Classic barcode scanners are suitable for capturing barcodes and barcodes. An optical reader with a scanning field mechanically reads the graphics in order to process them electronically. The devices are used in retail to encode prices and product information. At the same time, you keep an up-to-date overview of the stock of your goods in the warehouse. You can use 2-D imagers to read QR codes. In our shop list you will find a wide selection of barcode scanners from Zebra and Honeywell for every type of use.

What is a barcode scanner?

Handheld scanners are common in the retail sector. The one-dimensional barcode scanners are used to record barcodes or barcodes of products in the POS system. They are also suitable for documenting stock. The barcode scanner has a scanning field with infrared, with which you capture the data and process it electronically. Two-dimensional barcodes or QR codes can be read with camera-supported 2-D imagers.

What do you need a barcode scanner for?

There are models for different applications. They are used as follows:

  • in healthcare
  • in logistics
  • in parcel and postal services
  • in cash register systems

In the logistics sector, they are used to scan goods when entering and leaving the warehouse, to allocate spaces in the warehouse and to record stocks. At the same time, users identify the product via the barcode and count it during inventory. There are special PZN codes for the health sector. These are used to identify medicines and medical products. At postal and parcel service providers, employees scan almost all processes to simplify procedures. In retail, devices with a scan field in the checkout area are used to record price and product information and to update stock.

What should you look for when buying a barcode scanner?

When choosing a barcode scanner, these factors are crucial:

  • Scanner type: 1-D barcode scanners are suitable for classic barcodes. You need 2-D scanners for capturing QR codes.
  • Quality: Look for robust, durable materials. To reduce wrist fatigue during long-term use, lightweight PVC or ABS materials are suitable for the handheld scanner. GRP has high impact resistance and will not corrode.
  • Functions: A signal tone indicating the scanning process is complete is practical. Models with a switch-off function save energy costs.
  • Buffer memory: Wireless handheld readers have an integrated memory. Variants with 256 kByte memorise a maximum of 2,600 barcodes. Barcode scanners with a memory of 512 kByte read up to 5,000 codes.
  • Image sensor: Laser sensors are suitable for bar codes. They recognise them even in poor light conditions. You can only read two-dimensional codes with image sensors.
  • Interfaces: Barcode scanners with USB are reliable, robust and secure. A long cable makes working comfortable. Variants with Bluetooth are sometimes subject to interference, making them less reliable. Due to the wireless design, they have a larger radius of action.

What are the differences between 1-D and 2-D barcode scanners?

  • 1-D barcode scanners: Handheld scanners are used for various applications in industry and commerce. If you equip all products with a 13-digit number as well as a barcode, it is possible to clearly identify the article. The barcode scanner speeds up the process. The bars contain all the information. The cumbersome typing of numbers into the POS system is no longer necessary.
  • 2-D barcode scanner: For two-dimensional codes or QR codes you need more than an infrared laser. Here, scanners with cameras are used to read and process the data. To read out the information, you need a special app for your smartphone or tablet.

What data do you encode with the barcode?

Barcodes are graphics that are used to encode information. To read the data, you need a barcode scanner or a corresponding smartphone app. In retail, they are used to encode product information and prices for the POS system. In most cases, it is an encrypted graphic with a unique 13-digit number (EAN code). This contains:

  • Company code
  • Country code
  • Article number
  • Check digit

Magazines and books are an exception. For the latter, there is an ISBN barcode based on the ISBN number. Magazines receive an ISSN barcode.