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Levi, Ray & Shoup, Inc.

Label Printing for the SAP Environment

Like many things in a factory, the printing of labels is one of those activities that happen in the background and are expected to work 24/7. This is especially true in logistics and production companies or in the automotive industry, for example. As in my last Blog post, I would like to illustrate a few points by sharing a real-life customer situation. This one occurred during a Proof of Concept project (PoC) we did at an automotive company last year.

One of our customers (a prospect at that time) from the automotive industry was using the CUPS solution on their SAP servers for printing, including SAP label printing. Last year, we did a PoC at the customer to benchmark their CUPS-based system against our VPSX EOM Server. During the course of that PoC, the customer made the bold decision to switch some of their production label printers to the VPSX server in order to see how our solution would perform in a real production environment. (Note from Editor: using trial software in your own production environment may or may not be a good testing strategy. Your mileage may vary.)

As fate would have it, one of the label printers actually did have an issue while printing labels during the PoC. The contact person running the test was pleased to be able to find the root cause of this issue in 5 minutes. He contacted us and let us know that using his old CUPS setup, it would have taken hours to track down the problem. He would have been digging through many different logs on various servers dedicated to label printing in his environment.

Instead of this cumbersome troubleshooting approach, he now did some quick checks in the VPSX Web interface for this label printer and easily located the problem. This was real confirmation of how easy it was to troubleshoot SAP printing problems, especially problems with SAP label printing. Today this company is a happy LRS customer and is implementing our solution in all production plants across Europe.

Another problem this customer wanted to address was the need to install and update CUPS software on all of the SAP application servers, which took a lot of effort. Varying software requirements for SAP and CUPS (Linux kernel, etc) also prevented him from updating his CUPS software to the most recent version. LRS helped the customer solve this deadlock by installing one central EOM Server with HA capabilities for all SAP label printing. The old solution had no ability to reroute spool files in case of broken printer hardware. Furthermore, that previous software was never designed to process large volumes of business-critical output like labels.

SAP label printing is a sensitive matter. LRS software can make your label printing environment more secure and more reliable, regardless of whether you use dedicated label printers or regular laser printers. We offer 24/7 support for critical problems. Every day we solve label printing issues for our customers, and tomorrow we could start solving yours. Just give us a call.

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