Using a dataTaker Data Logger to Scan Bar Codes for QA

Intelligent Automated dataTaker Systems Record Serial Data

CAS DataLoggers receives many calls from manufacturers who need a data logging solution for quality assurance purposes. A common project involves scanning bar codes on products coming off of manufacturing lines. For these jobs, our Applications Specialists usually recommend a cost-effective monitoring solution: our dataTaker data loggers including the popular DT80, DT85 and DT82I models. These intelligent devices can simultaneously capture a scanned bar code and additional values which determine whether a product is high-quality or defective. In this brief article, let’s examine just how to set this up.

For this application, users connect a barcode scanner (say a handheld device) to their dataTaker’s serial port using the scanner’s serial adapter for use with serial-compatible scanning devices. Users then configure the scanner so that whenever it scans a code, it sends a carriage return line feed to the dataTaker. In this way, these dataloggers capture recordings triggered by a serial data stream, i.e. every time a gun scans a barcode. When the data logger receives this feed, it automatically triggers a logging schedule (set up in the included dEX graphical interface) and takes a reading, measuring the barcode along with any other required signal; this can be a product’s temperature, voltage, or just about any value impacting QA. By reading the barcode and any other values simultaneously in just one scan, the dataTaker saves a manufacturing process lots of time and removes the need to purchase additional devices.

The free graphical interface software is included with every dataTaker logger, featuring an intuitive Windows Explorer setup allowing quick configuration and display of real-time sensor measurements, calculations and diagnostic information. Logged data can be viewed in mimics, trend charts, or tables, and users can also retrieve historical data for analysis. To get users started quickly, dEX comes built-in with no applications to install, runs directly from a web browser, and can be accessed either locally or remotely anywhere that a TCP/IP connection is available, including worldwide over the internet.

After reading each scan, the data logger then compares each reading to any limits (manufacturer-set or regulatory) used to indicate quality or defective products. Whenever a value falls outside these limits, the data logger generates an alert via email. At the end of each shift or run, users can just pull the data from the logger’s USB stick and read the file to get a list of all failed products by their barcodes. For increased quality assurance and failure detection, the datataker’s digital outputs can also be connected to an alarm light, siren, or other external contact warning device.

CAS DataLoggers offers customers these intelligent input data loggers for connection with a wide range of most sensors and data measurement sources to measure almost any signal including temperature, humidity, voltage/current, 4-20 mA loops, resistance, and many others. Featuring a built-in web server and extensive communications capabilities including Ethernet, USB, Serial and cellular models, dataTaker dataloggers also offer powerful alarm and programming capabilities allowing them to process measurements and initiate actions on their own.

These advanced features make dataTaker data loggers an ideal solution for real-time data acquisition, remote monitoring and control needs. World-renowned for their robust construction, our dataTakers are built to last even in the face of extreme natural and industrial environments and years of nonstop use.