Types of scanning modules

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Types of scanning modules

Spending a few moments choosing the right scanning module is worth it. We are deciding on one of the most important work tools in the company. It's worth considering which scanning technology will prove more efficient in our industry. Which will be easier to implement and ultimately result in greater cost savings? The text below will help you make a conscious choice.

Several types of scanning modules are available on the market, but many of them are only applicable in specific conditions. Leading scanning technologies, widely used around the world, include laser and camera modules. Both mechanisms have distinctive solutions, the proper use of which is a component of a well-thriving enterprise.

Laser module for reading one-dimensional barcodes

How does it work? A diode projects a beam of light onto a mirror that moves in a rotary or pendulum motion. The specific movement of the prism transforms the beam into a visible laser line (multidirectional lasers also exist). This thin thread of light performs two important functions. First, it makes it easier for us to point the device in the direction of the barcode. Secondly, it reads the notation by measuring the width of the white and black fields of the code. The arrangement and thickness of the lines affect the intensity of the reflected light that reaches the photodetector in the scanning module. The intensity collected by the optical sensor is decoded and converted into an electrical signal. Then, the pulse is converted into digital data, which is sent to the decoder. This component, equipped with the appropriate algorithms, interprets the received data, verifies it, and sends the final information to the operated device or computer system.

Where to use it? Despite four decades of existence, the laser module is still the technology of first choice in the retail industry. There is no sign that food, press, and other consumer product manufacturers will abandon classic, one-dimensional barcodes on a large scale anytime soon. This is because the task of the symbol is to identify the product at the checkout, and the capabilities of one-dimensional notations are still sufficient for this purpose. 

Why is it worth it? The long history and ubiquity of laser modules mean that this technology has undergone decades of tests and improvements. Laser scanners are characterized by unmatched versatility and user-friendliness. They do not require training as their operation is intuitive. Devices equipped with a laser module are very cheap compared to other technologies. A major advantage of this solution is the ability to accurately scan codes from long distances. In the case of "lorax" type elements, special long-range modules, the distance between the scanner and the label can be up to several meters. Laser scanners are often characterized by small, handy shapes. New generation devices are known for their long-lasting durability.

Camera module (imager type) for reading one- and two-dimensional codes

How does it work? How does it work? The technology of the camera module is almost identical to that used in digital smartphone cameras. However, the word "almost" makes a colossal difference. Although it is true that a phone equipped with specialized applications can act as a scanner for one- and two-dimensional codes, it is far from the precision and speed of professional imagers. The scanning module consists of light sensors arranged in many rows. The captured image is subject to automatic, specialized processing, which allows the software to detect the symbol in the photo. The data, after verification carried out by scripts, are decoded and passed on in the form of final information. In addition, more and more modern long-range cameras are appearing on the market, which allow for successive scanning of two-dimensional symbols from over nine meters.

Where to use it? Where to use it? Imager-type modules are much younger technology than laser scanners. They came into common use about fifteen years ago, along with the progressing miniaturization and digitization of photographic mechanisms. Today, imagers are indispensable in industry, large warehouses, the logistics industry, and everywhere where notification must carry more information. It performs excellently in harsh conditions, which is why collectors equipped with a camera module are a popular choice for fieldwork.

Why is it worth it? Why is it worth it? First of all, an imager can scan virtually all one- and two-dimensional codes and can do so very quickly with well-optimized software. The orientation of the code in space is irrelevant for the camera module. It copes much better with correctly decoding damaged or soiled notations, guaranteeing quick and efficient reading. The scanning module can also serve other roles - for example, in archiving photographic documentation, so such devices are often referred to as a "small command center". 

Lasers and imagers have many advantages and are very different from each other. Unquestionably, both the first and second technology are indispensable in many industries. Before buying, it's worth answering an important question: which module will be fast and efficient enough for my business? The correct choice of technology means savings and optimization of time for individual processes. If in doubt, our experts are waiting for questions.


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