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How to choose an industrial barcode reader

Cognex makes its DataMan barcode readers available to companies, which differ on the market in terms of precision, speed, strength and communication features.

The selection of the most suitable barcode reader should start from an in-depth analysis of its application: the type of barcode to be read, the production line speed, the distance between the reader and the code, the environment bar code reading, the communication protocol used and the operation performed (recording of warehouse movements, reading of labels on the line, etc.).

Type of code

There are two types of the codes: 1D or 2D. A reader able of identifying a 2D code will also be able to read a 1D code, while the opposite is not true. 1D codes are the most common in the industrial sector and consist of a sequence of numbers and letters graphically represented by different vertical bars. On the other hand, 2D codes contain both vertical and horizontal sequences of information. The choice of the Cognex bar code reader can therefore be based on the type of product or the industrial sector concerned.

Production line speed

Whenever a product is handled by a machine/plant, the barcode may be damaged or deformed. For this reason it is important that your reader has a good reading performance. This is calculated by dividing the number of bar codes successfully read by the number of attempts. The closer the percentage is to 100%, the higher the quality of the barcode reader performance. The choice of the reader can therefore be made on the basis of the resolution to be obtained by scanning the code.

Place of use

Two other factors that can influence the choice of a barcode reader are the distance between the reader and the code and the environment in which the reader is positioned. Cognex divides its barcode readers into fixed-mount or handheld barcode readers. If the goal is to read labels that are found on products that run quickly on a conveyor belt, the best choice is a fixed-mount reader. If the reader is used in warehouse operations or for checking incoming or outgoing material, a handheld barcode reader is recommended.

Communications and Robustness

The data stored by the reader (information and images can be archived) are transmitted over the corporate network. Management can take place according to various communication protocols: Ethernet, USB, RS-232, discrete I / O, Ethernet / IP, PROFINET and Modbus TCP / IP. The choice of the Cognex reader, in this case, is based on how you want to simplify the integration between the reader and the industrial network.

In addition, depending on the industrial environment, more or less hostile, it is necessary to check the robustness of the reader you want to use.

Here are the different types of Cognex industrial barcode readers:

  • Fixed-mount Barcode Readers DataMan Series: ease of use and convenience
  • Handheld Barcode Readers DataMan Series: the most advanced technology for the 1D and 2D codes reading
  • Mobile Solutions MX: devices for reading mobile bar codes and for mobile terminals with industrial vision
  • DataMan Barcode Verifiers: they demonstrate code quality compliance
  • DataMan ESD-Safe Barcode Readers: They offer protection against electrostatic discharge that can cause costly damage (plastic protection of the external parts, antistatic coating on the optical elements)

Discover all the DataMan Cognex products in detail

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