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Logistics Barcode Readers


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Samantha Frost, 01-30-2013

On January 21st, we expanded our range of logistics barcode readers with the introduction of the new DataMan 503. You might ask… why create a barcode reader just for logistics? Well, logistics applications have some challenges that require a barcode reader that can handle the rigors of the environment:

  1. Fast. I listed this first, because fast isn’t unique to logistics, but it’s a big consideration for what a barcode reader needs to be able to handle. Many lines can move over 600 feet/minute.
  2. Barcode location. Many of the applications in logistics require 2 sided, 3-sided, or 5-6 sided scan tunnels because the shipping label may be on any side of the package. And, in any orientation. To route  or sort the packages to the proper areas, the barcode reader needs to be able to find and read the barcode, regardless of where it’s is placed.
  3. Barcode quality. Again, not unique to logistics, but labels on packages often get worn down or damaged on fast moving belt conveyors. Cognex proprietary barcode reading software, with Hotbars, excels at reading damaged, worn, or codes that may not be perfect.
  4. Depth of Field and Field of View. Logistics applications often have a variety of belt sizes and a variety in height of packages.  This requires a barcode reader that can handle a large variation in depth of field and field of view. The 2.1 megapixel DataMan 503, along with the Xpand accessory, ensures the DataMan 503 is able to handle large variations in package height and belt width.
  5. No reads. This isn’t a term used much outside of the logistics industry, but is what occurs when a barcode reader attempts to read a barcode and fails. Packages are rejected in these instances or data may not be saved properly to the system database and manual work is required to manage the no reads. Manual reworks costs a DC money and lowers throughput. It is important for DCs to reduce no reads and understand why they have them.

The new DataMan 503 was designed to meet all of these challenges. Over the next few blog entries I’ll go into each of these in further detail. Stay tuned!

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