dretheitgoataraujo
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Mar 02, 2017 1:42 am

Consumable Stock Control

Thu Mar 02, 2017 12:28 pm

Hey guys!

New user around here!


I need your help and expertise for a project that I want to start.

So here's the thing:

In the company I work for, we have a room with a big stock of Printer consumables. Because of this, we have to keep track of the parts and comsumables that come and go, and for that we use an excel file. That's obsolete and we spend lots of time keeping track of things, and if someone gets the numbers wrong, we have to count it all over again.

Is there any way we can use raspberry pi and sensors, so he can control the stock in "real time"?

Something like using sensors that understands when something is taken out of put into the room. Something like car parking sensors, that counts whenever a car get's into the spot.

Thanks in advance guys!

Best regards,
André

scotty101
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Joined: Fri Jun 08, 2012 6:03 pm

Re: Consumable Stock Control

Thu Mar 02, 2017 1:18 pm

Why not just have a barcode scanner to check items in to stock and then check them out again when someone takes one?

Adding 'sensors' of any kind to keep track of a decent amount of stock is going to involve lots of wires.
Electronic and Computer Engineer
Pi Interests: Home Automation, IOT, Python and Tkinter

dretheitgoataraujo
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Mar 02, 2017 1:42 am

Re: Consumable Stock Control

Thu Mar 02, 2017 3:50 pm

scotty101 wrote:Why not just have a barcode scanner to check items in to stock and then check them out again when someone takes one?

Adding 'sensors' of any kind to keep track of a decent amount of stock is going to involve lots of wires.

That can really be the solution indeed, but please help me because I don't have that much experience with barcode scanners.
Using one, do I need some kind of software to register the changes in stock, or the Excel file may serve the purpose?

scotty101
Posts: 4206
Joined: Fri Jun 08, 2012 6:03 pm

Re: Consumable Stock Control

Thu Mar 02, 2017 4:25 pm

You could use Excel or Access (or the OpenOffice/LibreOffice equivalents) or you could write your own software to record the stock.

Many barcode scanners act much like a keyboard. When you scan the item, a code is 'automatically' typed in. That action could then be used to search though a list of items and either add 1 to the stock number or take 1 away.

Good luck!
Electronic and Computer Engineer
Pi Interests: Home Automation, IOT, Python and Tkinter

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rurwin
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Re: Consumable Stock Control

Thu Mar 02, 2017 4:26 pm

You'll need more than an Excell file.

A Barcode scanner is generally seen by the computer as a keyboard. All it does is "type" the code on the barcode into the computer. If you scan the existing barcode on your consumable then you will just see a numeric string (which is also printed under the barcode for when it's damaged and won't scan.) You'll need software to look up the code (there are online databases) and keep a record of the stock levels.

You will also need a good deal of staff training and stick waving to ensure everything gets scanned in and out with no exceptions. You'll still need to do counts every now and then to check the stock list is correct.

A better alternative might be to attach a card to each item. When someone takes something they tear the card off and drop it in a bin. Then someone takes the binful of cards and scans them out. Any card not in the store should be in the bin, and if an empty box is found with the card still attached, you are more likely to be able to find someone to blame and the stock level can be corrected by dropping the errant card in the bin.

In fact you don't need any computer for that method, although half a dozen knitting needles and a cereal packet would be useful.
(You are not expected to understand this unless you're as old as I am.)

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