Ethernet is not just for fixed-mount readers
Eric Andersen, 08-25-2011
When looking at barcode scanners in a typical factory, fixed-mount code readers have typically been targeted at the inline processes whereas Handheld Barcode Scanners have been targeted at shipping and receiving areas which are often used in a more simplistic manner. My question is really: “why?” “Why should this difference in integration styles exist and why should there be this limitation for handhelds?” Well there WAS a reason.
Look at this nifty chart we put together. If we look at how fixed-mount ID readers are integrated, for example, our DataMan 200 and DataMan 500 and other fixed-mount barcode readers, they’re Ethernet-based devices and they integrate directly at the Control Level right into the PLC using industrial protocols. In contrast, handheld barcode scanners, like the one pictured, have only up to this point been available with communication protocols like USB or RS-232 and could integrate at the Device Level, which requires some type of translation device, whether it’s a PC or converter box in order to communicate data through that translation device and then up to the Control Level. But now we have an image-based handheld ID code reader in the DataMan 8000 series that integrates directly into the Control Level by supporting industrial Ethernet protocols just like all other fixed-mount ID readers on your factory network. So that’s something, isn’t it?
I’ll talk more about why we felt the need to make an Ethernet-based handheld reader in future posts. But feel free to tell me how it could help you!