An Introduction To Barcode Equipment

An Introduction To Barcode Equipment



An Introduction To Barcode Equipment
A complete barcode system will consist of​ software, scanners, a​ printer or​ labeler and​ labels for​ thermo transfer or​ thermo direct printing .​
Also of​ interest are mobile terminals for​ mobile data acquisition with a​ built-in scanner or​ reader, a​ display and​ a​ keyboard .​
a​ POS (point of​ sale) solution will require laser barcode scanners with high throughput and​ automatic triggering for​ hands-free barcode scanning.
Barcode Software
Barcodes are created with special software .​
While barcode software for​ Microsoft Windows is​ available, best suited for​ barcode creation are Apple Macintosh computers .​
Macs are preferable due to​ their strong position in​ the​ DTP, prepress and​ graphics market segment .​
a​ typical barcode software will support the​ common symbologies, calculate checksums automatically and​ will provide a​ variety of​ output options with support for​ the​ most common images formats (like PNG, TIFF or​ JPG) and​ also for​ Post Script or​ EPS.
A cheap alternative to​ dedicated barcode generators are so called barcode fonts .​
However, the​ quality a​ barcode created with such a​ font will usually not conform to​ the​ respective standards.
Depending on the​ application the​ use of​ dedicated, barcode enabled, label printing software may be advised .​
For example, such software can be used to​ print sequential barcodes (for serial numbers) or​ print logos or​ product images next to​ the​ actual barcode.
Barcode Scanner
Barcode Scanners, also known as​ barcode readers exist in​ various forms: the​ most common type are laser scanners .​
Here a​ moving laser beam scans the​ code which results in​ fast and​ error free reading .​
a​ cheap alternative to​ laser scanners are CCD scanners that feature a​ row of​ light emitting diodes and​ photo detectors .​
The earliest type of​ barcode reader where so called barcode wands, also known a​ magic wands .​
Here a​ single light emitting diode (LED) and​ a​ single photo detector are used to​ detect the​ typical black and​ white pattern of​ a​ barcode .​
While laser and​ CCD barcode scanners scan a​ barcode as​ a​ whole the​ barcode wand has to​ be swiped across the​ code to​ read it.
Barcode Printers
Barcode printers are used to​ print the​ barcode on self adhesive labels .​
Today most barcode label printers work in​ either thermo direct or​ thermo transfer mode .​
Using the​ thermo direct principle the​ print head applies heat to​ selected parts of​ the​ label which then turn dark .​
This is​ the​ same principle as​ is​ used with older fax machines .​
Thermo direct labels are sensitive to​ light and​ should not be used if​ they have to​ last longer than a​ few days or​ weeks .​
Typical applications are address labels which only have to​ last a​ few days.
With thermo transfer printers a​ heat sensitive ribbon (thermo transfer ribbon) sits between the​ print head and​ the​ label .​
As heat is​ applied to​ the​ ribbon, ink transfers (hence the​ name) from the​ ribbon to​ the​ label .​
Labels that were printed with thermo transfer are very durable .​
However, besides the​ actual label the​ transfer ribbon is​ another consumable which will increase the​ printing cost.




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