Navigation: Tag Commissioning >

SmartLabel Printing

Still need help? Create a Support Ticket with Stratum Support

Send comments on this topic.

← Previous Next →

 

Label Printing

Overview

TagNet provides Label Printing & Tag Commissioning capabilities via two approaches: Firstly, it provides an interface to ActiveX enabled labeling Software (such as BarTender or NiceLabel) so that existing label definitions (.BTW or .LBL) can be called externally to any number of supported RFID label printers. This simplifies user navigation with only one interface (TagNet) for RFID printing and tracking activities. Secondly, there is a TagNet custom feature that enables a flexible, user defined template for closed-loop applications to both print and map entered values into TagNet via predefined ZPL templates.

Labelware Interface

This feature is primarily focused for smaller suppliers that batch print their labels based on existing order pick lists (or similar). Larger volume Suppliers may choose to interface their pick list run directly with Bartender or other existing labeling software to produce their SmartLabels. TagNet pre-ships some example BarTender (.BTW) formats as shown below in Figure L1. Please refer to the TagNet SmartLabel Printing Guide for further information on the label formats and their uses.

Figure L1.  Label Maintenance

RFID Label Format List Fields

Listed below is a description/explanation of each display field in the Label Maintenance list:

Label Identifier: – The user defined name of the Label Format

File Name: – The .BTW or .ZPL file name associated with Template

Detailed Description: – user defined description of the Label purpose

Status: – The current status of the Label format record.

Image: – The rendered image (optional) associated with that Label found in the directory specified in the System Settings function.

Action Links – These hyperlinks perform the following functions:

Change – change properties for a given label format record

Copy – copies the properties of selected template for a new one

Delete – removes the Label format record from TagNet

View – allows inquiry mode only on the Label Format record

Print – launches the Labelware application and prompts for the specific data elements which will be used to lookup the remaining elements to be printed on the label format. Shown below in Figures L2 and L3 are sample label prompts.

 

Figure L2.  Label GTIN Prompt

 

Figure L3.  Label attribute Prompt

TagNet ZPL Label Print Feature

This feature would typically be deployed in a receiving or finished Production use case. In other words, whenever a ‘new’ object (RM, FG, Assets, etc.) is made known to the enterprise and it needs to be tracked throughout the facility. This allows the data elements of that object to be passed to the subscribing systems when the object passes through a TagNet Portal.

So why wouldn’t someone just write all these user defined fields to that tag? Though technically feasible here are some reasons why you would not consider that:

1.Current GEN2 96bit tags have limited ‘user storage’ and that storage space would eventually be insufficient to hold that many attributes.

2.When reading tags passing by a portal very quickly, reading the unique Tag ID itself is very reliable, attempting to read a heavy user data storage area would take extra time, and when multiplying that by the velocity of objects that could go through a portal at any given time, read reliability would suffer considerably.

3.TagNet’s architecture is meant to leverage Server based storage of Tag ID attributes (which is essentially limitless). This is the same concept as with EPCglobal and the distributed EPC IS / ONS architecture.

TagNet Label print enables the setup of administrator defined promptable data fields for a given label format. The other steps required for this functionality are:

1.A Binding function has to be tailored for each label format that dictates how the user input fields are validated and mapped to TagNet mapping storage.

2.A raw Printer Command file needs to be generated from any number of RFID LabelWare packages (such as BarTender, TLA, etc.). This file is then slightly modified to put in substitution parameters consistent with each user defined input field specified in the TagNet Label Prompt Table. Shown below is an example in Figure L4

Figure L4.  Change Label Information

 

Shown below is figure L5 is the maintenance view for a given Label Template. Based on the type of label template you are configuring (Labelware call or raw print commands), certain fields will be mandatory or optional.

Figure L5.  Change Label Information

RFID Label Format Entry Fields

Listed below is a description/explanation of each display field in the Label Maintenance list:

Label Identifier: – The user defined name of the Label Format

File Name: – The label file name (e.g. BTW or .ZPL) associated with Template

Description: – user defined description of the Label purpose

Image: – The rendered image (optional) associated with that Label found in the directory specified in the System Settings function.

Event Binding ID: – The Binding definition that will validate the input and map that data to TagNet Object files as defined in the label definition.

Status: – The current status of the Label format record.

Printer IP Address: – The network address of RFID printer

Timeout: – The time in milliseconds that TagNet will timeout if the printer can not be contacted

Item to use for Serial Number: – utilizes the Serial Number stream to auto-increment a TagID for each label. The Item must be setup in the TagNet Product Master. Used in conjunction with *GENERATE_TAGID keyword on the Label Prompt table.

[Update] Button - updates any changes made and returns the user back to the main Label Printing list page.

[Cancel] Button - does not update any changes and returns to the main Label Printing list page.

 

Printing Labels

The type and number of input fields for each label ID is configured in a separate Prompting Table in the Object Maintenance. This controls what fields are prompted and how the tag ID is generated. Shown below in Figure L6 is a sample print example:

Figure L6.  Print Label Function

RFID Label Print Entry Fields

Listed below is a description/explanation of each display field in the Label Print Function:

Label ID: – The user defined name of the Label Format

File Name: – The printer command file name associated with Template

Description: – user defined description of the Label purpose

Printer IP Address: – The network address of RFID printer

 

User Defined Fields below:

In the example shown in Figure L6 there are (7) fields defined in the Prompting table for the given Label ID of ‘Avnet’.  The prompting table controls whether the field is input capable or output only. If the value is output only, a default value can be specified that cannot be changed.

Typically the first parameter will be Tag ID which stipulates whether the unique TagID commissioned to the tag is to be generated by TagNet or by the user. The *GENERATE_TAGID keyword indicates the use of the Serial Number counter specified in the Label ID during setup. This serial number counter is for the specified item number in the Item Number entry field.


Copyright © 2023 Stratum Global, Inc.