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Scan Engine Types

Laser, Linear Imager or 2D Area Imager?

Welcome to the world of scan engines, hopefully we can make it a little bit easier for you to unterstand the differences.
Depending on the needs of a specific environment or industry there is a suiting solution.


Laser scan engine

A beam is shot from the laser scan engine and reads the barcode, this reading of the barcode occurs due to a moving mirror which causes the beam to go over the surface it is pointed towards.
The laser can only read in a straight line, and will translate the reflections from the barcode into a digital signal. A laser scanner is only able to read 1D (one dimensional) barcodes.
These kind of engines can be used in any environment, but will be mostly used in retail.

Linear Imager

Linear Imager scan engine

The biggest difference with the laser scan engine is that the linear imager takes a picture of the barcode using a CCD (Charged Coupled Device) or LED scanner. The advantage of this kind of sensor is that it can read damaged or poorly printed barcodes better than a laser scan engine. A linear imager can read 1D (one dimensional) barcodes. The linear imager will most likely be used in industries such as inventory control, retail or for shipping and receiving goods.

2D Area Imager

The 2D Area Imager is the fastest engine of the 3 types of scan engines we talked about. It can read both types of barcodes (1D and 2D) and is able to do this from any direction (omnidirectional). This type of imager is capable of scanning directly from a mobile phone screen, for example tickets at the cinema. The Area Imager is also suited for (extra) long range scanning, for example in a warehouse with high pallet racks. The 2D Area Imager is the most versatile and future proof scan engine you can use!


1D Barcodes

 Code 39Code 128EAN-13
Code 39 barcode - 1D (One Dimensional) Code 128 barcode - 1D (One Dimensional)  EAN/GTIN-13 barcode - 1D (One Dimensional)

2D Barcodes

Aztec-code Datamatrix-codeQR-code
         Aztec code - 2D (Two Dimensional)                Datamatrix code - 2D (Two Dimensional)             QR-code - 2D (Two Dimensional)



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