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Datalinx Blog

Welcome to the Datalinx blog. Here we cover a range of posts and conversations based around our experiences of warehousing, barcoding and Sage software.

Introducing the Zebra MC9300 for Android

zebra_mc9300_manufacturing Introducing the Zebra MC9300

Datalinx Computer Systems are pleased to announce that the Zebra MC9300 has been tested as fully compatible and approved for use with it's Warehouse Management for Sage X3 application.

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MC55 Hand Held Scanner: Advance Notice - Product End of Life 2022

MC55A / MC55N - 2022 Product End of Life

Zebra has advised that the current MC55A and MC55N devices will, as of September 2022 no longer be available and that it will be replaced by a new version of the device. Datalinx and Zebra will continue to support and maintain the product for the next 5 years in line with Zebra after sales service.

The new version of the MC55, to be known as  the MC55XL (Extended Life), is due for release September/October 2017. We are awaiting final specification of this device, but we understand that it will have a similar architecture to the MC67, Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5, 2D SE4710 scan engine and more memory. It will be offered in standard and medical versions and the accessories will be compatible with the MC55A0 and MC55N0

 

MC55hand held scanner

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Wireless VS tethered barcode scanners

Barcode scanners come in all shapes, sizes and types including wireless. The advantages of wireless scanners have provided numerous industries with multiple efficiencies.

Freedom

This is essential in a warehouse where scanners and staff need to roam and are required to pick orders, book goods in and out, stock take and more as they stay connected to through RFID wireless, WiFi networks and even Bluetooth. This allows the scanning of items without the health and safety risk of cords causing danger around ladders and other machinery.  We have found that this results in greater productivity and efficiency, which may also help to reduce labour costs.

wireless scanning  


Range

By using a wireless scanner, you can Save time and money by scanning heavy / bulky items without having logistical challenge of getting the item to the tethered scanner! Or even worse finding the barcode is too high up for the scanners range. For example the Zebra Ultra rugged DS3678 A&E 1D/2D has a scanning range of 70 yards, which makes it great for high racking or bulk bins! 

Rugged

Wireless scanners have been developed for environments where data needs to be done on the move; therefore, there is a risk of them being dropped multiple times onto concrete floors often from a height.  To protect them wireless scanners are much more durable than either tethered counterparts. 

Battery power & safety

Due to the device being battery powered in the event of a power cut or outage wireless barcode scanners will still be operational and work will be able to proceed. This is vital in storage areas where having mains power may not be possible. The lack of cable is also much safer in busy warehouses where they can increase the risks of accidents.

However….

For stationary counters such as point of sale or pack benches where the barcode scanner needs to stay in the same place a wired scanner does prevent it being misplaced. Both can be used in the same business to complement different tasks and suit each environment.

Cost

There is a significant price difference between the two types; wireless scanners cost in the region of £1000 whereas tethered scanners start from £80. So although this can be a significant factor in choosing a barcode scanner, it has been listed last so you can consider your businesses requirements to find the best fit for purpose.

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To have a warehouse wireless survey – or not?

To have a warehouse wireless survey – or not?b2ap3_thumbnail_AP650.jpg

Providing large facilities such as a warehouse with wireless is not a straight forward task and without planning can end up with inadequate coverage and suffer from low performance. To prevent this from happening you can commission a Research Frequency (RF) site survey. This enables an appropriate wireless network to be designed that will deliver the coverage, data rates, roaming capabilities, resilience and network capacity you require.

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When buying barcode scanners does it really just come down to price?

Although price might be the first consideration; functionality, your working environment b2ap3_thumbnail_handhelds.png
and device durability should also be evaluated.

The majority of our customers purchase the ‘mobile computer’ style of scanner rather than a tethered, presentation or fixed device and in this discussion I will focus on this range.


Functionality: this should be a key consideration and geared around your specific business. Do you know the type of barcodes you use or will need to use? How much information do they need to reference as this will affect whether you choose a 1d or 2D scanner?  Do you need a long range capable scanner? Will your warehouse team be 'up close and person' to your products when scanning or will be the item be on the top racking shelf? What size will your barcode and dispatch labels need to be? How much space is there on the product packaging or racking area?  Do you work with refrigerated products? Does your warehouse run 24-7?

 

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2770 Hits