Barcode Basics

A series of fine to thick black lines on a white background has become a familiar sight on nearly every item you might purchase or see in any store. These barcodes are scanned using a sensor that must physically see the barcode label. This is called a line of sight reader. The lines of the barcode represent a series of numbers, which are then translated by the sensor and relayed to the inventory management system, which then either checks the item in or out of the inventory.

A barcode tracking system will require labels, a scanner, and software to manage your inventory, plus a human component to physically place the barcode stickers under the scanner each time an item is being removed from the tool crib. This might become a problem if the labeled items are used in an environment where they might become covered in dirt or grime. If the lines of the barcode label are obscured, the scanner won’t be able to read the label.