Friday, 28 February 2020

Advantages of 2D Barcodes over simple 1D Barcodes

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Until relatively recently, barcode scanning was limited to laser barcode scanners and one-dimensional (1D) barcodes. However, the advent of imaging scanners and two-dimensional (2D) barcodes has unlocked a number of important new improvements and capabilities. Understanding these advancements reveals why 2D barcodes and barcode imagers are now the ideal choice for virtually any scanning application.

2D vs. 1D Barcodes: How Do They Differ?

Data Storage and Capacity

  • A 1D barcode uses variable-width lines and spaces to encode data. This linear approach limits data storage to only a few dozen characters, and it means the barcode gets longer as you add more data to it.
  • A 2D barcode uses patterns of squares, hexagons, dots, and other shapes to encode data. This means data can be encoded vertically and horizontally, which means 2D barcodes can hold more data in a much smaller space.
  • A 2D barcode can hold hundreds of characters compared to a few dozen with a 1D barcode.
  • In addition, thanks to its added capacity, a 2D barcode can store images, website URLs, voice data, and other binary data types. In contrast, a 1D barcode is limited to alphanumeric information only.

Ease of Scanning

  • As an added benefit, the vertical and horizontal orientation of a 2D barcode means you can scan it at virtually any angle. This is far more efficient for scanning operations compared to a 1D barcode, which requires that a scanner’s laser be properly aligned with the barcode.
  • Anyone who has ever used a self-checkout lane at a supermarket can probably appreciate the frustration of not being able to scan items quickly and easily due to this alignment requirement.

Database Dependence vs. Independence

  • 1D barcodes are database-dependent. You need to scan each barcode and relate it to data in a database, such as GS1 barcodes to look up the product associated with it.
  • Since a 2D barcode can hold much more data, including information of varying types, you don’t need to access a database to make use of the encoded information. You can store, scan, and retrieve all the data you need from the code itself.

2D vs. 1D Barcodes: How Do They Differ?

Since the large-scale introduction of barcoding technology in the 1970s, laser scanners have been the industry standard due to their reliable performance and low cost. However, they can normally only scan 1D barcodes, and they require a laser to be horizontally aimed across the black-and-white bars of a barcode, using reflected light to read its pattern. If the aim is off, if there’s poor contrast, or if the barcode is poorly printed or damaged, you won’t get a positive read.

To address these issues, imagers (which are actually very simple cameras) have been introduced and are now widely used for their added capabilities and extremely flexible and reliable scanning of both 1D and 2D barcodes. Rather than relying on laser light and reflectivity, an imager takes a picture of a barcode. This means it can capture a barcode at any angle, in any direction, on any surface. It can even capture barcodes printed on a label, shown on a screen, or positioned upside down or sideways.
In addition, imagers have advanced scanning capabilities that capture barcodes even if they’re smudged, scratched, damaged, or poorly printed. The end result is first-time, every-time data capture that dramatically speeds up scanning processes and improves efficiency.

If you need to print 2D barcodes such as QR - Datamatrix - PDF417, etc or read them in any environment, call the team at Barcode-IT who have the knowledge and skills to help to plan and implement your 2D barcode project.

Written by Jonathan Pressley:
Data Capture and Barcode Specialist at Dash Computer Products & Barcode-IT
jpressley@barcode-it.co.uk 01200 441977



Monday, 3 February 2020

Barcode Label Printers. Its always the little things...

Our top selling mid range thermal printer, the Sato 4NX has just had an update.  Not that you would know to look at it, as all the enhancements are either invisible or too subtle to be obvious to the casual observer.  

But with label printers, as with many other technology devices, its the little things that make all the difference to the person who actually uses the printer. Higher print speed, faster processor or larger label roll size, don't mean much to the worker.  But a wide opening print head or a mechanism that does not cause "ribbon wrinkle" are the little things that make the user love their label printers.

Fortunately the new Sato CL4NX plus, has all the big features and all the little features too, so the business gets the benefits of the higher speed and amazing print quality and the worker gets the the clever design that makes his day to day operation of the printer frustration free.

Plus they both enjoy the amazing build quality and attention to detail that makes the Sato CL 4NX the best printer we have ever sold!

 


Call today and start reaping the benefits of replacing your tired old label printers with the new Sato 4NX Plus.

Sato CL 4NX - click image for PDF

Is Your Wireless Infrastructure Hurting Your Warehouse Operations?

Many Mobile devices are also designed to "WiFi roam" within the  warehouse, which means that moving between WiFi Access Points ( APs)   should not cause the signal to be dropped, but continue to work  seamlessly and continuing to send and receive information to the ERP or  WMS.  This depends on using "industrial WiFi" where the APs work behind  the scenes to manage the data so that the user is never disconnected.  True industrial mobile devices from companies such as Zebra and  Datalogic,also contain dual antennas, so that data is transmitted on one  antenna while the other is negotiating with the local APs to select the  best performance and range.



Many Mobile devices are also designed to "WiFi roam" within the  warehouse, which means that moving between WiFi Access Points ( APs)   should not cause the signal to be dropped, but continue to work  seamlessly and continuing to send and receive information to the ERP or  WMS.  This depends on using "industrial WiFi" where the APs work behind  the scenes to manage the data so that the user is never disconnected.  True industrial mobile devices from companies such as Zebra and  Datalogic,also contain dual antennas, so that data is transmitted on one  antenna while the other is negotiating with the local APs to select the  best performance and range.

If you are implementing a new WLAN, the process should start with a full  wireless site survey. The design of your WiFi network will depend on  the vendor or systems integrator knowing how the warehouse is laid out,  what potential sources of interference exist, and what types of stock  will be stored there. For highly dynamic warehouses, all potential  stocking and staffing scenarios should be considered in advance to  ensure the network can perform under all circumstances.
If you are implementing a new WLAN, the process should start with a  thorough wireless site survey. The RF design of your network will depend  on the vendor or systems integrator knowing how the warehouse is laid  out, what potential sources of interference exist, and what types of  stock will be stored there. For highly dynamic warehouses, all potential  stocking and staffing scenarios should be considered in advance to  ensure the network can perform under all circumstances.

Once the network is up and running, it should be regularly audited and  tuned. This requires additional site surveys, which can uncover new  sources of interference or additional coverage problems.


Typically, these issues may include dead zones with no coverage,  competition for bandwidth, or sluggish throughput. Depending on the  nature of the problem, you may need to increase your access point  density or increase AP power. That’s because many smaller handheld  devices don’t have enough power to effectively communicate with the  access points. The wireless infrastructure should be configured to serve  the lowest-powered mobile devices that will be used in the facility.

The network should also be designed with redundancy in mind, so that if  there is a problem with a single AP, mobile devices can quickly roam to a  neighboring AP and minimize downtime. If the wireless infrastructure  will carry voice in addition to data traffic, the network should be  configured to prioritize the more latency-sensitive voice traffic.

If your warehouse WiFi is letting your Warehouse Operation down, call for a free consultation on 01200 441977 or email sales@dashcomputer.co.uk