What is Barcode Scanners and How do Barcode Scanners Work

What are barcodes used for?

If you run a busy store, you need to keep an eye on everything you sell to make sure your customers have what they want to buy. The easiest way to do this is to look for empty spaces around the shelves and just fill them where you need them. Alternatively, you can write down what people bought at checkout, compile a list of all purchases, and then just use it to re-order your stock. That’s fine for a small store, but what if you’re running a huge Wall- Mart branch with thousands of items on sale?

There are many more difficulties in running a shop smoothly. If you mark all your items with their prices and you have to change the prices before selling things, you have to press everything again. And what is there to shop? If you see lots of whiskey bottles missing from the shelves, can you really be sure you’ve sold them? How do you know if something has been stolen?

The use of barcode technology in stores can help solve all these problems. It allows you to keep a centralized record on a computer system that tracks product, price and stock levels. You can change prices as soon as possible without putting new price tags on all your bottles and boxes. You can immediately see when the stock level of a particular item is low and re-order.

How does a barcode scanner work?

If we do not have the technology to read them, it is better to have a barcode. Barcode scanners need to be able to read black and white zebra lines on products very quickly and feed that information to a computer or checkout terminal, which can instantly identify them using the product database. Here’s how they do it.

For the sake of this simple example, let’s assume that barcodes are simple on-off, one with each black line and one binary with zero on each white line. (We’ve already seen that real barcodes are more sophisticated than that, but let’s keep things simple))

A simple numbered diagram showing the parts of a UPC barcode scanning system and how they work.

  • LED or laser light on the scanning head barcode.
  • Light backs up a barcode A photo-identifying electronic component called a photoelectric cell The white areas of the so-called barcode reflect most of the light; Black regions reflect the least.
  • After the scanner has passed the barcode, the cell generates a pattern of on-off pulses that match the black and white stripes. So for the code displayed here (“black black black white black black black”), the cell would be “off “.
  • An electronic circuit connected to the scanner converts these on-off pulses into binary digits (zero and one).
  • The binary digits are sent to a computer connected to the scanner, which identifies the code as 11101011.
  • Some scanners have a single photoelectric cell, and the cell detects each part of the black-and-white barcode
  • when you move the scanner head past the product (or the product past the scanner’s head). More sophisticated scanners have a complete line of photo collector cells and the entire code can be detected at once.

Different types of barcode scanners

There are different types of bar-code scanners; Therefore, it is important for you to know which one will meet your needs. The main types of scanners are laser, LED, imager, and 2D. The process of scanning barcodes is different for each type.

Laser bar-code scanners are quite a popular and effective choice. These devices emit a thin red laser that reads the barcode accurately and quickly in a short period of about one second. Also, they can read barcodes over longer distances than their LED parts. LED scanners are used in many stores as well.

2D scanners first read the barcodes as images and then transmit the entire code as image files stored in a database. The same is true of image scanners. These two types of scanners are quite challenging to operate because they have no moving parts; However, they can be used more and survive in harsh conditions.

Bar-code scanner form

These gadgets also come in different forms. Your choice will largely depend on the nature of your business and your needs. The most commonly used in the checkout line is the handheld scanner. These are provided with a handle and usually have a trigger button that will signal the laser or LED to take readings with a single push.

Pen scanners are popular and look like a ballpoint pen. These scanners should point to the barcode and swipe to get the correct text. These devices work well but they take time. Stationary scanners are one of the most common types of scanners. These can be mounted on countertops and are commonly seen in grocery stores. There are also stationary scanners available that can be used for large environments such as large warehouses to monitor or track the destination of products when delivering them to distributors or clients.

How barcode scanners work

A normal computer is not programmed to read barcodes. A special barcode scanner is needed to scan the entire code and then convert the source of the code into readable and data traceable bits. Basically, a barcode scanner captures the available data from the barcode and transmits it to a computer; The computer then translates the information and stores it in a database. Many scanners are compatible with most operating systems and computers. You need to install certain software but it is actually easy to use.

Before you buy a good barcode scanner like barcode scanners, you need to know how far to scan, how to connect the scanner to the system, the frequency, and the choice of scans.

The original barcode scanner

  • Like modern packages in grocery stores, Woodland and Silver will have barcodes printed on a face of the imagined items.
  • You place the item on top of a conveyor made with some transparent material to scan its barcode face.
  • Different types of lights flash on the barcode.
  • The scanner reflects light from the barcode.
  • The scanner sends a signal to the sorting method that can push the item in different directions.
  • The item is pushed to different carriers according to its specific barcode.
  • Now looking for a close-up on the scanner: it has a lens on top that scatters reflected light outside the barcode.
  • The light from the lens spreads over a large glass surface.
  • Move a scanning head to an electric motor and axle (red) (green).
  • Guided by the grooves of the axle, the scanning head moves from one side to the other.
  • Inside the scanning head, a photoelectric cell (orange) picks up the pattern of light and dark areas from the barcode and sends the corresponding signal to a detector circuit.
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