Choosing the Right Technology for Your Application


In addition to selecting the right automatic identification technology, there are over 5,000 different automatic data collection related devices on the market. So, how do you choose? Give us a call. We'll help you determine the solutions that best meet your needs and budget!


Bar Code Applications


Why use bar codes? Bar coding is both more accurate and faster than manual data entry, and allows personnel other than data entry clerks to collect this data.


Here are some of the many bar coding applications:

  • What part is in what location of the warehouse and how many are on the shelf (warehouse management/inventory tracking)
  • In what location should the part be put away in the warehouse or where should it be picked from (picking and put away)
  • What package is shipped to which customer, when was it delivered, and who signed for it.(shipping and receiving/mail room delivery receipt)
  • Where is a part in the manufacturing process (work in process tracking)
  • Which computer is in which cubicle, when was it bought, what is its book value (fixed asset)
  • What tool is being used by which technician and who has it reserved (tool room and check in/check out)
  • Where is a particular document located, who initiated it, where has it been (document tracking)


Linear Bar Codes


A bar code is an array of parallel narrow rectangular bars and spaces that represent a single character in what is called a bar code symbology. Linear symbologies include: Universal Product Code (UPC -- like on packages from the supermarket; used only by the retail industry), interleaved 2 of 5, code 3 of 9 (or 39), code 128.



EAN Bar Code


A bar code label works like a license plate to call up or reference a record in a database. For example, if a clerk at your Department of Motor Vehicles was to type your car's license plate number into the computer system, the computer would display corresponding information like make, model, year, color, and owner.


Two-Dimensional Bar Codes


You've seen 2-D bar codes on UPS packages or e-stamps; they look like a series of little black and white squares. There are a number of symbologies, such as Datamatrix, Maxicode, and PDF417. The neat thing about 2-D bar codes is they can store up to 2,000 characters onto a very small label.



PDF417 Bar Code


A 2-D bar code is referred to as a "portable data file" because you don't need a database running on a computer to provide information; the label contains its own information.


This is very handy when users in different companies or geographical locations need to know information about the object; all they need is a 2-D bar code scanner.


2-D is being used for:

  • Shipping manifests -- like labels on UPS packages
  • Bill of material and product source information
  • Equipment calibration information that is kept right on the equipment itself
  • Vehicle registration and history; kept right on the vehicle
  • Multi-step manufacturing processes -- where specific fields provide information used to program the manufacturing equipment for a particular piece

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