Alternative for Paper Labels Digital Labels Do Not Require Batteries

nextLAP launcht digitale Etiketten für die Beschriftung von Regalplätzen.

As an alternative to paper labels, nextLap offers an e-Ink tag that does not require a battery and can be written to locally via NFC using a mobile phone app.

In assembly and logistics today, the shelving spaces on the assembly and removal side are usually equipped with a paper label. The label shows at least the part designation and a 1D or 2D barcode of the number. Depending on requirements, minimum and maximum quantities or location codes are indicated. The disadvantage: The inscription and the Plexiglas cover must be renewed and maintained regularly, either because of damage or because new part numbers are placed.

"For example, in the retail sector, there are already digital solutions with e-Ink tags that can be updated remotely. However, these are expensive across the board because they require a wireless radio network to update the tags. The wireless network must operate in the low-power range so that the necessary batteries in the tags function as long as possible without replacement. When e-Ink tags are used in the production area, there is no guarantee that the tag will still be exactly where it should be in the long term. A remote update is therefore rather unrealistic", explains André Ziemke, Managing Director of nextLAP.

The label developed by nextLAP, which does not require a battery and can be written to locally via NFC using a mobile phone app, should work differently. This eliminates the need for the previously paper-based process.

Writing is done on site by the employee placing the mobile phone on the tag. No additional wireless network infrastructure is required to write the tags. Since no battery is installed, neither battery changes nor additional maintenance processes need to be implemented.

"Saving on maintenance processes is crucial, because in the automotive industry, for example, external service providers often pick up in the logistics zones and additional maintenance processes first have to be contractually agreed and additional costs are incurred," explains Ziemke. "We offer factories a cost-effective, simple and lean solution that is both industry 4.0-compliant and in line with the lean concept.