print solution that would work on the IBM System i (AS/400).
For several years RENOLIT (Cova) had been using an electronic forms solution running on windows and MS Servers together with an ERP system running on the System i to produce all labels and documentation. An application on the MS Sever was used to monitor the output queue on the System i. This data was then downloaded to the server, the fields remapped to match the layout of the predesigned form, before being sent to the attached printer. This process allowed RENOLIT (Cova) to direct the output to any network printer but was unreliable due to the server environment and was also very slow.
RENOLIT (Cova) turned to SpaceTec the UK’s leading supplier of InterForm400. InterForm400 is a tried and tested print solution tool for the System i which delivers a simple way to format and distribute documents from System i data direct to the printers.
Using InterForm400 RENOLIT (Cova) have been able to speed up their printing, previously the download of the data to the server together with the re-mapping could cause a 2-3 second delay between the printing of labels, which when printing single labels did not cause an issue but when trying to print batches caused considerable time delays.
InterForm400 has also increased productivity by eliminating the normal downtime associated with the server environment and made the whole process more stable. Redirecting a print job on the original system had be done at the PC server, if a printer failed out of hours it was impossible for the end user to redirect the job, as the RENOLIT (Cova) plant runs 24 hours, this was a very important issue for them to overcome.
A number of cost savings have been made by the introduction of InterForm400 such as reducing the need for pre-printed stationary and eliminating the need to use a specialist to rework the modifications of the ERP system.
Robin Pugh Technical Manager of RENOLIT Cramlington Limited (Cova Products) said “we are in the process of implementing the next release of our ERP system. The last release had numerous bespoke modifications made ; perhaps 25% of these related to print file changes in the new release we hope to use InterForm400 to do the majority of these adjustments ourselves hence saving considerable expense of having the modifications ‘reworked ‘ by the supplier.”
With the server application RENOLIT (Cova) was constantly having to review their licensing agreement as this was based on not only the number of printers but the number of users also, which was proving restricting and cumbersome to maintain.
Pugh said “InterForm400 has given us a single print solution for all our needs including bar-coded labels and laser forms. We are planning on replacing all our pre-printed stationary and see this as quite achievable using InterForm400.”
RENOLIT (Cova products) also plan to use the comprehensive emailing and PDF facilities that are included as standard in InterForm400, which will allow them to send purchase orders, statements and invoices direct to the suppliers and customers in PDF format.
RENOLIT (Cova products) need to produce a number of different labels including tracking, end product, warehouse, quality control, carton and pallet labels which can now all be printed to Zebra label printers using the ZPL print facility of InterForm400.
The redesign and implementation of the labels took RENOLIT (Cova) just two weeks to complete, with RENOLIT (Cova’s) IT team taking 3-4 weeks to be totally conversant with the application.
Pugh said “The new solution is preferred by all. InterForm400 is used 24 hours a day for labels and shop floor documentation; we will be implanting other forms very shortly. One advantage I have seen is that I no longer receive calls from the shop floor about printers not working, with InterForm400 everything just works. Everyone has commented on how much quicker printing is now the whole solution feels much more robust. Overall we are delighted with the product”
Patrick Race MD of SpaceTec Said “RENOLIT (Cova) have embraced the InterForm400 solution and are constantly finding different situation in which they can use it. They are very keen to progress on to use the other functions which come as standard within InterForm400 to their best advantage. We work very closely not only with our customers but also with the developers of InterForm400 to provide feedback as to what features are needed, this give us the ability to deliver InterForm400 with confidence.