Difficult ambient conditions sometimes exist during the processing, transportation, and identification of products, such as large below-zero temperatures. However, normal automation components such as barcode scanners are generally not suitable for operation in cold storage warehouses. Instead, special device designs are needed for this in which frequently reduced performance values must be taken into account. Systems that are not subject to restrictions are of more interest here.
The compact cold store scanner VB14N-T from Pepperl+Fuchs operates at temperatures from -35 °C to +45 °C and delivers its full performance potential over this exceptionally large operating temperature range. With a scan rate of up to 1000 scans/s and resolutions of 0.2 mm, the device offers the same performance as the VB14N type counterpart available for standard temperatures. The special feature of the low-temperature version lies in the integrated heater, which is monitored by microprocessor-controlled temperature control. Depending on the internal and external temperatures of the barcode scanner and environment, the device constantly determines the optimal heating power. The developers have therefore succeeded in combining counter-acting properties such as the low power consumption of a maximum 10 W with a very short warm-up period of a maximum of 20 minutes.
Other highlights in this device class include master-slave operation in which up to 32 scanners work together in a network, configuration via the convenient PC software Genius, and the innovative direct-operation concept with mode button. With the help of intelligent code reconstruction, the model can even decode poor-quality code readings such as those with low contrast, damage, or in-motion blurring. With identical dimensions, the standard scanner can easily be replaced by the new cold store version if required. Cabling effort is also low, as the device and heating are supplied via the same cable. The possibility of using the VB14N-T in the positive range in normal temperatures makes the device—which is accommodated in a robust housing to IP 65 degree of protection—a universally usable all-rounder with a wide field of application.