Manufacturer migrates to new labeling solution to support 2D bar codes, maximize efficiency and enhance productivity

Pella Corporation designs and manufactures made-to-order custom windows and doors and behind-the-glass blinds and shades for a myriad of homes and businesses. Founded in 1925 in Pella, Iowa, the company employs more than 6,000 workers at 14 manufacturing locations across the United States. The company has received nine ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year Awards and five distinctions for sustained excellence.

Pella Windows and Doors photo and logo

Pella windows and doors are known the world over for their beautifully designed products. In 2015, the company learned their existing labeling software application was sunset and there wasn’t an upgrade path. With labels serving as an integral part of their business, Pella needed an alternative solution that would deliver enterprise reliability, fidelity, performance, and easily integrate with their existing fleet of Zebra printers without compromising productivity.

Pella selected Eclipse Corporation’s DocOrigin enterprise-software solution to replace their aging Adobe software. Eclipse’s DocOrigin is a Zebra Validated Solution that provides robust software to design, present and deliver dynamic data-driven labels as well as forms, checks and documents. DocOrigin merges the raw data from Pella’s business software to produce high-volume interactive and batch generation high-fidelity labels. And importantly, DocOrigin provides native support for Zebra’s ZPL print driver which enables Pella to continue counting on its existing fleet of high-performance Zebra printers. Pella has used Zebra printers for more than a decade and have several Zebra printer models, replacing them or upgrading them is not required because DocOrigin is a validated Zebra software solution.

At the heart of the DocOrigin system is the Merge engine that easily integrated with the existing ERP application. The Merge engine receives data directly from the ERP system, interprets it, merges the data into the suitable label and then sends it to the appropriate printer. While the printer is preloaded with labels, the Merge engine ensures the right data gets to the correct label. “We’re an independent application, and we have something that’s called Integration Without Modification™ which means we can take the data stream coming out of the ERP system and handle it without the ERP application needing to be modified – which is a big deal,” notes Eclipse’s Steve Brown. This also meant that migration to the new system wouldn’t adversely affect productivity. Instead, since DocOrigin can support so many different data file formats and provides one environment for designing and distributing labels, it’s much more efficient. The configuration also translates into savings, since Pella won’t have to request modifications or changes. “We liked the development tool to build the label template on a desktop and publish it up to the server. In that regard, we’re excited to switch to DocOrigin and use its desktop solution to build a template,” adds Pella’s Postma. “It provides a lot of flexibility to work with our existing fleet of printers.”

Most of the products that leave Pella’s factories carry a label that was produced on a Zebra printer. On a peak day, Pella generates up to 20,000 labels on hundreds of individual Zebra printers. DocOrigin easily integrated with Pella’s ERP system, and the custom Zebra driver enables the company to take advantage of every print feature while maximizing print performance. The results are outstanding.

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