You need to purchase the add-on barcode support module to print and use barcodes. Barcodes for equipment, parts, etc. can be printed on work orders. You can even print out barcode labels to put on equipment, parts, etc. If you would like a trial of the barcode module, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to request a trial license key that will activate the barcode module in FastMaint Standard / Professional/ Web editions.
With barcodes it is easier to scan out parts from stores, work orders can be easily retrieved as needed and so on. For example let us say you have a stack of printed work orders that have been completed and you need to update all of them in the system. You can use the Find function (on the main window or home page) to quickly retrieve each work order to update the feedback. With a barcode scanner attached, rather than entering each work order number, you could scan the barcode for the work order number off each work order and pull it up. In a similar way the Find function can be used to quickly retrieve parts, equipment, locations, etc.
FastMaint Standard/ Professional supports “Code 39(Extended)” and “Code 128” barcodes. These barcode types are the most commonly used in manufacturing industries worldwide and are supported by most barcode scanners in use today. In addition FastMaint Web/ Cloud also supports the 2D barcodes “DataMatrix” and “QRCode”. Note that you will need to have or purchase your own barcode scanners to scan in the barcodes. Make sure that the barcode scanners are of the “keyboard wedge” type or provide software that makes it seem like the barcodes are being entered from the computer keyboard.
Barcode Reader/ Scanner Recommendations:
There are several types of barcode scanners available that should work. Each type is suitable for different uses e.g. point of sale, light use, industrial use, ruggedized (outside use), wearable, wireless, etc. What will work for you will depend on the environment you will be using them in e.g. on the plant floor you would need ones rated for industrial use, you may want wireless/ portable scanners if you have very large parts, you may want a scanner that will also work with your inventory control software, etc.
There are many suppliers for barcode scanners. For example, CDW (http://www.cdw.com) has a wide variety of barcode scanners for different uses. You can visit their website to search by different criteria or call them and ask them for recommendations.
For the scanner to work with FastMaint:
- Data should look like it is coming from the keyboard
- It should be able to scan “Code 39(Extended)” OR “Code 128” barcodes
See if you can get something like a 30-day trial of the barcode scanners so that you can return them if they do not work as expected.
Note: Make sure that the item names and work order numbering that you use are letters only (A-Z and a-z) or a combination of letters and digits (0-9). If it is only a string of digits (e.g. 678523) we have seen some barcode scanners have problems reading the barcodes. The code looks like a very large number and the scanner is unable to process it. If you already have purely numeric work order numbers and run into this problem contact us for information on how to change the auto numbering system for work orders.