Long Range Bar Code Scanning

 motorola LS3408ER

  Long range barcode scanning can be an effective way to reduce labor cost, improve safety and increase profitability in your warehousing management operations.

Mobile computers equipped with long range scanning capability are able to scan at distances exceeding 30 feet, yet many companies do not take advantage of long range scanning technology. At long range an employee can effectively read a barcode at a top tier storage rack, or pallet bin location across a shop floor without moving from their jitney or work area. Time savings can reach up to 2 minutes per scan, and safety concerns from reading at heights are eliminated.

Retro-reflective labels are typically used for scanning ranges beyond 10 feet. They have ground glass embedded in the label, which allows a laser scan to bounce in thousands of directions at once, effectively increasing the barcode range. They also reflect the laser pointer so the employee holding the gun can see they have properly placed the laser on the label. A non reflective surface will not show proper placement. That will make scanning beyond 10 feet nearly impossible.

Retro reflective labels are expensive. A 4 x 8 printed label can range in cost from $ 3.00 to $ 8.00 per each printed, depending on quantity ordered. This cost is offset by the labor saving time achieved with their use. At just 15 seconds labor savings per read, (and typically a long range read will save more time), scanning a label 1
time per day each work day saves 65 minutes per year. At an average cost of $ 12.00 per employee, the 1 label returned up to 4 times its cost in just 1 year. That does not factor in increased efficiency and safety.

Retro-reflective labels also work well outdoors where bright conditions can impede ability to see scanned image. They have a thermal transfer laminate which makes the labels highly durable for the harshest conditions indoors or out. The imprint method for these labels requires thermal transfer printing with a full resin ribbon. This will be very durable with high scratch and chemical resistance, and holds up well to UV exposure.

Standard non reflective labels with reduced barcode density, (more space between bars), can be used for long range scanning from 2 to 8 feet. This speeds up scanning in small warehouses or tight spaces.

Long range and extra long range readers used for these types of applications are typically housed in durable plastic housings. They use laser technology which is extremely efficient and more accurate when compared to other types of scanners. Laser scanners can read barcodes in bright or low light conditions, indoors and out.
Extra long-range laser scanners are ideal for use in work-in-process, warehouse management and in transit visibility applications.

For more information on long range barcode readers, retro-reflective labels, or for test samples of retro-reflective labels contact Paragon Print Systems, Inc. – The Barcode Factory at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or call 888.237.8525.

Contributed By Robert Hess, President Paragon Print Systems, Inc. 2021 Paragon Drive, Erie PA 16510

(The scanner shown above is the LS3408-ER by Motorola.  Capable of scanning up to 45 feet away, depending on bar code size. )

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