Electronic Shelf Labels – Initial Step towards paperless industry 4.0

In times of digitalization, almost all technical work processes in industry, production and logistics can be digitally illustrated. Instead of an industrial revolution, in many manufacturing companies the current workflow still looks like this in spite of digital technologies: The personnel receive work orders, part lists and building instructions in paper form. Work steps are documented on paper and shelf labels are printed out as paper labels. Even production orders for tools and products, which often consist of several pages of paper, are printed out in large format. This leads to cost-intensive paper consumption and works against the system of a smart and sustainable industry. 

Industry 4.0 - Need for paperless production 

In addition to the focus on sustainability, paper has other disadvantages: Instead of digitizing changed process data, corrections or notes have to be printed out individually for every sector. This insufficient timeliness becomes a problem especially in industrial production, which is characterized by constant developments and new business models: Process sequences and construction manuals must be illustrated precisely within short cycle times and with high quality standards.

Solution: Digital Signage with electronic shelf labels

For fast, automatic and flexible production, data must be available electronically and in real time. In the sense of a Smart Factory, the paperless industry 4.0 is the goal. e-shelf-labels are using digital signage - digital labels - as a solution approach to completely save paper.

The focus is on digital signage based on e-paper: electronic labels that can be used and written on anywhere. Thanks to e-paper technology, the display only consumes power when an update is made to the displayed content. The batteries therefore have a high durability – consequently, the use of digital signage solutions not only saves time, but also money. Electronic shelf labels are available in different sizes, so that they can be used for the electronic labelling of material chutes up to large format labels of routing slips. All paper-based markings can thus be replaced by digital E-Ink displays. As the e-paper displays have an excellent contrast, the displayed contents such as barcodes and QR codes are easy to read from different perspectives.

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