Company News • 14.02.2013
No cables required
Wireless solution for mobile retail activities
With a new module for wireless networks, Mettler Toledo makes its compact bC-U2b weighing terminal fit for mobile use, putting an end to cable chaos on market stalls. The solution means a welcome reduction in early-morning build-up work for market traders.
The wireless module inside the bC-U2b facilitates a wireless connection to up to five weighing terminals. Simply position as required, switch on and the unit is ready to go: the terminals automatically create an ad-hoc network, thus eliminating the need for cables and reconfiguration of the terminals alike. This assures market traders of a stable and secure wireless connection on their market stalls.
Ready for new service concepts
The bC-U2b now gives owners of medium-sized and large market stalls the chance to introduce service concepts that have been proven to work successfully in supermarkets and traditional stores into their mobile retail operations. Since each employee is assigned an individual number, the network allows a staff member to switch between weighing terminals while serving the same customer. Alternatively, market traders can use the bC-U2b including wireless module to create a self-service shopping experience similar to that found in supermarkets: customers can select the products they wish to purchase at their own pace, with members of sales staff then weighing the goods and handling payment at the operator terminal. Both concepts offer a better overview and higher rate of throughput on the stall, thus reducing queues for customers.
Saving time in the mornings
“Having to set up the stall early each morning is part of the daily grind for every market trader,” says Gerd Griesohn, Product Manager Retail Scales at Mettler Toledo. “Thanks to its wireless module, the bC-U2b reduces the daily build-up time in two ways: it makes handling easier and simplifies configuration.” Market traders do not need to lay cables and look for connections, nor do they need to adjust the terminals’ settings to align with local area networks. Once the bC-U2b has been positioned and switched on, its display lists all the other weighing terminals on the stall. After just one press of a key to confirm set-up, the network is ready. The stall owner or other staff members can transfer current pricing details and other master data onto the weighing terminals from a USB stick.
Variable network of terminals
For the first time, the bC-U2b’s wireless network has now made it possible to change the number and arrangement of weighing terminals without having to reconfigure the network.
This enables traders who sell at several different regional markets per week to adapt their set-up to the local situation and market conditions: the network functions equally well, irrespective of whether the trader connects two, three or more weighing terminals and regardless of their type. An initial configuration of all terminals at the time of purchasing the bC-U2b is sufficient to align them with each other permanently. “This configuration process assigns each terminal with a unique SSID code which prevents any other devices logging on to the ad-hoc network,” explains Mettler Toledo’s Gerd Griesohn.
All in a single housing
The entire wireless module is contained within the bC-U2b’s housing, the exterior of which is completely free of antennas – which could become tangled and potentially damaged – and open cable connections which could allow dirt or moisture to enter the unit. Made from robust yet lightweight material, the bC-U2b’s protective housing is specifically designed to withstand daily build-up and dismantling. When equipped with a cash drawer and Mettler Toledo’s checkout software, the weighing terminal represents the complete everyday solution for handling weighing and payment activities on market stalls. It enables traditional checkout functions such as discounts and special offers, multiple payment options and data-entry corrections to be available in a mobile retail environment.
The wireless module is available as an optional built-in module when purchasing a new bC-U2b. In addition to being suitable for use in ad-hoc thin client networks, WLAN technology also allows it to be connected to larger networks through access points or a router.