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Barcode Scanning: Time And Money Saver

High Resolution Lenses for machine vision, instrumentation, inspection and vibration-sensitive applications. Standard and custom hi-res lens assemblies.

Barcode Scanning

Barcode Scanning

Virtually every product you pick up in a department store or most items stored in warehouses are labeled with barcodes. The use for barcodes is virtually limitless and retail outlets understand the importance of using barcodes and barcode scanners as both a way to track the inventory to help with reordering and also to easily ring up purchases made by consumers.

Barcodes help with stock control because it records the items purchased, virtually records the tally of items on the shelf and calculates when new stock is needed. A central database stores the information needed. Because of this, it is crucial that items are entered into the database when they are received in the store. Typically once the item has been entered into the central database, inventory management is a matter of scanning in the new product and entering the quantity.

Small business owners must implement a barcoding system by first purchasing stock control software and the hardware for the scanning. The barcode scanners are capable of accepting input of data and transmitting it to the stock inventory control system. Every time the stock item moves out of the inventory, whether through a purchase by a consumer or movement through a warehouse setting, the item will be scanned and its status recorded. Barcode scanning also helps track movement of office equipment and inventory. This can save both time and money when it comes to year-end inventory of office items such as computers, supplies, desks and other equipment. Items that aren’t moved into the warehouse with its own unique barcode can be coded at the site through the use of a barcode generator. The generator utilizes software to prepare a unique barcode label, which can then be affixed to the item.

There are three types of barcode scanners and they are:

  1. CCD (charged coupled device) scanners are the least expensive of the barcode scanning technologies. The CCD reader must be in almost direct contact with the barcode label in order to read it. The operator focuses the CCD scanner on the code, presses the trigger and the code is photographed, digitized and decoded by the system. CCD scanners are the easiest to use and can be purchased in widths varying from two to four inches. The CCD reader costs almost five times as much as the wand, but is less than one third of the cost of the laser scanner.
  2. Laser scanners utilize a beam of light that quickly scans the barcode label. The scanner remains stationery and doesn’t need to come in direct contact with the label itself. Scanning begins automatically when the object is placed in front of its beam. This is one of the most common types of scanners used in grocery stores although the handheld wands are typically available for use on heavy objects
  3. A wand scanner is barcode reading at its most basic. The wand needs to come in direct contact with the barcode. A light beam is emitted that reflects off the barcode to be decoded. The wand is the least expensive of the barcode scanning types, but they do have their limitations; the wand must be held at a fairly precise angle to capture the code. When purchasing this device you need to make certain the resolution of the barcodes matches the capability of the wand scanner. As an example, a 15-mil wand will not be able to read and translate a 10-mil barcode.

The type of barcode scanner that will work best for your particular business is one that matches the inventory control software you purchase, the money you have available for the entire system, and the type of scanning you need to perform.