Written by: Andrew Bollinger
In the realm of manufacturing and industrial automation, the need to easily track products and collect information about their whereabouts has been a problem faced by many businesses. The complexities surrounding the details of successfully identifying and recording products’ information have traditionally been solved by implementing codes on the product’s label or package. The most widely use code today is the one-dimensional barcode. While advances in one-dimensional code reading have continued to improve, new hardware, code readers, and symbology have made an emergence and are proving to be a more reliable means to track information.
The most popular barcode scanning device found in industry today is the laser scanner. However, new image-based scanners are becoming a popular alternative for data capture solutions.
Digital imagers use a different approach to decoding bar codes, but offer the same results as laser scanners. Additionally many image-capturing devices now allow for quick and efficient reading of not only one-dimensional barcodes but also read new two-dimensional bar codes.
Today barcodes are found in a variety of industries and have become just one of the technologies used to automatically collect and capture data. The other most popular technologies used to capture information in industrial automation is radio frequency identification (RFID). Each of these technologies has its benefits and the solution to implement one or the other type comes down to the specific application and intended use.
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