The linear barcode is a great data collection tool, up to a point. When you need more than a product’s SKU, description, and price—e.g., production information, serial number, lot, batch number—you need a 2D barcode, which can contain up to 4,000 characters. A 1D barcode is limited to about 25 characters.

With the need for more data, including compliance and track-and-trace issues, 2D barcodes are becoming more widely adopted. However, with this technology, you’ll need a 2D imager, instead of a 1D barcode scanner.

A barcode scanner utilizes a single laser to read the linear barcode on a paper surface, like a label or tag. A 2D imager uses a array of lasers that capture both 1D and 2D barcodes from a variety of surfaces, including paper and electronic screens. In our last post, we talked about the many uses of 2D barcodes, now let’s explore the benefits of 2D barcode scanning.

  • Capture 1D and 2D barcodes from a paper, synthetic media, and electronic screens.
  • Read barcodes that are smudged, scratched, damaged, or poorly printed. Some of Zebra’s rugged and ultra-rugged imagers will also capture barcodes that are covered with shrinkwrap or frost.
  • An imager’s omnidirectional scanning means you don’t need to take the time to align a single laser to the barcode, so productivity is increased.
  • By choosing an extended range 2D imager, you can grab barcodes from as far away as 7 feet, or as close as just a few inches—perfect for retail, distribution, warehousing, manufacturing, and transportation and logistics.
  • With one pull of the 2D imager’s trigger, you can capture multiple barcodes, reducing the time it takes to process an inbound or outbound shipment.
  • In addition to barcodes, you can capture signatures, documents, images, direct part marks, and text. A 2D imager also supports Optical Character Recognition (OCR) to read characters on checks, passports, driver’s licenses, invoices, and more.

Informs has partnered with Zebra, a global leader in data collection technology. We can help you determine the right 2D imager for your business applications. Talk to us to learn more Zebra’s barcode scanning advances and how you can increase productivity and accuracy.