Barcode Scanners and Readers
VisionID has aligned itself with the worlds leading suppliers of barcode scanner technology. We are pleased to present our portfolio of products that are designed for use in every industry and for every application. Our general purpose scanners are rugged and durable and will withstand everyday use. We have a range of rugged scanners for the tougher environments which are available in corded and cordless variations. Whether its retail, manufacturing, healthcare, warehousing or services industry VisionID has a barcode scanner that will suit your requirements.
What is a barcode?
Before you select a scanner for your business, it helps to first understand what it is that they do. A barcode is essentially a message encoded in a set of lines and spaces of different widths.
These messages contain important product information which, when scanned, is interpreted into numbers or letters in order to identify the item. There are two different types of barcode that you may come across in your business: linear and data matrix.
Also known as a one-dimensional or 1D Barcode, it is a machine readable code consisting of a series of bars and spaces printed in defined ratios. Barcode symbology is essentially alphabets in which different widths of bars and spaces are combined to form characters and, ultimately, a message. Because there are many ways to arrange these bars and spaces, numerous symbologies are possible.
Data Matrix or 2D barcodes
A Data Matrix code, also known as a two-dimensional or 2D barcode, is a two-dimensional way of representing information. It is similar to a linear barcode, but has more data representation capability, consisting of black and white square modules arranged in either a square or rectangular pattern. The information to be encoded can be text or raw data. The length of the encoded data depends on the symbol dimension used. Error correction codes are added to increase symbol strength: even if they are partially damaged, they can still be read. A Data Matrix symbol can store up to 2,335 alphanumeric characters.
Every Data Matrix is composed of at least two finder patterns or handles and two syncs. Handles are two perpendicular lines, coloured the same way as 1 module, while syncs are like handles with the difference that they are made of alternating black and white modules. Handles achieve a good alignment with the symbol, while syncs sample modules correctly. If the matrix dimension grows, more syncs and handles are added up to 8 both horizontally and vertically. Symbol sizes vary from 8×8 to 144×144
Types of Barcode Scanners
These are lightweight and robust scanners that can be easily carried around. They’re best used in situations where the operator must scan a large number of items in varying shapes or sizes. Handheld scanners can also be used to scan codes at a distance, for example a pallet stored on the top shelf of a warehouse rack. This means the user does not need to have the item directly in front of them in order to scan it, saving them the time and effort of obtaining better access.
Some scanners are designed to be connected directly to a defined workstation, such as a PC, laptop or cashiers’ desk through a cable. USB is now the most popular connection choice, but serial RS232, PS/2, AT/XT, and other specialized connections are also available. Corded scanners are well suited to environments where the device will rarely need to be used away from the standard point of use.
Designed to allow the operator to roam up to a 50 feet radius from the scanner’s cradle, cordless scanners use Bluetooth or Wireless technology to transmit scanned information to a defined work station. This gives the person scanning a great deal more mobility than a corded scanner, all whilst remaining connected to their work station. At VisionID, we have a wide selection of top-of-the-range handheld scanners; perfect for use in a retail, healthcare or industrial environment.
Mounted onto a wall or table, these scanners are used by passing the barcode either under or across its surface. Possibly most commonly seen at the checkout counters in supermarkets, hands-free scanners are ideal for small retail operations and institutional organisations requiring accurate and fast-paced data entry. This design also has an omni-directional scan, meaning the barcode can be read regardless of orientation. Eliminating the need to precisely align the barcode and scanner, this feature allows for extremely quick processing. In addition, advanced software algorithms in the scanner are able to reconstruct poorly printed and damaged codes – further optimising performance and speeding up operations.
This type of scanner is typically used where accurate and unattended data entry is required, for example, when tracking items through a manufacturing line or during the machine sortation of packages along a conveyor belt. Different designs of fixed position scanners can be purchased for scanning items at a long or short working distance, allowing greater flexibility depending on your business’ needs. They also implement omni-directional or rastering style scanners, meaning barcodes can be read accurately the first time without needing to be perfectly lined up with the scanner.