How Do Extra-Long Range (XLR) Scanners Benefit Operators?
The world of e-commerce and logistics have seen significant changes over the past few years and is forcing companies to revaluate the way they do business. While the battle for efficiency and outstanding customer service is an endless race, logistics technology solutions like barcode scanning hold an essential place in the efforts of meeting customer expectations and business objectives. The adoption of warehouse scanners is no longer seen as a nice to have solution, but a must have to ensure an increase in efficiency and a reduction in errors across receiving, picking, shipping and inventory operations.
While most handheld barcode scanners are perfectly capable of scanning any code within .05 meter, the number of available solutions begins to dwindle as distances extend to mid-range, or between 5 and 10 meters.
It is not uncommon to see warehouse operators struggle while trying to scan items that can’t be reached easily, resulting in operators having to get off the forklift for example to scan the item and then get back on it, wasting time and reducing productivity.
While short-range barcode scanners are only capable of scanning items a few inches away, the latest Skorpio X5 long-range scanner from Datalogic can read barcodes from up to 20m away as well as close up, ensuring operators can easily scan items from any angle resulting in better efficiency and productivity.
Key benefits of XLR (extra-long range) technology:
Speed is essential to increase productivity and overall efficiency. XLR scanners save time by allowing the operator to scan near or far without having to get off their forklift, saving precious seconds which over a shift can add extra minutes to an operator’s day resulting in increased productivity. Their scanning function also enables operators to hold down the trigger to identify multiple items, meaning scanning time is reduced for each product.
XLR scanners generally use omnidirectional scanning technology, removing the need to align the scanner and barcode to perform the scan. Extra long-range scanners can easily read barcodes from any angle giving you even more flexibility and saving time. This feature is essential for when warehouses must be vertically stacked.
A warehouse environment isn’t the easiest to work in, with issues such as bad lighting, damaged barcodes or the build-up dirt obscuring barcodes. XLR barcode scanning technology will continuously provide first time capture no matter the condition of the barcode or whether you’re scanning 1D/2D barcodes, photos or documents.
Scanners within the warehouse should be able to withstand the harshest environments such as extreme temperatures, liquid and chemical spills, being dropped at height, and dropped in water. Their tolerance and functionality should be unmatched even after several drops and spills. With ultra-rugged XLR scanners you can rely on an ultimate performance no matter the environment, and even after multiple drops to concrete.
A common misconception is that XLR scanners can only be used for barcodes that are out of reach. However, they also provide excellent scanning performance on short-range barcodes as well as far away. This banishes the need to purchase multiple devices, therefore securing accurate and rugged barcode scanning solutions, all whilst improving your return in investment (ROI).
Tips to finding the perfect XLR scanning solution
- Given the unique challenges of scanning barcodes from a long distance, the following considerations can help you avoid common mistakes and select the optimal scanner for your business.
- Scanning Range – Before purchasing any long-range scanner, it is important to consider the expected scanning ranges of all hardware you intend to use.
- Barcode Type – There are two major barcode symbology categories that are frequently used: 1D and 2D. 1D barcodes are more common, while 2D barcodes are a newer technology that can store more data.
- Barcode Size – Barcode size has a significant impact on the scanning distance that can be used with a particular label. In general terms, longer scanning distances will require a larger barcode.
- Label Material & Type – The use of retro-reflective barcode labels is recommended for long-range scanning applications
- Environment – Understanding any potential hazards your barcode labels or scanners may encounter can help you avoid costly replacements and future scanning issues.
- Connectivity – Scanners are available with connectivity that is either tethered, wireless, or both.
- Form Factor – A number of different scanner form factors are available, and you should choose the one that matches your intended applications.
Time is money in any industry
If you’re looking to invest in an extended-range scanner, explore Datalogic’s latest Skorpio™ X5 XLR – the most advanced mobile computer with the largest scan engine choice on the market with the ability to read close and very far barcodes in the blink of an eye.
The Skorpio X5 range offers the choice between Linear Imager, Standard 2D Imager, Mid-Range Imager, and the unrivalled 2D near-far Extra-long Range (XLR). The innovative extra long-range imager is perfect for all applications where the same device must seamlessly read codes at different distances, up to 20 m.
The Skorpio X5 XLR mobile computer also projects a bright red field that is clearly visible in daylight conditions to show the operator which code is being scanned. Operators can confidently scan objects up to 20 meters above their heads, even through dirty plastic windscreens or plastic shrink-wrap without worrying about scanning a random code somewhere in between.
Hands to overheads – XLR does it all
Efficiency, accuracy and resilience are the key tools for a successful warehouse or manufacturing operation. XLR technology give operators the ability to capture product information with minimal effort required, ultimately saving time and reducing overall cost of operations.
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