Cus­to­mer reference
Sick AG

Bar­codes and more:
SICK con­trols world­wi­de prin­ter infra­st­ruc­tu­re with AKI

The cus­to­mer

SICK is one of the world’s lea­ding manu­fac­tu­rers of sen­sors and sen­sor solu­ti­ons for indus­tri­al app­li­ca­ti­ons. Foun­ded in 1946 by Dr.-Ing. e. h. Erwin Sick and head­quar­te­red in Wald­kirch im Breis­gau near Frei­burg, Ger­ma­ny, the com­pa­ny is a tech­no­lo­gy and mar­ket lea­der with more than 50 sub­si­dia­ries and affi­lia­tes as well as nume­rous repre­sen­ta­ti­ves around the globe.

  • Sec­tor Industry
  • Task Fle­xi­ble bar­code prin­ting via soft­ware, auto­ma­tic inte­gra­ti­on of water­marks and high avai­la­bi­li­ty of SAP printing
  • Top chal­len­ge Out­put manage­ment sys­tem to con­trol the SAP prin­ting envi­ron­ment, addi­tio­nal func­tions such as auto­ma­ti­cal­ly crea­ted water­marks on test prints from SAP systems
  • Solu­ti­on Prin­Tau­rus Com­man­der, Prin­Tau­rus for SAP-Sys­tems (incl. high avai­la­bi­li­ty), Res­Queue, Port­Mo­ni­tor with bar­code and water­mark solution
  • Top bene­fits Cost savings through soft­ware-based bar­code inte­gra­ti­on on all devices, crea­te prin­ters in all SAP sys­tems in just 10 seconds, simp­le, cen­tral admi­nis­tra­ti­on of the prin­ter landscape

The task

Appro­xi­mate­ly 700 prin­ters are in use at SICK world­wi­de. The prin­ting of deli­very and con­sign­ment notes in the Logistics & Dis­tri­bu­ti­on Cen­ter from the SAP sys­tem is cri­ti­cal for the com­pa­ny. If delays occur here, goods are left behind, and that can be expen­si­ve. Huber, IT Ope­ra­ti­ons Infra­st­ruc­tu­re remem­bers: “In the past, the­re was no feed­back on the sta­tus of print jobs and the decen­tra­li­sed admi­nis­tra­ti­on of SAP and Win­dows made a con­si­derable effort. We had hard­ly any trans­pa­ren­cy in the print infra­st­ruc­tu­re and a lot of staff was nee­ded to fix prin­ter malfunctions.”

A pro­fes­sio­nal out­put manage­ment solu­ti­on was to pro­vi­de a reme­dy. “Soft­ware-based bar­code prin­ting was the main trig­ger for moder­ni­sing our print manage­ment envi­ron­ment – and thus the cen­tral requi­re­ment for the new soft­ware,” says Huber. In addi­ti­on, sam­ple prints from SAP were to be auto­ma­ti­cal­ly water­mar­ked in order to make them reco­gnis­able com­pa­red to real ship­ping docu­ments. Com­fort func­tions for SAP prin­ting for easier trou­ble­shoo­ting, high avai­la­bi­li­ty as well as a con­sist­ent­ly trans­pa­rent prin­ter infra­st­ruc­tu­re were also desired.

The solu­ti­on

After loo­king at the mar­ket, the­re were various sup­pliers to choo­se from – SICK deci­ded on AKI. “The per­so­nal con­ta­ct and the good coope­ra­ti­on during the test pha­se were very posi­ti­ve. In the end, the con­vin­cing ease of use of the pro­duct and the pro­spect of inte­gra­ting the new solu­ti­on into the exis­ting infra­st­ruc­tu­re without any pro­blems were also decisi­ve,” exp­lains Huber.

“Today, SAP prin­ting runs like clock­work: secu­re, reli­able, trace­ab­le. And we have a huge time saving in trou­ble­shoo­ting; often with AKI we even reco­gni­se in advan­ce whe­re pro­blems might ari­se,” says Huber. The SAP-cer­ti­fied BC-XOM inter­face of Prin­Tau­rus for ERP sys­tems makes it pos­si­ble to ana­ly­se the print data streams from SAP and exe­cu­te cor­re­spon­ding work­flows based on their iden­ti­fiers. This way, water­marks are auto­ma­ti­cal­ly added to prin­touts from the test sys­tems during ope­ra­ti­on. In addi­ti­on, sequen­ces for bar­codes can be gra­phi­cal­ly inte­gra­ted into the print data stream – also auto­ma­ti­cal­ly, which means lower cos­ts for hard­ware, less wear and tear and fewer fail­u­res due to repairs. Busi­ness-cri­ti­cal docu­ments are prin­ted from the SAP sys­tems world­wi­de, which is why the HA com­po­nent of Prin­Tau­rus ensu­res high avai­la­bi­li­ty: If a print ser­ver is no lon­ger avail­ab­le, the sys­tem auto­ma­ti­cal­ly swit­ches to an alter­na­ti­ve print server.

Dri­vers and new devices can now be crea­ted very quick­ly as device types in SAP. “Our admi­nis­tra­tors bene­fit from this con­si­der­ab­ly. Pre­vious­ly, every prin­ter in every SAP sys­tem had to be set up manu­al­ly – and we have about 50 such sys­tems. A huge effort,” exp­lains Huber. “Today, we crea­te a new device in just ten seconds and dis­tri­bu­te it to the respec­ti­ve SAP sys­tems with just one mou­se click,” Lud­wig Huber is plea­sed to say.

“We are very satis­fied with AKI: the intui­ti­ve usa­bi­li­ty, qua­li­fied feed­back into the SAP sys­tem, high avai­la­bi­li­ty as well as auto­ma­tic water­marks and bar­codes inte­gra­ted into the print data stream – all this is con­vin­cing,” exp­lains Huber. “AKI’s solu­ti­on real­ly saves us time and money. We only need ten seconds to get a prin­ter ope­ra­tio­nal in all SAP sys­tems. In addi­ti­on, we save our­sel­ves the expen­si­ve purcha­se of bar­code modu­les for the out­put devices. The return on invest­ment was achie­ved very quick­ly due to the com­ple­te inte­gra­ti­on into the exis­ting struc­tu­re and the short trai­ning periods.”

“AKI’s solu­ti­on real­ly saves us time and money. We con­trol the ent­i­re SAP prin­ter infra­st­ruc­tu­re via one app­li­ca­ti­on. This sim­pli­fies our dai­ly busi­ness considerably.
Lud­wig Huber

IT Ope­ra­ti­ons Infra­st­ruc­tu­re & App­li­ca­ti­on Sup­port, Sick AG

The bene­fits

  • Print bar­codes with all prin­ters: more fle­xi­bi­li­ty and no expen­si­ve purcha­se of bar­code modules
  • Hig­hest prin­ting per­for­mance and reliability
  • Auto­ma­tic water­mar­king on prin­touts from test systems
  • Easy admi­nis­tra­ti­on under SAP – crea­te or chan­ge out­put devices in all SAP sys­tems in just 10 seconds. In the past, this step took 5 minutes
  • Admi­nis­tra­ti­on of the ent­i­re hete­ro­ge­ne­ous prin­ter land­s­cape with only one cen­tral application


Tell us if we can sup­port you. Get in touch with us. Without obli­ga­ti­on and at any time.

For direct enqui­ries you can also con­ta­ct us by pho­ne: +49 (0)931 32155–0