How choose and APPLY Barcode Scanner Malaysia
Nowadays application of barcode can be everywhere, ranging from identification cards, mailing, goods purchase in a store, membership as well as e-wallet environment. Let us look into what is barcode, what are the elements needed to create a barcoding environment, identify which industries and what best barcode scanner can apply in order to achieve the objectives of increasing workflow efficiency and reducing human errors.
What is Barcode?
A barcode (also spelled bar code) is a method of representing data in a visual, machine readable form. Initially, barcodes represented data by varying the widths and spacing of parallel lines. These barcodes, now commonly referred to as linear or one-dimensional (1D), can be scanned by special optical scanners, called Barcode readers. Later, two-dimensional (2D) variants were developed, using rectangles, dots, hexagons and other geometric patterns, called Matrix codes or 2D barcodes, although they are not in bars format as such. 2D barcodes can be read or interprate using software apps on mobile devices with inbuilt cameras, such as rugged mobile Terminal, Tablets and smartphone.
Elements needed for Barcoding
To establish a barcoding environment, there are four major elements which software generator, Barcode Printer, Barcode Scanner,and medias normally called as consumables such as Label Stickers and ribbon to generate barcode print out, known as Barcode system solution. It very much helping businesses track an amazing amount of information which, in turn, increases productivity and efficiency. You will improve your business’ processes by understanding how barcodes work and by knowing how to use them. After barcode tag has been generated, effectively in partnership with a quality barcode scanner is very essential to affect how effective workflow is and increasing in efficiency.
What Industries and which is best barcode scanner ?
A barcode scanner usually consists of three different parts including the illumination system, the sensor, and the decoder.
In general, a barcode scanner captures the black and white elements of a barcode by illuminating the code with a red light, which is then converted into matching text. More specifically, the sensor in the barcode scanner detects the reflected light from the illumination system and generates an analog signal that is sent to the decoder. The decoder interprets that signal, validates the barcode using the check digit, and converts it into text. Converted text is delivered by the scanner to a computer software system holding a database of the maker and by then retrieve all necessary data on screen for further processing purpose.
There are primarily 4 barcode scanner types based on the technology they use to scan and basically comprises Contact Scanner, Laser Scanner, CCD scanner (Charge Coupled Device) and an Imager scanner.
Contact scanner –
They are also called barcode wands because they look like wands. This scanner consists of a LED light and a photodiode at its tip. How it works is that, when this pen-like barcode scanner is slid over the barcode, the LED illuminates the black and white bars. The light reflected from these bars, which vary depending on their thickness, is captured by the photodiode and is later converted into digital information.
The problem with this type is that you have to carefully pass the scanner over the barcode and at the proper speed. The scanner needs to come in contact with the barcode. Any kind of human error could lead to flaws in the data obtained.
Pen type barcode scanners are the least expensive among all.
Laser scanner –
These are the most popular type of barcode scanners and are widely used in retail. They also work similar to the pen-type but give accurate results when compared to the former.
In this type, a laser beam is shot at a mirror within the actual unit. This mirror moves within so that the laser sweeps across the barcode in a straight line. A photodiode captures the reflected light and converts it into digital information.
This type can be either hand-held or mounted. A standard-range laser barcode can read the code from 6 to 24 inches away. A long range one can read from 2 to 8 feet away, and an extra-long one from up to 30 feet away.
CCD Scanner –
CCD scanners are expensive units but give very accurate results. You may see them referred to as LED scanners.
They have hundreds of tiny LED lights arranged in a row within the unit. This is directly shot at the barcode, and the voltage of the ambient light is measured. This is later converted to computer readable data.
These are widely popular in POS(Point of Sale) applications.
But, the disadvantages of CCD scanners are that you need to hold them within 1 to 3 inches from the barcode, and it cannot read the code that gets longer than its scanner face.
Imager scanner –
These function more like a video camera rather than a scanner.
The unit consists of a video camera within, and rather than using the laser to shoot light at the code, it essentially takes a picture of the barcode, which is then analyzed using sophisticated digital decoding techniques.
The main advantage of this type is that they can read the barcode no matter how you place the scanner in front of it. This increases the speed of scanning multi-fold.
As mentioned earlier, 2D barcodes consist of different types of shapes, unlike the linear spaces in 1D. Hence, an ordinary scanner cannot serve the purpose of scanning 2D barcode. So, only images can do this job.
Based on the type of connectivity, you can have cordless and corded barcode scanners.
Cordless scanners are best suited for warehouse or factory applications, where a cord could restrict the movement. Also, under harsh environments where the cable could get damaged, cordless scanners are the right choice. For heavy, bulky items that are difficult to place at the checkout counter, cordless scanners are the best choice.
How To Choose Best Suitable Barcode Scanner
There are following questions and the answers to these will help you decide the right barcode scanner for you:
1. Where do I need to use my barcode scanner? (Warehouse/ In-store?)
2. How often do I need to scan my products?
3. At what length from the product should I be able to scan it?
4. What will the barcode scanner connect to?
5. Do I have a limitation on my budget for the barcode scanner?
Imager barcode scanners are getting cheaper now and are the best choice. They can be used for both 1D as well as 2D barcodes. So, this will be a wise choice. Again, it depends on other factors that you need to consider.