Bilin Intelligence

How to Select the Right Bar Code Scanner For Your Application

2022-10-26 10:24

Bar code scanners serve wherever there is a need for accurate identification and product tracking. These devices increase operational efficiency and reduce errors. However, selecting the correct kind of reader largely depends on the kind of application it will be used for. There are about four main types of readers, fixed-mount reader, handheld reader, embedded reader and reader module.

Factors to Consider

The common factors affecting the selection of a bar code scanner include the distance of scanning, connection to computers, speed and frequency of scans and volume of scanning required. For long range scanning (currently limited at 24 inches), you would require a laser barcode scanner, as image-based scanners operate at a maximum of 4-10 inches.

Smaller bar codes require manual handling so that they can be read correctly. Larger codes, such as those on warehouse cartons, can be read from a distance. Hence, this process can be automated and integrated with a manufacturing or assembly line. If the environment in which it is to be used is dusty or humid, or products are stored in a freezer, they might be difficult to scan.

Retail vs. Industrial Use of Bar Code Scanners

Retail stores would benefit from handheld or even wireless scanners. These are mounted on a handle and have a button for switching on the light. Pen or wand scanners are similar, except you have to move the scanner across the code. Retailers also prefer stationary, semi-automatic scanners that are usually fixed around the check-out area, such as within the countertop.

A large-scale through-put of products that need to be scanned, use fixed scanners and reader gates. These automatic scanners are for industrial use and can be combined with conveyor belts on a manufacturing or assembly line for large volume processing. No operator is required and the time taken for scanning is also less. Large scale storage operations also use fixed position readers for tracking inventory, shipping destinations and even the weight of the product.

If you intend to interface the scanner with a PC or a dedicated system, you need to check out the supporting software or hardware required to process the data generated by the bar code reader.

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