iconGuaranteed In Stock & Intelligent Buying Advice

icon 866-266-7638

The Barcode Scanner and its Purpose

The Barcode Scanner and its Purpose

Since I was a child I had always wondered what those group of black parallel lines printed on boxes and plastic packagings were for. The black lines came in varying width and spacings. I came from a quaint little village where technology was quite behind. Only several years later did I find out that these lines were called barcodes containing data that is read through a device called a barcode scanner.

Barcode scanners are common equipment we see everywhere today. From the checkout counter at the local grocery store to offices and construction sites. But have you ever wondered how a barcode scanner worked? How does a barcode scanner make our lives easier?

The scanner (or reader) works by reading the different symbols specified by the different thickness, height and spacing in between the bars. Each strip represents a number, letter or specific symbol that is translated into humman-readable text and then displayed on a monitor.

The reading begins once the red light is produced from the reader. This interprets the differences in bars and then converts this reading into an electrical pulse. The information is then fed into a decoder and the message is interpreted and words appear in text form. All of this takes just milliseconds to a few seconds for the barcode scanner.

There are many types of barcode scanners. Some of the most common we see are the table mounted scanners, also called stationary scanners, found in checkout counters at the grocery. Barcode manufacturer Symbol makes this type of readers that grocery stores can integrate into their Point of Sale (POS) systems.

Another common type of barcode scanners we see often are the handheld variety that come in either wireless or wired. This type of scanner is quite handy to have because they are portable. For example, warehouses can do inventory using a wireless handheld barcode scanner making their job easier and faster. The Datalogic Falcon 4420, for example, is a portable barcode scanner that doubles as a mini computer. It can be used for data collection and can withstand harsh environmental conditions. The scanner runs on a Windows operating system, has Bluetooth and LAN capabilities. Very versatile and it is practical to have around!

Factories, farms and shipping companies also benefit from barcode scanners. An industrial scanner or a fixed-position barcode scanner can be used to identify products during the manufacturing process, or pinpoint the location of a package during shipping. These kinds of scanners can be found on conveyor belts and they identify boxes and pallets which need to be shipped or routed to another direction.

There are offices which make use of the barcode scanner to make life easier for their payroll department and security. Barcode scanners can be made to record employee attendance. They can also restrict access to documents, floors and even elevators. Instead of having to wait for the cashier to punch codes and numbers to a cash register, a simple motion has made checking out of the grocery faster. Manually sorting through letters and packages is a thing of the past. Now we have barcode scanners that automatically segregate and route the letters and packages to designated locations. Our lives and work have truly been made easier thanks to the technology that is the barcode scanner.