Datalinx Blog

Welcome to the Datalinx blog. Here we cover a range of posts and conversations based around our experiences of warehousing, barcoding and Sage software.

MC55 Hand Held Scanner: Advance Notice - Product End of Life 2022

MC55A / MC55N - 2022 Product End of Life

Zebra has advised that the current MC55A and MC55N devices will, as of September 2022 no longer be available and that it will be replaced by a new version of the device. Datalinx and Zebra will continue to support and maintain the product for the next 5 years in line with Zebra after sales service.

The new version of the MC55, to be known as  the MC55XL (Extended Life), is due for release September/October 2017. We are awaiting final specification of this device, but we understand that it will have a similar architecture to the MC67, Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5, 2D SE4710 scan engine and more memory. It will be offered in standard and medical versions and the accessories will be compatible with the MC55A0 and MC55N0

 

MC55hand held scanner

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Wireless VS tethered barcode scanners

Barcode scanners come in all shapes, sizes and types including wireless. The advantages of wireless scanners have provided numerous industries with multiple efficiencies.

Freedom

This is essential in a warehouse where scanners and staff need to roam and are required to pick orders, book goods in and out, stock take and more as they stay connected to through RFID wireless, WiFi networks and even Bluetooth. This allows the scanning of items without the health and safety risk of cords causing danger around ladders and other machinery.  We have found that this results in greater productivity and efficiency, which may also help to reduce labour costs.

wireless scanning  

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Different types of scanner

There are lots of different types of scanners from the basic ccd plugged into your computer to the very rugged, ‘drop me off a 4 storey car park and I will still work’ barcode scanning computer.
 
Mostly it depends on your price and what you want to use the scanner for. 
If, for example, you are a library with limited budget and you only need to scan a library card and book when they are presented at your main then a CCD scanner might be just what you are looking for. They connect to your computer via a usb cable and you can mount them on a stand or hold them in your hand to scan when required. As a basic scanner they do the job, don’t cost much and when they break (as occasionally happens) they are easy to repair or replace.
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Wireless Scanning

Wireless Scanning and scanners should not be confused with a wireless network, there is a subtle difference between the two.
Ok, so when you work with wireless scanners you provide your warehouse team with more flexibility. They can collate and/or pack orders as they are moving around the warehouse, which speeds up the dispatch process and they won't need to connect the handheld to the computer to transfer the data from the transactions they have just completed to your software package.
When it comes to receiving stock into your stores your team can scan the barcode location (bin) as the product is put into it. Giving you accurate (and true) information which you wouldn't necessarily get if the handheld couldn't be taken around the warehouse and you were assuming the product ended up in the correct location.
The alternative is to use fixed position scanners....b2ap3_thumbnail_MC9090-G_225x169.png

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When buying barcode scanners does it really just come down to price?

Although price might be the first consideration; functionality, your working environment b2ap3_thumbnail_handhelds.png
and device durability should also be evaluated.

The majority of our customers purchase the ‘mobile computer’ style of scanner rather than a tethered, presentation or fixed device and in this discussion I will focus on this range.


Functionality: this should be a key consideration and geared around your specific business. Do you know the type of barcodes you use or will need to use? How much information do they need to reference as this will affect whether you choose a 1d or 2D scanner?  Do you need a long range capable scanner? Will your warehouse team be 'up close and person' to your products when scanning or will be the item be on the top racking shelf? What size will your barcode and dispatch labels need to be? How much space is there on the product packaging or racking area?  Do you work with refrigerated products? Does your warehouse run 24-7?

 

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