Barcoding is getting more sophisticated and demanding all the time and this is clear in the rise of 2D barcodes. Along with the well known linear barcodes, 2D versions such as Datamatrix, QR Code and PDF417 are used much more than in the past – especially in the DoD labeling world where we do a lot of business.
Because of this it is important that we can offer our clients reliable barcode scanners that not only read all the linear codes, but the 2D ones as well.
For a few years our 2D scanner of choice has been the Symbol DS6708. This has been around in various versions for a while and it does a pretty good job. We have found however, that the Symbol scanner struggles to read codes at the DoD minimum size for UID (7.5 mil element size) and also the data formatting, using Symbol’s 123Scan software is not very flexible.
We have had a relationship with Cognex Corporation for a long time; indeed Cognex is a user of the World Famous Winco Labels. The Cognex Dataman 7500 series scanner is actually a favorite and is the only handheld UID verifier that could claim to work.
Recently, Cognex launched a new, lower cost range of scanners – the Dataman 700 series and I’ve been lucky enough to have a 750s model to evaluate for a while.
I have to say, I am really impressed with this device. The 750s is the lower end of the range and is intended to read linear and 2D barcodes on objects where there is pretty good contrast. The non-s version of the scanner is intended for use in direct part marking (DPM) applications where the codes can be much harder to read. As a result that version has more sophisticated lighting and a higher price tag to match.
For our label applications, the 750s has proven to be a really good option.
It is smaller and lighter than the Symbol scanner and the Dataman 7500, but still fells robust. The design is really well thought out and it is easy to hold and use for prolonged periods of time.
The thought put into the 750s shows in how easy it is to use. One of the big issues with 2D scanners is making sure you scan the correct barcode. The 750s makes this simple with a very nice laser aiming beam. When a good read is made, the light around the thumb switch turns green and the scanner can also be set to vibrate – good feature when using in noisy environments when the beep might not be heard.
Another aspect I like of this scanner is that it comes with Cognex’s Dataman software. This allows the scanner to be set up easily. For really sophisticated data manipulation, all kinds of rules can be set using Perl scripting. We have worked with the Cognex Engineers to come up with some really clever solutions for UID labeling applications.
Speaking of UID, the 750s can be used to validate for UID strings. While this doesn’t include the quality verification of the 7500 or our Microscan verifiers, it is still a good tool for checking that the structure of the UID mark is correct.
So the Cognex 750s is a great little scanner for just about every barcode application. We are using it as our default scanner for 2D and UID applications and are very pleased with it.
Cognex Dataman 750s
Barcode scanner for linear and 2D barcodes
Has to be tethered to PC; no wireless version available
Big price jump to DPM version
It seems that the cool UID validation feature only works on the more expensive model. That’s a shame!
Do you have to read 2D barcodes? What is your scanner of choice? Are you happy with the performance?
Feel free to call me to discuss your UID or 2D barcoding applications – 603-598-1553 x237