Continuous Scanning Barcode Verifiers – Why They are Better

Most of the barcode verifiers available are of the one-scan/one verification report variety. There may be technical reasons for this besides the fact that this is the way it has always been done. That is probably because most hand held scanners are like that, and there is “distant cousin” sort of kinship between scanners and verifiers.

Fixed mounted scanners are by definition continuous scanners, designed and configured to scan any barcode that travels within its field of view on a conveyor  With few exceptions, verifiers are one-by-one-by-one devices. The exceptions are inline verifiers designed to verify labels exiting a thermal or thermal transfer printer.  This affords the user some significant benefits including;

  • 100% verification             Universal stand

This is not terribly important when printing a static, redundant barcode which is the domain of a wet-ink process like litho or flexo, but the domain of thermal printers is serialized or database-driven variable barcodes, and here 100% verification makes a lot of sense. All barcodes must be in picket fence orientation in order for the barcode verifier to detect and test them.

  • Printer pause function

Most barcode verifiers allow the user to define the threshold of grade acceptability, and continuous scanning verifiers can use this configuration to control a printer pause interface. When a barcode below the threshold of acceptability is encountered, the verifier will send a pause command to the printer. Some pause interfaces can also signal an alarm or control a light stack so a user can monitor many printers on a label production floor.

  • Unattended label printing

Together these two functions remove virtually all of the risk of unattended label printing since every barcode is being verified and bad barcodes can easily be prevented from getting out in the world where they can do damage.

There are also significant advantages to using continuous scanning barcode verifiers in a non-label printing situation.  For example:

  • A continuous scanning barcode verifier takes all the guesswork out of verifying extremely small or heavily truncated barcodes. Just position the verifier above (or below) the barcode, press the button and move the scan head down (or up) through the barcode. The verifier will detect the barcode automatically—the user does not have to re-position and re-scan the symbol over and over while trying to guess when it will be in the verifier’s field of view.6025-S with Nose cone
  • Taking the ISO-specified ten scan average is a one-step process with an continuous scanning barcode verifier. As important as this is, many users forgo this discipline
  • with a one-scan/one-verification verifier because it’s just too time consuming. Yet with most barcodes, testing the full height of the symbol is very important, besides being a requirement of the ISO specification.
  • Stacked symbologies such as GS1 Databar Stacked Expanded coupon code are growing in popularity. While it is possible to verify them with some one-scan/one-verification report devices, it is highly inconvenient and time-consuming. Continuous scanning barcode verifiers make it  quick and easy.

Beyond the technological and practical advantages of continuous scanning barcode verifiers, the cost difference between these devices and the one-scan/one verification

report verifiers is minor—only a few hundred dollars.

There is one notable disadvantage to continuous scanning barcode verifiers. Because of the amount of data they capture and process and their power requirements,  portable models are not available. Otherwise we see continuous scanning barcode verifiers as nothing but a good thing.

Check them out at http://www.barcode-test.com/1d-linear-verifiers/

John Nachtrieb

About John Nachtrieb

Mr. Nachtrieb has 30+ years of hands-on experience in barcode technology. His team imaged the film master for the first commercially scanned barcode in North America (1974). His specialty is barcode quality. He created and hosts a highly customized barcode quality seminar which has been presented to 100's of companies, reaching thousands of quality-concerned people, helping them to avoid barcode problems and manage barcode-related risk.
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