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Introduction

There are a bewildering array of options available when it comes to selecting the right scanner, and this white paper is intended to help answer some commonly-asked questions.

Mobile Scanners

Mobile scanners are the most popular.  Even though they are more expensive, they offer the greatest flexibility. Mobile scanners can be used either in a batch mode, which means that they can only communicate with a database when physically connected to a PC, or in RF mode—RF (Radio Frequency) scanners effectively act as an additional client on the network and can are constantly connected with the system database. The pros and cons of batch versus RF are outlined separately below.

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Introduction

You can use barcodes and bar-coding without being an expert on the technology. But understanding a few key points will help you make better decisions when it comes to selecting and implementing a solution in your business.

How Does A Barcode Work?

When data is displayed as a barcode, each character is represented by a pattern of wide and narrow bars.  A barcode reader uses a photosensor to convert the barcode into an electrical signal.  The scanner then measures the relative widths of the bars and spaces, translates the different patterns back into regular characters, and sends them to a computer or portable terminal. Every barcode begins with a special start character and ends with a special stop character. These codes help the reader detect the barcode and figure out whether it is being scanned forward or backward.

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This client manufactures and repairs large mining equipment. The repair sector requires that spare parts are kept on-site. As a result, the environment is a combination of a standard warehouse and a complex manufacturing setting. The company’s largest challenge is to manage the conflicting requirements of parts for its manufacturing business with demand from the repair and sales arm, particularly if there is a supply crunch on critical parts.

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This company manufactures food products on behalf of a leading South African retailer. The products range from packaged snacks such as muffins and sandwiches through to pre-prepared meals for home consumption. Products of this type have a particularly short shelf life which can be measured in terms of a few days rather than weeks or months.

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This project was implemented for a mine in the DRC, specifically in the stores area where spares and other mining equipment are kept. While the store was not large, the client had never had a mechanism to manage stock accuracy on the floor and was experiencing severe losses and stock accuracy problems.

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