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Barcode Scan Engine Technology

1D vs 2D Barcodes: A Comparison

In our previous blog, “Barcodes: How Do They Work?” we discussed the basic functions of both 1D and 2D barcodes. This blog is going to take us more in depth on each of those, as well as our main focus, Barcode Scan Engine Technology. This is the technology that is required to read or decode each barcode type. It is important to remember that each barcode type has a different function. A 1D barcode is typically black and white lines with variable widths and depends on database connectivity in order to be meaningful. After a scanner reads the numbers in the code, they must be linked back to item information. A 2D barcode is more complex in its capabilities. A 2D barcode uses a variety of characters to encrypt information. 2D barcodes can encrypt more characters in the same amount of space as a 1D barcode. 

When trying to choose the barcode type to use, knowing the type of information needed is critical. Once you know the types of barcodes that will be used, 1D or 2D, you can choose the barcode scan engine technology. 1D barcodes typically contain less information, are connected to a database, and the information tends to change frequently. 2D barcodes are preferred for storing larger amounts of data such as a links to websites or photos, or when there is no database connectivity. Knowing the capabilities of each type of barcode helps choose the right barcode scan engine technology for your business.

UPC Barcode Scan Example
1D Barcode Example
QR Code for Barcode Resourcing
2D Barcode Example

What are the Types of Scan Engines?

There are two different types of barcode scan engine technology, laser scanner and imager, for reading information provided in barcode. Laser scanners are utilized only for 1D barcodes, due to this they tend to be the least expensive option. Laser scanners use a laser and mirror to create the bar that scans information. These scan engines come in either standard range or long range. Imagers must be used for reading 2D barcodes, however, imagers can be used for both 1D and 2D barcodes. Imagers come in two different types, 1D only and 1D/2D imagers. As far as barcode scan engine technology is concerned, 2D imagers have become so versatile that they are replacing many 1D scanners. 2D imagers are also capable of reading poorly printed or damaged barcodes.

2D Imagers are more versatile than their 1D Laser Scanner counterparts. 1D scanners have a limited angle at which they work at, whereas 2D imagers are omnidirectional and can read from any angle. Due to this, 2D imagers save time and worker fatigue as efficiency and productivity both improve. 2D barcodes are also ideal for printing smaller barcodes that contain lots of information. Typically used in medical, aerospace, and other industries. One of our most popular 2D Imagers is Intermec’s CN70E.

1D scanners are still popular in many deployments due to the inexpensive cost associated with them. Our most popular configuration is Intermec’s SR61B scanner. This scanner has both standard range and long range scan engines available. 

Other Technological Components

If you are trying to also print your own labels and barcodes, we offer a wide variety of mobile printing solutions and other industrial printing options. Ensuring that your devices are compatible and meet all your barcoding needs is our specialty. Contact us today and we will help get you set up with a deployment that works best for you and your company. Our goal is to help your company reach its goals!

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