Barcode Scanner for use with Ignition

We are thinking of using some barcode scanning to input data in ignition. Having never even held a bardode scanner before I have a couple questions…

  1. Is there an example (Video or Document) somewhere on interfacing with ignition.

  2. Can you recommend a scanner that you have used? (Sometimes the most expensive is not the best :slight_smile: )

Are you thinking of portable hand-held scanners at user terminals or fixed, mounted scanners on a line somewhere? Here are the different approaches that I’ve heard of:

On the handheld side, I’ve used Wasp scanners. Pretty cool. They’re just like another input to the PC - like plugging in a second keyboard.

Kyle has a QR code plugin discussed here. You’ll have to ask him how it works, what it does exactly, and how quickly/reliably. Those print outs hold a couple K worth of data. I think the idea is that you use the camera on smart phones to do your scans. Cool idea - I don’t know how it integrates.

For fixed scanners, if the PLC knows how to interface with the scanner then anything within Ignition should be pretty easy to deal with.

I’ve seen some projects where a standalone scanning device broadcasts UDP packets on the network with a scan. They had a (legacy) FactorySQL plugin that logged these events to an SQL database. That’s hardly mainstream. It was created to solve a specific problem that someone had. There was another similar case with automated weigh scales. I wouldn’t engineer your system like this from scratch without a really good reason.

We have a bunch of Symbol scanners, The basic ones just plug into our ThinClients via usb and inject the scanned information right into a text stream.

I also have a couple older ‘wedge’ style ones, Those plug in between your keyboard and computer(typically ps2) and 2 serial ones. Those I have hooked up to some Micrologix1400’s directly and they just push ascii which the PLC reads and passes along.

Thanks, I seen the wasp stuff before and it was the ones I was leaning towards, so it was good reassurance.

Yes, we are looking at handheld units maybe to do some inventory control in tool cribs to start.

Any inputs, words of advice, nudges in the right direction anyone may have will be looked at.

Just buy one first to play with. I find them pretty impressive.

You can “program” them to do things like automatically enter a or after a scan, beep, and so on. This is done by scanning bar codes on the included programming card. You have many wired/wireless/model options. I’d first check out a wireless model that has a charging cradle that should connect to the PC via USB.

Dravik mentioned that their symbol scanners plug into a USB on a thin client, and the data streams from there. Will Ignition be able to retrieve that information from a barcode scanner that’s set up the same way (on a thin client also, not the Ignition server)? I.e. - an operator places the cursor in a text box, then scans a barcode. Will we be able to capture the data that way? Thanks in advance.

1 Like

I know that works because I do it right now :slight_smile:

To clarify, I have some data entry terminals, Operators barcodes into an Ignition project, The project then loads a report based on that barcoded lotnumber.

Dravik,
Thank you for your input and clarification. I think we are going to implement the exact same set-up. Good idea using a thin client! :wink: