Barcode scanners have become easier to use than ever before. Simply plug the cable into the scanner and PC and you’re ready to start scanning.
There are so many options and types of scanners to choose from. Picking the right scanner can be a challenge without understanding all the various types and options.
The first step in finding the right scanner is working out your needs:
Where will the scanner be used? Is it a rugged environment?
How often will it be used?
What kind of barcodes will you be reading?
How will the scanner be used?
Can you stay connected to a PC?
Barcode Scanner Types
Understanding how and where the barcode scanner will be used will help you find the right scanner for your needs.
Depending on the type of barcode that you will be reading will determine the right scan engine to choose. There are 3 main types of scan engines:
1. Laser Imager
This is the most well-known scanner type. It uses a red diode laser to read the reflectance of the black and white spaces in a barcode. Laser Scanners are only able to read standard linear (1D) barcodes but are also the most cost-effective option. Standard laser scanners can read from a few inches to a foot or two away depending on the size of the barcode. There are also extended range laser scanners, like the Zebra LS2208 which can read up to 35ft away when using large reflective labels.
2. Linear Imager
Linear imager scanners are similar to lasers in that they also only read 1D barcodes. But instead of reading reflected light from the laser, they take a picture of the barcode. It then analyses this image to extract the information from the code. Linear imagers, have become a very good replacement for laser scanner as their read ranges and costs have become similar. A linear imager also does a better job reading poorly printed or damaged codes compared to lasers. For applications that need a more aggressive scanner, a linear imager will be a great fit for the same cost.
3. 2D Area Imagers
Like linear imagers, full 2D imagers also capture an image to analyze. But compared to the linear only devices, these scanners can read any type of barcode. 1D, stacked, and 2D barcodes are all supported by a 2D imager. Another advantage these imagers have is that the orientation of the barcode isn’t important when reading. With lasers and linear imagers, you have to line up the indicator horizontally across the barcode. A 2D imager is taking a more detailed image and is more intelligent, so you can read a code in any direction. This results in faster reads with less aiming. 2D imagers, can also read barcodes off of any surface including a monitor or phone screen. With their added abilities and very aggressive reading, 2D imagers are becoming more popular in all industries to speed up scanning applications and expand the ways in which barcodes are used.
"I have worked with Trish at Barcode Logic for nearly 20 years. As an MYOB partner specialising in retail I originally reached out to Trish to seek assistance with her RMStock product that linked directly to MYOB point of sale software Retail Manager. During this time Trish has always been helpful and available to all my clients to remote in and fix various issues. Nothing is too much trouble and all queries are answered quickly and efficiently."
Mark MitchellMYOB Certified Consultant
"I have had the absolute pleasure and privilege working with Trish from Barcode Logic. Trish and her team have been helping our business community formulating solutions for many of clients of 2 Peas Pty Ltd for over a decade.
Trish is personable, energetic and professional and always strives for excellence. She has a sound knowledge of her software and offerings and is well versed in the retail industry and all aspects of inventory based businesses."
Pam MadytianosMYOB Certified Consultant
"I have been recommending and
selling Barcode Solutions from Barcode Logic for over 15 years
now. The Barcode Logic Support team have excellent product
knowledge, are always available, friendly and willing to assist.
The RMStock solutions enables the user to interface with Retail
Manager, in a logical manner and I find it very quick to
demonstrate and train clients in their use. My clients using
RMStock Scanners are saving valuable time and effort when it
comes to stocktake, ordering and receiving goods."
Beth Henwood Retail Manager Professional
"Cavallo IT Services has proudly partnered with Barcode Logic since 2015. During this time, we have developed a successful traceability and quality assurance software, now being used in agricultural settings across the country. The program’s success is a testimony to the partnership we have built, this would not have been achievable without Barcode Logic technical expertise. They are reliable, trustworthy, and only ever a phone call away.
We would highly recommend Trish and the team at Barcode Logic.
Joe & Anna CavalloCavallo IT Services
“Your number one resource for barcode hardware, software solutions, labels and ribbons”.