Barcode Scanners: Choose the Right One for Your Business

Barcode ScannerBarcode Scanners can be hand-held or stationary and are used for capturing data stored in barcodes. A barcode scanner consists of a code reader and a decoder. These devices are connected to a computer through compatible ports.

The earliest form of barcode scanners contained a fixed light and one photo-sensor, but modern barcode scanners are much more advanced, having polygonal mirrors that use laser technology.

Barcode scanner are available in a variety of forms such as:

  • LED Scanner: Often referred to as a CCD scanners, they are most commonly used in point of sale applications, with an average scan rate of 45 scans per second.
  • PDA Scanner: Features a wireless portable data assistant (PDA) with a built-in barcode reader.
  • Imager Scanner: Captures image of linear barcodes and can be used in slightly more rugged applications because they have no moving parts
  • Fixed Position Scanner: Commonly used in the manufacturing industry as apart of the conveyer line
  • Pen/Wand Scanner: A small, pen-like barcode scanner that can be swiped to read barcodes
  • 2D Imaging Scanner: A small camera is used to capture the barcode image, which is then decoded by the reader using advanced digital image processing
  • Handheld Scanner: Has a handle and trigger button that can be used to switch light source
  • Stationary Scanner: Commonly used in supermarkets, these wall or table-mounted scanners decode the barcode when it passes under or beside
  • Laser Scanner: Use a laser beam as a light source and either a reciprocating mirror or a rotating prism to scan the laser beam across the bar code.

The advent of barcode scanners has greatly increased the speed of data capture and processing and has become a key component in almost every facet of business. Barcode scanning allows for organizing inventory, monitoring goods, and ensuring security and has helped businesses streamline their workflow. Because of this, choosing the right barcode scanner for your business is essential.

Ask yourself the following questions before purchasing a barcode scanner:

  • What environment will the barcodes need to be scanned?
  • Will you need a portable barcode scanner?
  • Which barcode symbology do you plan to use?
  • What will the average scanning range be?

After considering the above, be sure to choose a reliable company that provides a scanner that meets all your needs. I personally recommend Symbol/Motorola barcode scanners, Datalogic barcode scanners, and Intermec barcode scanners. However, keep in mind that many times you cannot buy direct from a manufacturer. For more information on barcode scanners and how to purchase them, check out a value added reseller.