Choosing the right technology for your application is a critical decision, as the wrong selection can result in serious set backs both fiscally and in production. As a manufacturer, you should assess the best technology and product to meet your specific application needs. At a minimum, this assessment should include: cost, size, speed, barcode quality and your application industry.
As new symbologies and technologies are developed, your choices are more varied than ever. The debate continues over Barcode Scanners vs. Barcode Imagers, with strong advocates of barcode imagers calling for their sole use in new automation applications. How do you know which one to choose?
HISTORY OF LASER AND IMAGER PRODUCTS
Laser products benefit from nearly 40 years of refined technological advancements, which has resulted in the creation of technology standards and cost effective units. Imaging technology was developed in the 1990s, and uses rows of CCD or CMOS sensors arranged in a two dimensional array to generate an image of the symbol. In 1994, the Data Matrix code was invented by I.D. Matrix, an innovator in Microcans’s corporate genealogy. The 2D symbology is now the industry standard in manufacturing environments. In 1997, Microscan introduced one of the first fully integrated imagers, designed specifically to read 2D barcodes!
There are key benefits to both systems. Barcode Scanners are best for applications that require high speed reading of 1D barcodes and/ or a stacked symbol such as PDF417. Barcode Imagers reads both 1D and 2D barcodes such as Data Matrix and QR codes, which are capable of containing more information in a smaller area. Imagers also have the ability to read omnidirectional, which means the code can be placed in any orientation. Laser scanners must have the code presented in ladder or picket fence orientation, which can be limiting when space is a factor. Imagers have seen an increase in use due to the growing adoption of 2D symbols, but laser scanners still set the standard for accurate, high speed barcode reading in many applications.
The optimal barcode reading solution will be dictated by the specific requirements of your application. Microscan has both barcode scanners and barcode imagers, and supports both technologies for our customers. Download our E-Book to learn more about the difference between scanners and imagers, and be on your way to learning how which one is the right decision for your application.
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