Most businesses use barcodes to itemize and track their inventory. Barcodes are a smart and convenient solution to optimizing record keeping and customer experiences. To read them, you need an efficient barcode scanner.
The market today is flooded with different varieties of barcode scanners that are ideally suited for particular types of operations. From the frequency of utilization to the type of barcodes in use, there are a lot of things to keep in mind while you shop. It can be an overwhelming experience, which is why it may help to break down a couple of the scanners’ attributes to improve your understanding:
Equipment for barcode scanning has been evolving ever since its outset. To select the right barcode scanner for your business, it’s crucial to evaluate the technology it uses. There are mainly three types of scan engines available:
- Linear Imagers
- 2-D Area Imagers
A laser scanner is one of the most frequently used devices for scanning. Laser scanners use a red diode laser beam that reads the reflection of blank spaces between the black bars of a barcode. Laser scanners are 1-D in nature (meaning they read bar codes that look like vertical lines, not shapes or criss-crossed lines) and are ideally suited to scan codes from a much longer distance than most others (up to 35ft).
Linear imagers and 2-D area imagers use a similar technology in the respect that they process an image of the barcode instead of reading its reflection created by a laser. Linear Imagers, as the name suggests, can only read 1-D codes but are proficient at reading barcodes that are blurred or off-colour printed. 2-D imagers are capable of reading barcodes of all kinds, including stacked, 1-D and 2-D.
Take a look at the barcode you’re planning to scan and ask yourself:
- Is it 1-D or 2-D?
- Is it printed with black ink onto a white surface?
- Does it always print crisply or can there be blurring of the image?
- Does your team need to reach to access it – or is it easily accessible for a close scan?
Industry of use
All the barcode scanners mentioned above have good utility depending on the industry they are employed in. Scanners used in a mild, indoor environment don’t go through extreme wear and tear on a regular basis and therefore don’t need to be rugged. For industries like warehousing and transportation, however, scanners have to be resistant to damage. Rugged and ultra-rugged scanners are ideal for these businesses as their durability is unmatched. Rugged scanners are usually marked with bright colours like lime green and yellow that differentiate them from regular ones.
Certain industries may require a longer battery life in the scanner. An example may be the retail industry, where a dead scanner during inventory can be a major inconvenience, and a scanner low on battery may not necessarily make it to its charging dock between uses. Zebra’s DS8100 Series and DS4800 Series scanners are sleek and efficient, ideally suited for retail and hospitality businesses, and they boast a long battery life.
Form of scanners
The structure of these scanners is also important to determine their utility for your industry. Scanners usually come in 3 different forms – Handheld, Mobile and Built in. Handheld scanners are the most popular forms in use as they are easy to operate, offer more mobility and are optimal to use in more rugged locations.
Zebra, Microscan, Honeywell and Motorola are common brand names for you to choose from and they offer great options for all 3 forms of scanners.
If you have any further doubts regarding a scanner’s connectivity or functioning, you can connect with our team at Jet Marking Systems. If you’re based in Canada, you can also request a quote directly from our site if you are ready to set your budget and we’ll be glad to help you out.