Virtually every industry or organization uses barcode technology today regardless of its size. Barcodes may appear to be a simple mix of strips and spaces, but they’re the main element to vital product information. To decode these barcodes, special devices like scanners are used. Barcode scanners are photosensors which browse the barcodes and convert them in to a readable text that’s displayed and stored on a computer or laptop. This appears to be a lengthy process but it just takes few milliseconds.
Barcode scanners are the most widely used tools today. They’re being found in different industries including manufacturing, warehousing, education, healthcare, barcode scanner machine and field service. The high utility aspect and the popularity of the scanners have triggered the introduction of several varieties.
Barcode scanner varieties are distinguished by their form factor and their scanning technologies. The key difference in form factors is the amount of operator manipulation required. There are wand or pen-style scanners, fixed-mount scanners, and handheld scanners. Handheld scanners vary the most in available scanning technology. There are laser scanners, CCD scanners, which are also known as linear imagers, 2D scanners, also known as area imagers, and omnidirectional scanners. The scanning technology ought to be chosen on the basis of the application and requirements.
Wand or pen-style barcode readers must be swiped over the barcode at a steady rate of speed and at a certain angle. This makes them the smallest amount of efficient scanner to make use of, but they’re the smallest amount of expensive. They’re also small, extremely durable, and not limited by the width of the barcode.
These scanners read barcodes because they are passed facing the scanner. They’re widely found in work-in-progress applications and for high-speed sorting along conveyor systems. Smaller models are commonly found in laboratory, security identification, and kiosk applications. Most of these have a laser scan engine, so they have to be mounted at a specific angle and distance from the barcodes that may pass facing them. Unlike others, many of these are generally integrated with other equipment and automation systems.
They’re also referred to as CCD scanners, CCD LR (long range) scanners, and full array imagers. The scanning technology they employ uses no moving parts, thus making the linear imager scanners more durable than laser scanners, however they do have a shorter reading distance of contact to two feet. Linear imagers are well suited for reading damaged or poorly printed barcodes and for reading barcodes under plastic film or covering.
Laser scanners are the most used scanning technology in the industry. The brightness and sharpness of laser scanners offer greater preciseness and visibility when targeting a barcode, especially in bright light. They’re also for sale in several variations to generally meet the needs of special applications, such as for instance long range or high density scanning.
Unlike handheld linear scanners that really must be lined up perpendicular to the barcode, omnidirectional barcode scanners can read a barcode no matter how it is orientated. Therefore, they speed up the scanning process and reduce user fatigue. Omnidirectional scanners are generally found in retail environments and are available in on-counter and in-counter models. On-counter models are good for applications with limited counter space, such as for instance convenience stores. In-counter models are ideal in high-volume applications, such as for instance grocery stores.
2D barcode scanners can capture 2D barcodes in addition to 1D, or linear, barcodes. They’re gaining popularity due to their versatility and the future-proofing they feature as an investment. These scanners use a mix of digicam technology and software to fully capture barcodes. They read barcodes omnidirectionally, therefore the barcodes could be orientated in just about any direction. Some models also can capture digital images and signatures.