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Knowing the basics of barcode scanning

Barcodes are present on various goods, including hospital bands, rental cars, checked baggage, and clothing purchased from supermarkets or retail stores. They each identify a thing or a person and encode important information. Barcodes have become so popular since many years yet they are sometimes overlooked. Since their creation almost a century ago, these systems have become a crucial tool for companies to improve their sales and inventory management processes and track products as they move through the supply chain. Many firms have found this technology essential to their success, yet few consider how best to use the standard barcode. Let’s see more about barcodes.

What is a barcode?

A barcode is a square or rectangle that, at its most basic level, consists of vertical black lines that vary in thickness and height, as well as white space and numbers that, when combined, identify particular objects and their relevant information. These codes are read by computers connected to scanners, which operate the accurate placement of the bars, spaces, and numbers to pull the relevant product details.

  • Bar code scanners read a bar code by shining a light at it, catching the reflection, and changing the black and white bars into binary digital signals.
  • In contrast to black areas, white areas have intense reflections. Reflections are captured by a sensor, which produces analogue waveforms.
  • An A/D converter transforms the analogue signal into a digital signal. 
  • Data retrieval is accomplished using the acquired digital signal when a code system is established. 

Barcode readers or scanner

A barcode reader is a hand-held or fixed input device used to capture and read the information contained in a bar code. It is called a price scanner or point-of-sale POS scanner. A barcode reader comprises a scanner, an external or built-in decoder, and a wire that connects it to a computer. The data must be transferred to a computer so a software application can make sense of it because a barcode reader only captures and converts a barcode into numbers and letters. A computer’s keyboard port, serial port, or wedge interface device can all be used to connect barcode scanners. When using a barcode scanner, a light beam is passed across the barcode, and the amount of light reflected is then measured. The white spaces between the dark bars on a barcode reflect more light. Light energy is transformed into electrical power by the scanner, which is then translated into data by the decoder and sent to a computer.

Barcode scanners: Types

CCD method: The CCD, known as the Charge Coupled Gadget semiconductor device, transforms light signals into electric signals. The bar code scanner using the CCD method has an interior light. This light is directed towards a bar code by a scanner, and a CCD is used to read the reflection. One capture of a bar code enables quick reading. 

Laser method: Laser technology enables the reading of far-off and large bar code labels. Laser light is radiated on the label’s surface to read a bar code, and a sensor laser photo detector collects its reflection. The laser beam is reflected off a mirror and moved left and right to read a bar code. 

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