A Revolution in Barcode Reading Technology: Benefits of Improved Read Rates in Logistics Scanning

The pressure for distribution centers to increase productivity and reduce labor cost has never been greater. One way distribution centers are helping to meet this goal is by upgrading from mature laser-based scanner technologies to newer digital reader technology that provide increased read rates

By · November 16, 2016

Senior Vice President & Senior Fellow Bill Silver has surmised: “If contemporary technology has a grand theme, it is that eventually digital will replace analog, and solid state will replace mechanical. Whether it be music or video, publishing or photography, telecommunications or engine control, the story is similar. Mechanical, analog machines have been around for decades, sometimes centuries. They are mature technologies—the kinks have been worked out, the costs have been squeezed as much as possible, the strengths and weaknesses are well understood.

The newer solid state, digital challengers at first offer more promise than performance, but with continued innovation and development they come to dominate the market. So it will be with linear barcode readers.” The limitations of laser scanners are also well known. Laser scanners only capture a single scan line at a time which means they have a much more limited ability to obtain a “read”, especially on barcodes that may be poorly printed or damaged. Laser scanners also do not capture an image of the barcode, which is essential for DCs that want to conduct root cause analysis on “no reads” for process improvement. In addition, laser scanners have moving parts that are subject to wear and often require repair or replacement.

The digital challenger to laser scanners uses an imager similar to one found in a digital camera and a microprocessor to analyze the images. Image-based barcode readers, like the DataMan® product line from Cognex, deliver increased read rates on poorly printed or damaged codes, provide the ability to save “no read” images for performance feedback, and are designed with no moving parts which provides longer usable product life.

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Article Topics

Barcode Readers · Cognex · Data Capture · RFID · All Topics
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