SOL Enterprises (HK) Limited

How does bar code work?

Bar codes consist of combinations of spaces and bars, light and dark patterns, to encode characters. The bar code reader measures the different spaces and colors and compares them to the encoding table for that type of bar code (called a symbology) and decodes the symbol.

What kinds of bar codes are there?

There are two basic types of bar code symbologies distinguishable between the many bar codes that have been created, the linear and two-dimensional (2-D) types. The linear type encodes the data in a single line with bars and spaces (example U.P.C./EAN symbol). The 2-D type encodes data in a matrix form where multiple linear symbols are stacked on top of each other, or contains blocks or lines in a grid or geometric pattern. PDF417, Aztec Code and Data Matrix are the most common forms of 2-D symbologies.

Code 93


Code 128

 QR Code




What are the types of scanning technologies?

There are three major types of scanning, namely laser scanning, linear CCD Scanning and imaging. Laser scanners is likely to be the most common technique in use in today. It uses a laser bean as the light source and typically employs either a reciprocating mirror or a rotating prism to scan the laser beam back and forth across the bar code. CCD scanners send out LEDs' red light instead and use an array of hundreds of tiny light sensors lined up in a row in the head of the reader to receive signals reflected back from the symbol. Imagers are also known as camera-based readers. It can read both 2D symbols and linear symbols by using specialized digital image processing techniques to decode the barcode.

How many types of scanners?

There are many types of scanners available for different purposes. Fixed mounted scanners are commonly found at POS or on conveyor belt. Handheld scanners are commonly used in many general purposes. Some models are in rugged packaging, which are more durable to withstand industrial conditions. PDA or mobile computing terminals with built-in scanners or imagers are also very popular among logistics industry for performing multipurpose applications.

How do I print bar codes?

At first a label format needs to be created with a software, which must support bar coding programming. Once the label is created, a printer capable of printing bar codes and supporting its symbology is required. It is essential that the printer is of good quality to get accurate lines, light and dark bars, and get the exact space between the lines to produce a readable bar code. At last the media must support bar code print quality by not running, fading, or otherwise deforming the symbol.

What printer can print bar codes?

A common laser and ink printer can print bar codes, however it needs to be set up to do so. Not having the required support for bar code symbologies, they first need to be upgraded with programs and also don't have many of the special features that print quality bar codes. Therefore, a quality and high performance printer specially designed for this purpose is essential to warrant the label quality, hence the reading accuracy and reliability.

What is the difference between direct thermal and thermal transfer?

Direct thermal and thermal transfer are two printing methods. Both use a thermal print head to apply heat to the surface being marked. The thermal transfer method uses a heated ribbon to print long-lasting or permanent images on a range of materials such as paper, film, and even foil substrates. This method is excellent for high-density barcodes and labels that require longevity. The direct thermal method uses no ribbon but prints the image directly on the heat activated thermal labels. Over time the labels will darken and become less crisp, particularly when subjected to heat and sunlight. Since its possibility to print on different materials is limited, direct thermal is mostly used to print shipping labels, picking/put away labels and receipts. Since no ribbon is needed, it also costs less comparatively.

There are so many barcode printers. How do I choose from?

There are many different kinds of barcode printer available in market, choosing a right printer very much depends on the purpose and usage. You can get it started by considering the size of labels you need and what kinds of medium are applied to. The longevity of labels also determines the print method (direct thermal or thermal transfer) and required media support. Printers that can support the symbologies you use, durability, size, printing volume and connectivity are also the main differentiators. Most importantly, you need to choose a printer that can really fit your applications. For example, the RF mobile printer is the best choice for those mobile workers and couriers to print instant receipt upon delivery.

What kind of bar code products does SOL offer?

SOL offers a widest spectrum of services for bar-coding technology, from systems integration, software, hardware, to support and training. Partnering with world-class technology providers such as Motorola and Zebra, we offer a comprehensive range of robust and most advanced hardware to our customers, including all kinds of scanners such as handheld scanners, rugged scanners, fix mounted scanners and mobile computers; printers from portable range, to more sophisticated commercial and high performance grade to fulfill critical volume; and various media supply.