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How to Choose a Barcode Scanner

Barcode Scanners Come in All “Sizes and Shapes”

There are a number of different makes and models of barcode scanners available on the market. It can be difficult and time consuming to evaluate the cost effectiveness of each device in meeting the needs of your organization. To simplify the task, consult with the experts at RMS Omega to learn how to choose a barcode scanner. They can help you determine which one is best for your application.

Purpose of a Barcode Scanner

A barcode is an 11 or 12 digit number identifying an item or product. A computer analyzes this number and matches it with the same number in the database, then retrieves associated information and allows real time updating of that data. The barcode is the crucial initial piece of information, and needs to be read by a barcode scanner to be sent to the computer for interpretation. This can be done via a cord or USB connection or, more commonly today, wirelessly. Expect to spend between $100 to $1,000s, depending on the technology used and its application.

Types of Barcode Scanner Technology

  • Image-based barcode scanners read the barcode by using a small camera and send the information to the computer for interpretation and any processing needed; these sturdy and affordable scanners have few moving parts and can withstand rough treatment but are limited in their scanning distance.
  • Laser-based scanner technology reflects lasers through mirrors and lenses to capture barcode data and send it to the computer for processing; the scanning range is increased to about 2 feet, but more moving parts means an increased risk of breakages.

Deciding Which Barcode Scanner Suits Your Application

The intended use of a barcode scanner determines the kind of scanner that is needed. Here are some questions which will help refine your decision:

  • Does the scanner need to withstand extremes in temperature?
  • Will the scanner be attached to a computer?
  • Is the scanner being used in a rugged environment?
  • Should the scanner be portable?
  • Will the scanner read your existing barcode and work with existing software?

Generally, laser technology is more suitable for stationary locations or in factories or manufacturing facilities where long range scanning is useful. The durability of an image based scanner is a benefit for use in extreme environments and in close quartered applications. Let an RMS Omega sales representative work with you to review your specific barcode scanner requirements and recommend solutions.

For more information, please contact us today!