Choosing the right barcode scanner

Choosing the right barcode scanner

Choosing The Right Barcode Scanner For My Application?

A barcode scanner will range in cost, performance, size and robustness, depending on the applications that they are required for. Determining the right barcode scanner is generally the first step when considering Auto ID equipment.
A number of questions must be answered when determining which scanner is right for you. Here is a quick guide you need to ask yourself when choosing a barcode scanner.

1./ Do you need CCD, Linear Imaging, Laser Scanner or a 2D scanner?

CCD – is a contact scanner. Great for low traffic scanning and generally very low in cost.
Linear Imager – is a long range scanner. Great when you need to scan much quicker. Will scan much wider barcodes than a CCD scanner. Can sometimes be a more cost effective solution to Laser.
Laser – Generally considered to be best scanning engine for scanning barcodes. However, these days, there is little difference in performance between laser and linear imager, especially if indoors and scanning retail barcodes or barcodes on labels. Choose laser however if scanning in direct sunlight, or scanning shipping barcodes larger than 30cm.
2D – 2D barcodes ares becoming more prevalent these days. Qr codes (2D barcode symbology) are popping up everywhere for advertising. 2D barcodes are also becoming more prevalent in health-care and event management. 2D barcode scanners can also scan 1D barcodes as well.

2./Does the barcode scanner need to be mobile or will it be a cabled (tethered) scanner?
Think about your application and will it be sufficient to scan all items close to your host/P.C. Most cabled scanners have a cable length of around 1.8m – 2m. If you require a further distance than this, then look at a cordless barcode scanner for more freedom. Cordless scanners in the industry can range from scan distances of 10m and up to 100m.

3./Do you need to scan just the barcode # or do you require additional information such as quantity, location #, user ID #, serial #, date/time stamp etc etc?

If you need to scan more than just the barcode ID #, then you need a pda barcode scanner. Pda barcode scanners can be programmed for a wide range of applications such as stocktaking (Bin #, item #, qty, date/time). For asset managment, they usually like them to be programmed for location ID #, asset ID # and date/time. They usually have a screen and keyboard so the user is prompted to scan and collect data for that record.

4./Does the barcode scanner need to be robust? What environment will the scanner be used in?

Warehousing and Logistics, and field services usually requires barcode scanners / pda barcode scanners to be subjected to weather conditions, dust, dirt, oil, water and users who are not so compassionate about the hardware they are using. This means they will have an IP rating from IP 54 up to IP65 and drop ratings of between 1.2m -1.5m. For retail environments and clean and carpeted environments, such as hospitality, health-care and libraries, then IP Ratings are not as so important.

4./Support and Service.
Be sure what ever location, region or country you are buying a barcode scanner, that you have local support. Nothing worse than buying a scanner from a website overseas and you cannot get any support or service locally for this. Also check warranties. Most decent barcode scanners have 3-5yrs warranty. For pda barcode scanners, the standard is 12 months but you can also get extended warranties if required for most reputable manufacturers.

Choosing the right barcode scanner
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