Increasing popularity of wireless code readers – advantages, benefits and disadvantages
Fast and accurate – the barcode scanner in the main role
[dropca]W[/dropcap]ireless technology becomes a standard in both private and working environment. Automated identification systems that use wireless connectivity results not only in user’s convenience, but primarily in employee’s productivity. Moving freely around the warehouse, reading barcodes from large-sized products, the ability to pair with compatible devices, scanning data directly into the device’s memory, these are just some of the benefits of wireless barcode readers.
The Bluetooth barcode reader can range from 1 to 100 meters
In case of barcode scanners – the Bluetooth – is the most popular wireless communication technology used. This is the open standard described in the IEEE 802.15.1 specification and includes three transmission power classes ERP 1, 2, 3 depending on the range of 100, 10 and 1 m. In the consumer devices, the most commonly encountered is Bluetooth Class 2, which corresponds to a range of about 10 m. However, in devices dedicated for the industry – Bluetooth Class 1- with range up to 100 m in an open space. The popularity of such solution has been transferred from commonly used devices to the professional industrial solutions mainly due to its simplicity of connection. The Bluetooth standard allows you to connect to almost any electronic device equipped with this type of adapter, such as: tablet, computer, label printer, data terminal, or telephone.
In the classical solution, barcode readers equipped with the Bluetooth adapter consist of a handheld scanner and a docking station that communicates with the computer via the appropriate interface cables. In this case, the docking station is both the data transmitter and the battery charger.
Which wireless barcode reader to choose?
One of the most popular wireless scanners on the market is the Honeywell 1202 g. The Bluetooth Class2 module provides the working freedom within 10 meters from the docking station. Precise laser reader is perfect for scanning barcodes from the list. Users requiring working range up to 100m can reach for Honeywell Granit readers. Durable covers and long range scanning modules make these devices designed for the industrial environment.
Due to the acceptable purchase costs the popularity of wireless scanners continuously grows. Customers sensitive to the price can reach successfully for the low budget readers. The Zebex Z-319XBT series readers are the most interesting. Producer offers three different scanner versions – linear imager, laser and imager 2D.
Barcode readers for the industry – entire workspace within reach
The Bluetooth technology also has its disadvantages. Undoubtedly, the biggest one is it susceptibility to obstacles. Even a small partition wall, or a high stillage, negatively affects the range of communication. This issue often eliminates this solution at the implementation stage. That is why, Datalogic Company has introduced the STAR 2.0 Cordless System ™. In Europe this system is available in 433MHz frequency. An undoubted advantage of the system is the point-to-point and multipoint connection. This means that in case of a connection difficulty we can extend the structure by means of additional docking stations, thus forming a network covering the entire working area. STAR 2.0 Cordless System ™ technology does not interfere with Wi-Fi infrastructure and is not an open standard, which significantly protects data flow.
Datalogic offers wireless STAR 2.0 Cordless System ™ readers for such branches as: retail, healthcare and transportation. Powerscan readers are a professional solution dedicated for the industry.
Barcode readers battery – charging and replacing
In case of cordless barcode readers one should pay special attention to the battery. Not only its capacity affects a working time, but first of all, a proper charging – which is a frequent user’s failure. Producers recommend replacing the batteries once a year. Honeywell offers a series of Battery-Free readers that do not have a classical type of a battery. Instead, they use internal capacitors loaded in less than 2 minutes that allow up to 450 scans. This is an environmentally friendly solution, and thanks to the lower weight of the reader itself, it has a positive effect on user’s working comfort.
All above mentioned wireless barcode readers are included in the Etisoft’s offer.