Barcode Verifier Types
As barcode technology matured and expanded into more critical roles, barcodes are used on a wider variety of materials and packaging configurations:
- metallic tubes and other cylindrical shapes
- metallic-like bags, pouches and labels
- parts and sub-assemblies of every imaginable size, shape and substrate.
Barcode verification is challenging when the barcode is not on a flat surface. What types of barcode verifiers are available to handle these non-standard barcode attributes?
Gun Type Barcode Verifiers
Verifiers that use handheld gun-type scanners are an obvious choice for barcodes on cylindrical and other non-flat surfaces. But such devices are non-compliant to ISO 15426-1. This standard defines the test methodology and accuracy requirements for verifiers that use the ISO 15416 specification to test linear barcodes. Handheld gun scanners are non-compliant; they are incapable of accurately testing reflectivity and contrast because the handheld scanner is not at a fixed angle and distance from the barcode. This is important.
Popular gun-type verifiers test and grade barcodes on non-flat surfaces. They have a loyal following of users because they are very easy to use. However, they cannot test the barcode to the full ISO 15416 specification and therefore the test results are incomplete. Incomplete test grades could be optimistic or pessimistic: but in any case, unreliable. Users cannot be confident their barcodes are acceptable. Ironically these devices are not less expensive than compliant verifiers. Why bother?
Fixed Focus Verifiers
Most ISO compliant verifiers test barcodes on flat surfaces. How does this work on cylindrical surfaces? Although they are designed to be placed directly on top of the barcode, inverted or side-scan positioning is possible. Position the barcode at the scan window. The Axicon 15000 series is designed specifically to provide this sort of flexibility.
A versatile ISO compliant verifier for non-flat barcodes is the Webscan TruCheck 2D USB Tower. It is a non-contact verifier and uses a laser focusing system to verify 1D or 2D barcodes on a wide variety of surfaces. For example, the bottom surfaces of sub-assemblies such as a populated circuit board where the barcode cannot be directly accessed with a fixed focus verifier.
What is the right barcode verifier for your application? If an off-the-shelf solution is not available, an adaptation with a fabricated fixture or a custom modification from one of the manufacturers may be available. Barcode-Test represents a full range of verifiers. We help users find the right device for their unique situation.
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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.