Let’s take a look!
Camera-based data capture technology are of course necessary for 2-D codes, but there have been a lot of developments recently using camera sensors to improve the use of 1-D bar codes, including better processes, improved ergonomics, and better read rates. Today we’ll look at the ways these new tools are changing the fulfilment and distribution sectors.
While 2-D code technology continues to advance, most of the push from business is to improve existing 1-D bar code use and related processes. The camera-based technology in the new scanners, it seems, is much more flexible than traditional scanners, and is very good at reading 1-D bar codes.
Better still, the image can be stored and analysed later if there is any question of a proper read.
Of course, traditional scanners, being laser-based, cannot read a 2-D code. The camera and image processing equipment on the newer scanners is required. But why are they better than lasers at reading the old-style bar codes?
For handheld scanners, the answer is in flexibility. Everyone who has ever used one knows that you have to get a very specific angle on a handheld scanner to get a good read, and it often takes several attempts to read the code, especially if the sticker is dirty, smudged, or damaged. Using camera-based scanners to capture 2-D codes works on the first try a lot more often, and allows reliable capture at wider and more flexible angles, making the employee’s work faster and more accurate.
Fully automated, fixed-position scanners can take even greater advantage of the camera’s flexible read ability. Not only are their read rates higher, but you don’t have to be as careful with barcode positioning. You also end up with a visual record of what is moving on your belts, which can be analysed after the fact if any questions arise.
The end result is a resource for quality assurance combined with a more reliable and adaptable piece of automation. As a result, camera-based scanning technology will soon become the industry standard, even among those businesses still using 1-D bar codes.