November 29, 2018 10 min read

Adding Value to Traditional Barcode Scanners

Camera-Based Barcode Scanning Improves ROI on Traditional Barcode Scanners


2D Barcode Generator

Asset Tracking

Delivery Tracking

Inventory Audit

Lead Retrieval

Warehouse Operations


Camera-Based Barcode Scanning Improves ROI on Traditional Barcode Scanners

A big AIDC debate is whether enterprises should continue to buy traditional, purpose-built devices with a built-in imager or laser scanner. Alternatively, they can use smartphones and tablets with camera-based scanning.

Here, we won’t present PRO and CON arguments. Instead, we’ll take a look at the issue from a different perspective – that those who use traditional scanners can improve worker productivity by adding camera-based scanning to imager and laser scanning.

Traditional Imager and Laser Barcode Scanning Technology

Fully 1/3 of our clients still buy traditional scanners with built-in imaging or laser scanners. Why is that important? Because our SD PRO enterprise-grade, camera-based scan engine for smartphones and tablets can equal or exceed the speed and accuracy of imager and laser scanners. So why do our clients still buy traditional scanners?

We decided to poll some of our larger enterprise customers for their reasoning. The results are as follows:

  1. Aimer beam for barcode targeting.
  2. Reading barcodes at greater distances.

Note: These answers concern the value imager and laser scanners offer over camera technology for scanning barcodes, not the other features those devices might also offer, such as rugged housings; hard keys; larger batteries, etc.

New Camera-Based Scanning Technology

Camera-based scanning with SD PRO technology has made significant advances over the past few years. Some of the highlights include:

  • Barcode Scanning Modes
    • Batch Mode – scans up to 100 barcodes in a single camera view, with the option auto-submit or manually submit after review
    • Framing Mode – an adjustable frame only scans when the entire, targeted barcode is in the frame.
    • Selecting Mode – scans all the barcodes in a camera view, then select the right one(s) from a list
    • Targeting Mode – a small, visual marker is used to target a specific barcode among many within a camera view
    • Fusion Mode – enables Smart Scan technology for one or more scanning modes
  • Smart Scan Technology
    • Create filters and filter sets to match specified criteria for capturing just the right barcode(s) depending on the context. Why is this so important? Because with this tool your app users can capture data faster and minimize (or virtually eliminate) errors.

Combining Legacy Technology with Camera Technology

Adding camera scanning technology to devices with built-in imaging or laser scanners will increase your ROI. By giving your employees and subcontractors the ability to toggle between the two technologies, you will improve the speed and accuracy of data capture and improve productivity.

Example: Solar Panel Installation with Batch Mode

Consider a solar panel installer’s data capture tasks where the installer needs to scan the barcodes on all deliveries.  They can use the scanner’s aiming beam to scan the box,  skid and assembly barcodes. To scan one-by-one all the serial number barcodes printed on a packing list or as stacked within the box would be very time-consuming and lead to errors.

Instead, consider using camera scanning in Batch Mode. The installer can auto-scan up to 100 serial numbers in a single camera view rather than scan each panel’s barcode one at a time. The number of barcodes to scan can be pre-configured so the count is accurate and Smart Scan filters can make sure only the right barcodes are captured.

Example: Warehouse Inventory Audits and Stocktaking with Smart Scan Filter Sets

Consider a typical warehouse with 1000’s of boxes on shelves, some of which are stacked well above eye level. The aiming beam is very useful for scanning barcodes at a distance so it’s perfect in that context. But the aiming beam may not be as useful in situations where multiple barcodes are printed in close proximity. Why? Because aiming to capture a single barcode is difficult and can easily result in capturing the wrong one.

Instead, consider using camera scanning with Smart Scan filter sets. Pre-configured filters will match the context within the camera view to capture only the right barcode(s) within the view. Alternatively, the Selecting Mode can be used to scan all the barcodes in the camera view and allow the worker to select the correct one(s) from a list.

Video of Batch Scanning

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