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Label Printing in BPWin

Label Printing

BPWin can generate printed labels and programmed RFID tags using dynamic data from the current job session. All label printers that support a text-based command language are supported. This includes virtually all commercial and industrial major-brand label printers from suppliers such as Zebra, Wasp, Datamax, and many more. All barcode types are supported, limited only by the capabilities of the printer that you choose. BPWin will print the label using real-time values from the job session for text fields and barcode encoding. For label printers that also support RFID tag programming, BPWin can generate the content for the tag in tandem with any printed label.

Because BPWin interfaces with the printer using the Windows print driver and a text-based command language, you don't have to hassle over your particular printer model being supported. In fact, any printer that supports this style of interface is ready to plug-and-play with BPWin. Examples of text-based command languages are: EPL, ZPL, ZPL2, WPL, or any other supplier's proprietary format, so long as it is a text-based command language sent directly to the printer. What this means is that the label content sent to the printer is comprised of command codes that are interpreted by the printer itself to generate the text, barcodes, RFID, etc. This is opposed to sending graphical data directly to the printer, such is the case with conventional document printing. This scheme allows the printer to create complex content like barcodes on-the-fly, without BPWin having to natively support any particular barcode format.

You may design your own labels from scratch or immediately use BPWin's built-in default label. You are free to use any label design software. Generally, free WYSIWYG design software will be provided with the label printer. There are also commercial products that will work too. Alternatively, if you are adept at any of the printer's command languages (eg ZPL2), you can code your own label simply with a text-editor. The text that comprises the commands to send to the printer can be generated by the label design software in the form of a text file. In BPWin, these files are referred to as "Printer Command Files".

BPWin presently supports printing a label at the end of the job session and when it has detected that a destination media needs to be reloaded. For the label at the end of a job, this will occur at the same point in time as when the job summary report is displayed. For the end of media label, this will occur at the same point in time as when BPWin prompts you to reload the media. All of the important aspects of the job setup are available as dynamic content to the label. This includes items such as device quantity, job master file name, job ID, device part number, data pattern information, system information, and much more.

The default label provided in BPWin is a 3"x4" label in ZPL format, optimized for the Zebra GK420d direct-thermal label printer. Any label printer configured to accept ZPL commands will work with the default. You may have to adjust speed and darkness to produce the best quality label with your particular printer and label stock. This label contains important job session information, and incorporates the use of Code128 linear barcodes and the DataMatrix 2-D barcode. Here is what the label looks like, with some example job session content:

 bpwin-print

How to Design Labels

Designing a label entails using a separate graphical application to specify the information you wish to convey, layout, and formatting of a label. No special skill is required to design labels; usually there is more than adequate help documentation that is included with label design software that only takes a few minutes to read, comprehend, and get you up and running. Here we will assume that you have familiarized yourself with your label design software and are capable of creating a label with it that can be used with your label printer.

Printer Command Files

You should find that your label design software can print your designed labels. Usually, invoking these commands provide options to "Print to file" instead of actually printing a label. When exercising this option, the software will prompt you for a location to save the file. It is this file that is used as the "Printer Command File" in BPWin, since it is comprised of the text commands to send to the printer to print your label.

Specifying BPWin-provided Dynamic Content

The aspects of a job setup that you wish to be included in a label are specified by placing one of several special strings of characters at the location in the label where you would like the content to appear. These strings of characters are referred to here as "tags". What follows is the current list of tags, and the description of the content that BPWin replaces the tag with when it prints your label:

Tag

Description

{BpmJobQty}

What was entered in the quantity text box, no commas.

{BpmDevicesPassed}

How many devices were passed then placed into the output, not just passed by the programmer.

{BpmJobName}

The root name of the JobMaster file. (eg "Job123")

{BpmJobFilename}

The JobMaster filename plus extension. (eg "Job123.bp").

{BpmJobFilepath}

The full path and full filename of the the JobMaster file. (eg "\\CustomerJobs\MyCustomer\Job123.bp")

{BpmJobId}

The operator supplied JobId.

{BpmModel}

Programmer site model. (eg "BP-2710").

{BpmSwVer}

The BPWin version (eg "5.10.0"). Includes a designator for betas ("Beta").

{BpmDeviceName}

The device name excluding the manufacturer

{BpmDeviceManuf}

The manufacturer of the device

{BpmDataFilepath}

The name of the buffer as it appears in the main BPWin window

{BpmDataFilename}

The full path of the data pattern file

{BpmDataTimestamp}

The data pattern file timestamp in IS08601 UTC format ("Zulu Time"). (eg "YYYY-MM-DD hh:mm:ssZ"). This is the time without any timezone shifts, and the 'Z' at the end designates this.

{BpmDataChecksum}

The same data pattern checksum that is displayed in the job summary

{BpmSystemName}

The Windows machine name for the host system.

{BpmUserName}

The Windows user account name used to access the system.

{BpmJobEndDate}

The date in ISO8601 format (eg "2010-03-08") when the job session completed.

{BpmJobEndTime}

The job time in ISO8601 format with timezone (eg "hh:mm:ss [+/-]hhmm") when the job session completed.

In addition to the "end of job" tags above, "end of media" labels support the tags described in the table below. Note that specifying any of these in an "end of job" label will result in an error.

Tag

Description

{BpmMediaDeviceResults}

Device operation result statistics for all devices in the filled media. For example:

Not Blank: 5

Continuity: 7

Verify: 3

This would mean that 5 devices failed the "Blank Check" portion of their operation, 7 failed the "Continuity" portion, and 3 failed "Verify". Note that for most media populated by being specified in the "Destination" field of the autohandler workflow dialog, this table will merely consist of a single "Passed" statistic whose number matches the number of devices in the media. An example such as the one above would most likely be found in a label that was printed for the reject media.

{BpmMediaNumActualDevices}

The total number of devices in the media.

{BpmMediaMaxNumDevices}

The media's capacity. This value can currently only be provided for trays, otherwise BPWin will replace this tag with "N/A".

{BpmMediaName}

The name of the destination as specified in the "Destination" field in the autohandler workflow settings window.

{BpmMediaTimeOfFirstDevice}

The date/time that the first device was placed into the media.

{BpmMediaTimeOfLastDevice}

The date/time that the last device was placed into the media.

{BpmMediaNumBlankDevices}

The number of devices in the media that never had a device operation attempted to be performed.

Configuring BPWin to Print Labels

The label printing feature can be configured in BPWin by selecting menu items Tools/Label Printing..., which opens the "Label Printing" window:

bpwin-print2 

To use this window to configure label printing:

  1. To print labels at the end of a job session, click the "Enable" box in the "Print label at end of job session" section to place a check in it. To print labels when BPWin has detected that an output media needs to be reloaded, place a check in the "Enable" box in the "Print label at end of output media" section. The following instructions can be applied to both end of job label printing and end of media label printing.
  2. Select a printer by clicking on the combo box labeled "Printer" to view the list of printers on your system. From the list presented, click the name of the printer you would like BPWin to use to print labels. Clicking on the printer name will make that printer the printer selected in the combo box.
  3. At this point you can choose to exercise one of these two options:
  1. a.Click the button labeled "..." to browse for a printer command file that you have previously created. Doing so will place the path to the selected file in the "Printer Command File" field.
    or
  2. b.Click the "Default" button to specify that you would like BPWin to use the default label distributed with BPWin. This will place the text "" in the Printer Command File field.
  1. If you would like to see what the label will look like when one is printed at the end of a job session, click the "Test" button. BPWin will make a temporary copy of the contents of the printer command file in PC RAM, replace all tags in those contents with a version of the content that reflects the current configuration of BPWin, and print a label by sending those contents to the printer.
  2. When you're done configuring label printing, click OK to close the Label Printing window. The settings are stored in the system registry and will be restored the next time you open BPWin.

Example Procedure

The following procedure uses all of the information provided above to create and use a label in BPWin that includes:

  • Number of passed devices.
  • Programmer site model.
  • Device name.
  • Data pattern checksum.
  1. Using label designing software, such as the one that was most likely included with your printer, first design a label that is composed of only individual field names that are descriptive of each of the items listed above. Here is what an example of this would look like using Zebra Technologies Corporation ZebraDesigner Label Design Application: bpwin-print3 You should find that you can apply the basic concepts described in this procedure for the ZebraDesigner software to any other label design application.
  2. Specify where you would like BPWin to place its dynamic content by placing the appropriate tags in those locations:
    bpwin-print4
  3. To demonstrate the use of bar codes, we will also configure the label to place a DataMatrix bar code to also contain the number of passed devices right next to the human-readable "Devices passed:" field in the label. When such a bar code is inserted into a label using ZebraDesigner, this is what its configuration screen looks like, notice that we've typed {BpmDevicesPassed} for its content, the effect will be that BPWin will replace that tag in the printer command file with the number of devices passed, ultimately resulting in a bar code that represents the number of devices passed in the job session: bpwin-print5 This is what the label now looks like in ZebraDesigner with the inserted bar code:
    bpwin-print6
  4. Print the label, but make sure to use the "Print to File" option. In ZebraDesigner, this is what that entails:
    1. Choose File/Print... from the menu.
      bpwin-print7
      As a result ZebraDesigner presents a "Print" window that includes a "Print to file" checkbox:
      bpwin-print8
    2. Make sure to place a check in the "Print to file" box and then click the "Print" button. This will close the "Print" window and you will be presented with a "Print to file" window that will allow you to specify the file to save as a "Print file (*.prn)" file type:
      bpwin-print9
    3. Specify a file name and location. Make a note of the location because you will need it later in the procedure. When you're ready, click the "Save" button. The "Print to file" window will close and the file will be saved in the location you specified. This file is referred to in BPWin and in this help documentation as the "printer command file". For this example we created a new folder in "My Documents" named "Label Printing" and specified the file name "Example.prn".
  5. Configure BPWin to print labels at the end of the job session using the file saved in step 4c above by following this procedure:
    1. Configure BPWin to run a job session. For this example, we selected device Micro MT29F64G08TAAWPET:A and loaded a data pattern named DGF-24-DIG-00387-00.bin.
    2. In BPWin, choose menu items Tools/Label Printing.... The "Label Printing" window will open:
      bpwin-print10
    3. Place a check in the "Print label at end of job session" box. You will now be able to select a label printer and specify the printer command file that we saved in step 4c above.
    4. Select your label printer in the "Printer" field. In this example we use "Zebra GK420d":
      bpwin-print12
    5. Click the button labeled "..." to specify the printer command file you saved in step 4c above. Doing so presents an "Open" window that will allow you to browse for the file. For this example we selected the file we saved in step 4c above by navigating to folder "Label Printing" under "My Documents" and selecting the file named "Example.prn".
    6. Click the "Open" button in the "Open" window. This will close the "Open" window and bring you back to the "Label Printing" window where you can see that the file you selected has been specified as the "Printer Command File". For our example, this is what that looks like:
      At this point you can print a test label by clicking the "Test" button. For our example, this is what our test label looks like:
      bpwin-print13
    7. Click "OK" in the "Label Printing" window. The "Label Printing" window will close. BPWin is now configured to print labels at the end of the job session. For this example a job session with 4 devices was run, at the end of which BPWin printed this label:
      bpwin-print14
Author
Adaptsys Web Support
Date Created
2012-12-21 12:43:10
Date Updated
2012-12-21 12:47:45
Views
22852
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