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For reliable tote scanning break the laser scanner habit

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Vision-enabled barcode readers with the ease-of-use and cost of laser scanners

Matt Engle, 08-22-2013

In the logistics industry, totes are commonly used in DCs (distribution centers) to transport various items.  Barcodes are read at sort points along the way to ensure the totes reach the correct destination.

If you’re using laser scanners to read codes on your totes, you are probably creating many potential headaches for yourself in your DC.  Barcodes on totes take a real beating in the DC environment, becoming worn and damaged in a relatively short time. Laser scanners deliver limited code reading functionality because they only capture a single scan line at a time.  This is a particular problem as the barcodes wear and become damaged.

Another area where laser scanners don’t measure up is in their inability to capture an image of a barcode.  If you want to conduct root cause analysis on “no reads” for process improvement, you will need to choose a more robust technology.

Image-based barcode readers easily overcome these tote scanning challenges.  They deliver higher read rate accuracy of worn and damaged codes – even on fast conveyors.  Image capture functionality also allows you to see pictures of no-read labels so you can identify which tote labels need to be replaced.  This dramatically improves performance at your DC and is impossible to accomplish with laser scanners. And best of all, unlike laser-based systems, image-based barcode readers have no moving parts to repair or replace.

To illustrate my point, watch this tote scanning video to see for yourself.

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