At OSIANDER printers of the EOS and MACH4 series give books an identity

OSIANDER is an owner-managed family company

On a flying visit at the distribution center

OSIANDER was founded in the 16th century, at a time when pamphlets, hymns and chapbooks were popular. So OSIANDER is one of the most traditional bookstores in Germany. And it is one of the largest, too: Today, the OSIANDER web catalog provides customers with more than eight million books on all topics. Printed on paper or as ebooks. We headed  to the „heart“ of OSIANDER, the logistics center in Tübingen-Derendingen. There we had the opportunity to take a closer look at the distribution of the goods.

OSIANDER distribution center

cab label printers since 2009

On 3,000 square meters of space the stock turnover for all 34 OSIANDER book stores is operated, added by the direct shipment of books ordered by customers online, in a store or via phone. Since 2011, the labeling of the goods is foremost done with cab label printers. Already two years earlier, the first OSIANDER stores had been equipped with devices of the EOS series. These printers combine all functionalities of an industrial printer with the ease of operation and compactness of a manageable desktop printer. An issue that directly matched with the profile of requirements set up by the OSIANDER stores. But not just there. Also at the distribution center in Tübingen-Derendingen there are EOS printers in use to process fanfolded labels at all the work stations where customer‘s orders are handled.

A labeling work station equipped with a MACH4 printer
A labeling work station equipped with a MACH4 printer

Labels provide explicit classification

The staff at OSIANDER‘s incoming goods department is relieved with a highly performant conveyor and sorting system. At the appropriate work stations books are labeled, loaded into boxes and transported to the picking stations via a conveyor belt. The labeling is done with cab MACH4 printers. These are designed so that labels and ribbons can be inserted from the front. Therefore MACH4 needs only little work space. The centered label positioning eliminates the need for adjustments and avoids wrinkling of the ribbon.

Labeling books with cab printers: We wanted to know first-hand from Thomas Reif, Head of Logistics, what are the experiences at OSIANDER? This is what he told us.

Books carry an identity on their back: price, ISBN etc. So why still labels?

Reif: Most of the books are already marked by their manufacturers with their price and a barcode. But not all of them. These have to be labeled individually. The customers in our book stores shall exactly know what the book they currently hold in their hands will cost in the end.

Do you agree when we say that proper labeling is the basis for a working warehouse management?

Reif: Without proper labeling our centralized distribution center would not work at all. In order to distribute to the picking stations, the labels must be identified by the scanners of our conveying system even from a distance. The labels must be identified while in transport. High quality print is therefore a precondition for correct distribution.

What demands do you derive on cab label printers?

Jointly focused: Thomas Reif (left) and CIO Ralf Kaupp exchanging on how to further optimize the logistics processes.

Reif: In our logistics there are cab printers in use both in the incoming goods department, where books are distributed to the book stores, and in the outgoing goods department, where the packagings are sent to our customers. The printers have to meet different requirements. At the outgoing goods labels for DHL are printed. At the incoming goods small parts labels are printed that are important for the conveying system and later on for the checkout counters in the shops. The decisive factor is that the barcodes that are applied are legible by the scanners. Misinformation should be avoided.

In addition, the labeling work stations are operated by changing staff.

Reif: This is right. Therefore, the hardware has to be robust. If it comes to dirt or when a print head has to be cleaned this must be solved easily. Our staff should be able to this themselves, without having to order the customer service or a service technician.

Here and now, truly said: How satisfied are you with “your” product marking?

Reif: We are satisfied in all these years. We have set up various scanning stations at which all these printers are in use. The experience that we have made so far is very good indeed.

Application video (in German)

cab products

  Label printer EOS
  Label printer MACH4