Controlling the data output in a multiple code reading application
Eric Andersen, 07-31-2012
As a reminder, multiple code reading challenges require an barcode reader that: can 1) read any barcode or set of codes, every time; 2) easy to setup; can 3) control the data output; and is 4) simple to integrate into your processes. Let’s look at controlling the output.
3. Data Output, Formatting and Validation
Once you have decoded the barcodes and extracted the data, whether it’s from a single barcode reader or from multiple barcode readers, you will need to control the output. Your chosen barcode reader should provide this capability. For example, you may always want the 1-D barcode output first and the 2-D Data Matrix code second, or vice versa. In other examples, your label may always print the codes in the same locations where you might want to output the codes as read from top to bottom, bottom to top, right to left, etc.
Industrial barcode scanners should also offer simple ways to help format and validate the data so that your PC or PLC (Programmable Logic Controller) can use the data as intended. Match string validation or pattern matching validation ensures, for example, that you are reading the same barcode every time. Perhaps your application includes both a 1-D UPC and a 2-D Data Matrix code where part to part the UPC is always the same code even though the Data Matrix code changes. With match string validation, you can confirm that the UPC is correct.
In the DataMan Setup Tool, for example, you can format the data based upon symbology group and choose a delimiter to separate the data from multiple codes. When necessary, the DataMan Setup Tool can set validation parameters. It can be configured separately by each symbology type. This tool makes complex applications really easy to set up.
My final post on the subject will talk about communications to your factory network.