When you buy a barcode scanner, chances are you’ll get many years of use out of the equipment. Too often, companies making a buying decision don’t take the time or have the expertise to ask the right questions. Don’t take chances — ask the right questions. Here are just a few:
Is the scanner’s scan range suited to the application?
Typically, most users scan from a distance of 8-12 inches (20-30cm) away from a bar-code. Does the scanner you’re evaluating allow for that? Does the user need to see the scan line on the bar code?
Is the resolution range of the scanner suitable for the application?
The scanner should read the codes with some comfort zone.
Does the scanner read all the possible types and qualities of code that the application will present?
Is the scanner comfortable and easy to use?
Can it be picked up and set down easily? Is the scanning plane and zone suitable for the operator’s position and placement of the coded items? If the scanner has a trigger, is it easy to use?
If an extended scan range is necessary, does the scanner have adequate depth of field on the actual codes?
Does the scanner read all codes easily or does it take time to read?
A good test is to check the time it takes to read 10 or 20 real-world codes rather than just testing one sample.
Is the scanner suitable for the environment (i.e. ruggedness; style; cable strength and length; sealing against water, dust and vibration, ambient light, temperature, etc.)?
What symbology type will be used?
Is it possible that the symbology will change in the future?
Do scanner cables present failure or safety challenges?
Cordless Bluetooth-enabled scanners would solve those problems.