Linear Imager Capabilities

I’ve already provided information about area imagers in a past post about Intermec’s EX25, so now I’d like to take a look at linear imagers and their capabilities.  Unlike a typical laser scanner, linear imagers use CCD (Charged Coupled Device) technology to capture the bars and spaces in a barcode and convert them into a video signal.  Rather than using oscillating mirrors to capture the data of a barcode, linear imagers utilize LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) and a lens to focus the image of the barcode onto the CCD component.  This solid state design with no moving parts is the main reason that linear imagers are considered more reliable than standard laser scanners.  The lack of moving parts also provides a fast scan rate of 200-500 scans per second.  Linear imagers like the Intermec SR30 pictured at left are also capable of reading a thicker portion of a barcode, so they provide better reads of damaged or poorly printed codes.  But even with all of these benefits, linear imagers are best suited for specific types of applications.  The major drawback to linear imagers is their inability to scan at long ranges.  Because of this, linear imagers are best suited for applications such as:

  • Retail POS
  • Inventory management
  • Order picking
  • Production line replenishment

If your application doesn’t require a long scan range than you may want to take advantage of the numerous benefits offered by linear imagers.  For more information about linear imagers or to see if they’re right for your application, please contact me at