Ten Questions for Finding the Right Barcode Verifier
Barcodes are complicated, and so is the challenge of buying the right barcode verifier. Here we break it down into its component parts.
Ten critical questions:
1.Make sure the verifier you are considering has a wide enough scan area to take in the largest symbol you will need to verify. With a 1D/2D vrifier, the 1D barcode will be the factor here, because they are rectangular. The long dimension will dictate the required field of view—and don’t forget to include the left and right quiet zones in this dimension.
2. Minimum aperture: all verifiers have a preset minimum resolution. To accurately verify a high density barcode, it must be able to set a small enough aperture for the X dimension of the barcode. Sometimes the verifier manufacture will report this as the “minimum X”, sometimes as the “minimum aperture”. However they report it, make sure it can test the barcodes you need to test. If they don’t report it, look elsewhere.
1D Verifiers are less expensive than 2D verifiers
3. Barcode types: just because the verifier can test 1D and 2D symbols doesn’t mean it can verify all types of 1D and 2D symbols. Don’t assume–know what you are getting. Get and study the data sheets or ask the reseller or manufacturer.
4. ISO Compliance: 1D/2D symbol verification is covered by two separate ISO specifications. Make sure the verifier you are considering is compliant to both. It should be stated in clear, simple language in the data sheet. Your verifier should come with a signed, dated Certificate of Compliance.
5. Industry Applications: different industries format the data in their barcodes in specific ways. This is different than the ISO specification, which addresses the print quality of the barcode. Data structure is a different issue. Make sure the 1D/2D verifier you are considering tests and reports on the industry standards that are important to you.
6. Re-certification: ISO compliant verifiers require annual re-certification Is return-to-factory required? How long does it take? How much does it cost? Beware of verifiers that claim to not need calibration or re-certification. Some manufacturers offer optional test kits. Users can test their verifiers themselves.
The lowest price is not always the best value
7. Support: If the sales rep in Albuquerque gives you the best deal, but you are in Zanesville, your local rep may not be excited about providing support. Verifiers are risk management devices. A local reseller might provide better support and user training.
8. A local reseller might be more responsive. Regional is still better than national when you really need help. Use caution when dealing with a manufacturer without a sales channel.
9. Demo’s and rentals: If you want to try a device before committing to buy, or if somebody drives the forklift over your verifier, or if you have a big project that will require extra equipment, will the manufacturer’s sales and support channel be there to help you?
10. Still not sure? Ask someone with independent experience. The manufacturer or sales rep will recommend their own product. Get a second opinion from a test lab—they make their living and stake their reputation on the performance of their verifiers. Consider your usage needs. It could be a better strategy to use a test lab until your needs grow to the point where owning a verifier makes sense.
Comments are always welcome. Contact us here.
John helps companies resolve current barcode problems and avoid future barcode problems to stabilize and secure their supply chain and strengthen their trading partner relationships.