Barcode Printing and Scanning FAQs

If you’re looking for an effective and readily available way to modernize your business operations, you should consider making the switch to a barcode system. You may find that this solution can benefit your small or medium-sized business in a variety of ways. But first, you’ll want to know more about how this technology works. Solutions ID Online LLC, the trusted source of barcode printers and TSC desktop printers, has got you covered. We’ll answer some of the most often-asked questions about barcode scanning and printing here.

What exactly is a barcode?

This refers to a method of representing information in a visual, machine-readable structure. Barcodes are typically represented in lines of varying widths and spacing. You’re already familiar with them–those squares of black lines you see being scanned on the item at a grocery store. Modern variants of these– which use geometric patterns, dots, and squares–are called matrix barcodes, or more popularly QR codes. 

How did barcodes come to be?

The barcode was invented by Norman Joseph Woodland and Bernard Silver. They based its design from Morse code, only extending it into thick and thin bars. One early use of the barcode involved affixing it to the sides of railroad rolling stock for automated identification, allowing encoded information about car ownership and equipment to be read by trackside scanners. The barcode, however, became commercially successful when it was used to automate supermarket checkout systems.

How do you read barcodes?

The data encoded into a barcode are generally read using barcode scanners, and in the case of matrix codes, by applications that can be installed in a smartphone. Depending on the symbols used, the barcode can contain any numeric or alphanumeric text. For instance, the barcode on a grocery item may include information about what product it is, its origins, its type, or its current location.

Is it possible to print your own barcodes?

Yes, it is possible. Just like how you print ID card, you can print barcodes professionally in-house. For this, you’ll need a barcode label printer, barcoding software, and approved labels. Printing your own barcodes in-house actually has many benefits, including better flexibility and a more cost-effective setup. There are many options available to you, but this will depend on the label application, type of barcode, and volume.

What should you take into account when buying a barcode printer?

First off, you’ll need to consider what you’re using the printer for. If you plan to print short-term media, such as receipts, tags, and shipping labels, then getting a direct transfer barcode printer is an excellent option. It requires no ribbon, creating the image directly onto the printed material. However, if you’re looking to print something more complex and longer lasting, a thermal transfer printer would be more your style. 

Another factor to consider is volume. You’ll want to pick a device that’s tailored to your specific printing needs. For light printing duties, for instance, you can go for the direct thermal TSC DA220 barcode printer offered by Solutions ID Online LLC. As the premier source of barcode printers and TSC desktop printers, we ensure only top-tier equipment that can deliver lasting performance. This desktop option offers 203 dpi (dots per inch) resolution for crisp, monochrome print quality, with speeds of up to 5 inches per second. Because of its compact design, it will fit perfectly almost anywhere in your business space.

How you want to connect your barcode printers can also affect your choices. Most use direct-to-PC connection via USB, which is quick and easy to set up, but you can also opt for printers that come with WiFi printing and Bluetooth technology. The latter is a good idea for large businesses that require shared printing. 

How does a barcode scanner work?

Simply put, a barcode scanner reads the data encoded into the black and white lines composing the barcode. It does this by illuminating them with a light that is reflected into a decoder, converting the barcode into digital text for your computer. As with a barcode printer, you’ll want to choose a scanner that will best suit your needs.

Aside from ID printers, Solutions ID Online LLC offers the Wasp WCS3900 Barcode Scanner, which comes with durable construction and a sleek, ergonomic design for comfortable use. If you want a scanner that’s exceptional for offices, libraries, or light retail environments, then make this your pick. The Wasp WCS3900 eliminates the need for manual data entry, instead allowing for fast, easy, and accurate encoding to your spreadsheet, database, or point-of-sale system. 

Will you need special software to use a barcode scanner?

Nope–those options with USB interface are generally easy to set up and will not require a custom code for transferring input data to the application program. 

What’s the difference between a laser scanner and image scanner?

A laser scanner can only read linear barcodes, like those on price tags and labels, by reading the reflected light from the barcode. It also has a good scan range. A laser barcode scanner is the most popular and cost-effective option available today. The image scanner, on the other hand, is best used for 2d barcodes, which are too complicated for horizontal scanning. That’s why this option requires an image capture, plus algorithm software, that allows it to enable the camera to scan the code.

Are barcode scanners safe to use?

They are! The lasers they use are only Class 2, which means it’s limited to a maximum output power of about 1 milliwatt. Unless the user deliberately and continuously exposes themselves to the laser beam, using the barcode scanner will not put them at risk. 

Does your business need a barcode system?

If you want to improve your business efficiency, then yes, absolutely. As with ID printers, a barcode system can be integral in increasing productivity. This is especially useful if you deal in retail. With this solution, your employees can scan and ring up dozens of items in mere minutes. Manual encoding, with its potential for costly errors, will be out of the picture, allowing you to accurately and conveniently capture data in business operations. To detail, using a barcode system for your business can:

  1. Make tracking of stock easier. Because your raw materials or finished goods are barcode-labelled, you can keep track of their location, count your inventory, and maximize production without issue. This limits the paperwork involved with manual stock counts, instead providing you with timely data you can use to improve operations and productivity.
  1. Keep track of your assets. With a barcode system, you can track your business’ fixed assets, audit them, observe any depreciation, and check their current location. This can even enhance your security. Since a barcode system can be used for asset tracking, it can be especially beneficial for businesses with IT assets or borrowed equipment.

Solutions ID Online LLC is not only your top provider of quality print ID card solutions, we can also handle your barcode system needs. Whether you need an exceptional barcode scanner or printer from the leading brands, plus their related labels and accessories, we got you covered. We are headquartered in Oxnard, CA but can provide ID card printing security solutions to businesses across the country and around the globe. Call us today at (888) 804-3227 or fill out this contact form to schedule your consultation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *