barcode scanner

How to scan a barcode

There are many different situations whereby you may find yourself needing to scan a barcode. From getting the price of something in-store to effectively storing products in a warehouse, scanning a barcode can be central to ensuring that everything is organised and operating as it should be. Therefore, it can be essential to provide your workers with a barcode scanner in many different industries and work environments. 

No matter what you need barcode scanning for, one thing you will want is the ease of operation! There is nothing worse than finding yourself having to try 10 different angles in order to get the barcode to scan, is there? That is why we have put this post together; to help you get a better understanding of how to scan a barcode without feeling like you want to throw the device out of the window! So, let’s take a look at everything you need to know about successful barcode scanning.

What is a barcode? 

We have all seen barcodes many times before. We know that they feature different sized black stripes. But what is this? Barcodes encode information using visual patterns. This information can be read by a machine, i.e. a barcode scanner. 

Barcodes are used for a number of different reasons, including tracking stock levels, prices, and products for centralised recording in a computer software system.

Do you know where the first barcode appeared? This was actually back in 1974, with the barcode featuring on a packet of chewing gum from the Wrigley Company. 

Today, you can find barcodes on pretty much every item that is available for sale within a store, as well as any inventory that is waiting to be shipped to a consumer or store premises. 

From small-town, local business stores to worldwide powerhouses like Amazon, they all use barcode scanners when they are sending out their online orders. 

The two types of barcodes

Did you know that there are actually two different types of barcodes? You have 2D and linear barcodes. 

The most recognisable barcode is the UPC barcode, with UPC standing for Universal Product Code. This is a linear barcode that has two parts; a 12-digit UPC number and the barcode itself. The manufacturer’s identification number makes up the first six numbers of the barcode. You then have the item’s number, which is represented by the next five numbers. The final number is what we call a check digit, which allows the scanner to decipher whether or not the barcode has been scanned properly. 

A linear barcode will typically hold any type of text information. However, on the other hand, a 2D barcode is more complicated. It can incorporate more details within the code. For example, it can hold information regarding the web address, quantity, price, or image. 

You need to make sure that you have the right scanner for the sort of barcodes that you are going to be scanning. This is because you would not be able to use a linear barcode scanner to read a 2D barcode. 

The barcode scanner

Now that we have talked you through the barcode side of things, let’s take a look at the actual barcode scanner. A barcode scanner will typically have three different parts, which include the decoder, sensor, and illumination system. 

Generally speaking, the barcode scanner will scan the white and black elements of the barcode by using red light to illuminate the code, and this will then be converted into matching text.

More specifically, the barcode scanner’s sensor will detect the illumination system\s reflected light. Next, it will create an analogue signal, sent to the decoder. Moreover, a decoder will interpret the signal. Finally, the barcode will be validated using the check digit, and then it is converted into text.

The converted text is going to be sent from the scanner to a computer software system, which holds a database of the quantity, cost, and maker of all of the items sold. 

There are many different barcode scanners on the market today

Barcode scanners come in different sizes, functions, and capabilities. As a result, you will find that some are better suited to some industries than others. Factors such as work volume capacity and reading distance will all play a role. 

We will give a brief overview of some of the different types of barcode scanners so that you can see what we mean. Firstly, we have laser scanners, which use a laser beam to scan the barcode. Another popular type is the pen-type reader, which consists of a photodiode and light source on the tip of the pen. Camera-based readers are also available. This uses image processing and camera techniques to read barcodes. You also have CCD readers, which have a number of light sensors to scan the barcodes. One of the most advanced options on the market is the Omni-directional barcode scanner. A highly advanced and efficient scanner when it comes to decoding barcodes. I can read barcodes even when used on torn, crumpled, or badly printed barcodes.

Boosting the efficiency of your business with a quality barcode scanner

If you are looking to improve the efficiency of your business with effective barcode scanning practices, we have got you covered here at Conker. With one of our rugged Windows handheld scanners, your employees will be able to scan with confidence and ease, which is something we are looking for in the workplace, right?

One of the best products that we have when it comes to barcode scanning is the Conker NS6 – 6″ Rugged Windows Handheld device. This tablet comes with a full Windows OS and barcode scanner. Weighing just 380 grams and coming with a six-inch portrait display, it has everything that your workforce needs. 

The scanner is a 2D barcode scanner, which means you will be able to read the barcodes that contain more information, such as quantity, price, web address, and so on. The specific barcode scanner with this model is the Honeywell N3680. It comes as an optional feature. 

Some of the other features that you can expect from this handset include the following: GPS, 3G dual-band cellular, Bluetooth 4.2, Wi-Fi dual-band, 5,000 mAh battery that has six hours and 20 minutes of video playback at full brightness, 2-megapixel front camera, 5-megapixel rear camera, 64 GB solid-state storage, 4GB ram, Intel Quad-core CPU, six-inch Gorilla Glass touchscreen, IP65 ruggedised, and Windows 10 Enterprise.

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Excellent Barcode Scanner Benefits

The benefits keep coming as well, as you get a number of different accessories with your purchase. This includes a micro-USB to USB-A adapter, hand strap, and a micro-USB charger. There are also optional accessories, including a charging dock.

This is not the only Android barcode scanner that we have available for you and your team to ensure efficient operation at your business. You may also want to consider the Conker SX50 – Rugged Android PDA, which comes with a unique productivity-boosting angled barcode reader.

You and your workforce will find this product very easy to use. It weighs just 250 grams, which means it is very lightweight and easy to use. 

Because of this, this scanner is popular across a number of different industries and businesses, including those in hospitality, distribution, wholesale, retail, and manufacturing. 

There are a number of great features that you can expect with this product, including a fingerprint reader, GPS, 4G, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, 4,000 mAH battery with nine hours of video playback and four hours charge time, an 8-megapixel camera with flash, 64GB storage, 4GB RAM, 2.0GHz Octa-core Helio CPU, a five-inch toughened screen, IP67, and the Android 10 OS.

Start scanning more efficiently at your business

So there you have it: some of the different approaches that you can use when it comes to barcode scanning, as well as some of the different products that are available. We hope that this blog is helpful in helping you understand how barcode scanners is important for businesses. With the right products, barcode scanning can be a breeze – something that you do not even need to think twice about! It is all about choosing devices with care, and if you opt for one of the products that we have mentioned in this post, you can be sure that you will not have anything to worry about. 

Should you have any queries about any of the barcode scanners that we have for sale here at Conker or if you need advice on choosing the best device for you and your team, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us for more information. We will be more than happy to assist you in any way that we can. The number you need is 01279 295800.