EASYLABEL Replace Files

A Replace File is an ASCII Text file that can be used to temporarily replace field data on a label format that has been downloaded to the memory of a printer.

EASYLABEL supports the creation of Replace Files for cab Apollo, A Series, M Series, and Mach Series printers and on Tharo H and V Series printers.

The advantage of a Replace File is that it precludes the necessity of understanding the command language of the target printer. The creation of a Replace File is as simple as setting the Replace File option in the label format specifications to YES. When the label format is sent to the printer memory, the Replace File is automatically created and placed in the same directory as the label format.

The Replace File template can be uploaded to most any type of system. It can be easily edited to include your variables and sent to a printer to populate and print previously downloaded printer resident formats.

System Integration

Label printing is usually part of a larger process, for example, ERP, manufacturing, inventory shipping, accounting, and various supply chain applications typically depend on label printing to facilitate critical tracking and identification functions. EASYLABEL’s powerful label design and printing capabilities are not limited to stand alone operation. Some of EASYLABEL’s most powerful capabilities are dedicated to integration with other software.

Databases

When integrating with other software, usually the most common way to accomplish this is to pull data from an internal or external database to populate the label format fields. EASYLABEL can connect to most Windows based database programs providing the database has ODBC drivers (usually these drivers are automatically installed when the database program is installed). EASYLABEL also has its own internal database capabilities. Database capabilities are available in every version of EASYLABEL except Start or Silver.

SAP/R3 and Oracle

Using the XML capabilities of EASYLABEL Platinum, it is possible to print barcode and RFID labels from applications such as SAP/R3 or Oracle. The EASYLABEL XML Monitor will receive the output from an external application by monitoring a specified location. For detailed information on XML setup, please refer to RFID.

XML

EASYLABEL Platinum comes with an XML Monitor and XML Generator to allow the printing of barcode and RFID labels from an XML file created either in EASYLABEL or created in an external application such as SAP/R3 or Oracle.

The EASYLABEL XML Generator allows you to create XML files with no programming experience necessary. The XML Monitor will monitor a directory or TCP/IP port waiting for a compatible XML file to be initiated.

Command Files

A command file is a text file that can control a specific format’s data and quantity of printed labels. Its function is to automate the printing process to eliminate repetitive data entry that may already exist on a computer EASYLABEL can monitor a specified directory, in a minimized state, where the command file resides. Any change to the command file will cause EASYLABEL to print the format associated with it. The command file can be created and edited manually or by another computer program. Command File capabilities are available in EASYLABEL Platinum, Multi-User, and Terminal Server versions.

ActiveX

EASYLABEL 5 Platinum and Multi-User versions contains a set of ActiveX Controls that can easily be embedded into any environment that supports ActiveX controls such as Visual Basic, C++, C#, MS Access, etc… These controls allow middleware programmers to create programs that can use the internal functions of the software to print labels, view job status, preview the label prior to printing, and many other features without ever opening the EASYLABEL program.

For more detailed information please download our ActiveX Examples and
command documentation at the Downloads section.

Labelcom

Labelcom is a utility that is included with EASYLABEL Platinum. This program allows data to be read from a serial or USB port device, such as a bar code scanner or scale. The data that is received can be used to fill in variable data (when printed or database fields) on a label format created in EASYLABEL and automatically print it.

Net Print Server

EASYLABEL Net Print Server (ELNPS) is an application that provides a web browser-based interface for label selection and printing. Users of web browsers on Windows PCs, non-Windows computers running Linux or Unix, Apple Mac and even a hand-held PDA can easily browse and select a label format. Although ELNPS Clients can be any system with a web browser, the ELNPS Label Server MUST be a Windows based system because of ELNPS’s use of ASP.NET. One key advantage to ELNPS is that no software needs to be installed on the client PCs. There is often more than one way to integrate your external program with EASYLABEL. The best way will depend not only on the capabilities of your
existing software, but on the integration method you prefer to use. Regardless of the method you choose, the versatility of EASYLABEL will make your integration a painless process.

Stand Alone Printing

This White Paper was written to familiarize the user with the Stand Alone Printing process using the Tharo H-Series printer and the EASYLABEL software program*. It is possible to download label formats, databases, serial files and images to the flash memory of the printer or to an optional Compact Flash card. To use a Compact Flash (CF) card simply insert it into the Compact Flash slot in the back of the printer, disconnect the printer from the PC and print labels using only the printer and a standard PS/2 keyboard.

* EASYLABEL Start does not support downloading to the H-Series memory. EASYLABEL Silver does not support downloading databases or serial files to the H-Series memory.

Configuring the Printer

To edit the printer configuration in the EASYLABEL program, click the Advanced tab in the Printer Configuration window and look at the Use Memory Card option. If it is set to NO, EASYLABEL will download files to the printer’s internal flash memory. If it is set to YES, EASYLABEL will download files to the optional Compact Flash card. Be sure the printer is configured to use a serial port or a bidirectional USB port. Do not use the parallel port when downloading to the printer memory or optional CF card.

 

Connecting with a scale

Situation:

A meat packaging plant needed to label packaged meat with a weight and expiration date. Previously, the employees manually entered the weight of each package of meat and its expiration date on a computer terminal and then printed a label. The company wanted to automate this process to increase productivity and prevent user error.

Solution:

The company used EASYLABEL to design a label that automatically calculates the expiration date based on the current date. They connected a scale to the serial port of the PC running EASYLABEL and configured the scale to output the weight to the PC. Labelcom, a utility included with EASYLABEL Platinum, was then used to receive the data sent by the scale. Now, when a package of meat is positioned on the scale, Labelcom adds the weight to the label template and triggers EASYLABEL to automatically print a label that includes the weight and expiration date.

Benefits:

Prints labels automatically
Calculates the expiration date in the software
Eliminates human error
Increases productivity

Printing Labels without PC

Situation:

A company needed a low cost solution for labeling boxes with unique serial numbers and date codes. To prevent user error and increase their efficiency, they also required that the labels would be printed on demand at each packaging station. Their budget did not allow them to add a computer and printer to each production line and they were concerned about training workers to use computer software.

Solution:

The company purchased one copy of EASYLABEL and four H-Series printers. The software was installed on a PC in the front office, where all label templates were created. The plant supervisor uploaded the label formats to the internal memory of the H-Series printers and moved them to convenient locations next to the packaging stations. Using a standard keyboard plugged into the printer, the workers select the label format, enter variable data to be printed on the label and specify a print quantity. Depending on the label selected, the printer automatically prints a date code, time stamp, or a unique serial number on each label. To increase efficiency, they are using the printer’s stripper sensor with internal rewinders on each printer. This allows workers to take a peeled and presented label one at a time and attach it to a box. Sensing when a label is taken, the printer automatically prints and presents the next label in the series.

Benefits:

Printer location is independent of the PC
No need to purchase and maintain PCs and monitors
No unnecessary equipment in the work area
Workers do not have to learn computer software
Labels print automatically as needed
Unique date, time stamps , or serial numbers on each label

Integrating EASYLABEL with a Web Server

Situation:

A company needed to print labels on numerous networked printers from any PC on their network. They also preferred central management of all label formats and software settings.

Solution:

The company installed EASYLABEL® Platinum on a Windows server. EASYLABEL was configured to print to 25 networked printers and all label formats were saved in a directory on the server. The EASYLABEL XML Monitor was then set to monitor a specified directory for new XML files. The company created a form on their intranet which employees use to select a label, enter variable information to be printed on the label and specify a printer. Once the form is completed, an XML file containing this information is generated by the company’s software and copied to the directory monitored by the EASYLABEL XML Monitor. The XML files are processed by the XML Monitor and labels are printed on the specified printer.

Benefits:

Printing from any networked PC without installing software
Centralized management of label formats and software settings
IT Department does not need to troubleshoot multiple PCs