Ten things to ask when buying a barcode verifier?
1. What barcode types or symbologies does the verifier test? Donít settle for an imprecise answer, like ďall typesĒ or ď1D and 2DĒ barcodes. One manufacturer offers a verifier for "1D and 2D symbols" that tests PDF417 but not Datamatrix. Hmm.
Axicon data sheets are clear and explicit about what symbologies our equipment verifies.
2. What protocol does the barcode verifier use to assess the symbologies it tests? And what protocol do you need? Most of the time, the ISO specification is acceptable but sometimes your customers might require you to test to AIM specifications. They are not substantially different, but if your verification test isnít specifically compliant to the AIM protocol, your customer may not be satisfied that you are a vendor they trust.
Axicon verifiers test, grade and report to the relevant ANSI/ISO full (not partial) specification.
3. Is the barcode verifier itself compliant? This is not the same thing as the verification report. Most barcode verifiers use the ISO specification as the format of their test reports, but not all verifiers are themselves compliant to the ISO specification that describes how the machine itself performs. If the verifier is not ISO compliant, the report is meaningless.
Axicon verifiers are independently tested and certified to be ANSI/ISO/IEC compliant devices. No asterisks.
Watch out for asterisks in the verifier description. This usually means a barcode verifier that is compliant only in certain configurations. This usually means that optional, extra-cost equipment is necessary
4. How long is the warranty and what does it include? Beware of manufacturers who donít clearly state their equipment warranty on the data sheets. Why arenít they proud of their product and its factory warranty?
Axicon 1D verifiers come with a 2 year factory parts and service warrantyóthe longest available.
Axicon 2D verifiers come with a 1 year factor parts and service warranty.
Beware of complicated product warranties. This is not a legal document (well actually it is)óitís also a promise and a statement of good faith.
5. Does the barcode verifier require periodic re-calibration? Is the re-calibration card included in the quoted price for the verifier or is it an extra-cost option? Is periodic factory re-calibration required? Is the cost of this included in the cost? Is there an optional extended warranty available that includes re-calibration and (perhaps) a loaner device while your unit is back at the factory?
Axicon verifiers should be factory re-calibrated every 2 years but users can test and certify their Axicon verifiers using NIST-traceable charts available from Axicon, GS-1 or AIM. Contact your reseller for further information.
Never needs re-calibration. Really? How would you trust it over the long haul, considering whatís on the line and why youíre spending thousands of dollars to begin with?
6. What is the resellerís return policy? Even when the reseller is very helpful and works hard to make sure youíre buying the right piece of equipment, sometimes you discover that it just wasnít the exact device you need. Are returns allowed? Are there restocking fees? Whatís the time limit?
Axiconís return policy is simple. Clean, as-new equipment in original factory packaging can be returned within 2 weeks of receipt for a restocking fee of 15% of the invoiced amount. There is no charge if the customer buys another Axicon model.
7. Does the manufacturer provide software updates? Do they require returning the unit to the factory or are they field-installable by end users? Is there an additional cost?
Axicon is constantly updating and improving its verification software. The latest version is available as a free download at www.axicon.com. New plugins are also constantly being developed, and are also available as a free download.
8. How does the barcode verifier report grade the tested symbols? The globally-preferred method is ISO numerical grading, but many Americans prefer ANSI letter grades.
The pc-based Axicon verification reports shows the scan grade in both ISO (numerical) and ANSI (letter) format. The PV1000 Portable Display Unit reports grading in the ISO format only.
9. What is the verifier form factor? If the device is portable, how do you get the test data into your PC (or Mac) for viewing, archiving, printing or emailing? Is an extra-cost optional interface necessary? Whatís the interface? Serial? USB? Can the computer-tethered device be converted to a portable with an optional battery-powered display?
Axicon 1D verifiers can be used as pc-tethered USB devices or as full portables using the PV1000 Portable Display Unit or PDU. Test data is quickly and easily transferred to the userís PC or Mac using any commercially available USB flash driveóno other interface is necessary.
10. Does the manufacturer or reseller have demo equipment available? Sometimes you just want a test drive. If a manufacturer wonít be helpful at this stage, how helpful will they be after they have your money?***Please visit the Axicon Bar Code Verifier page for more information***
Request an Axicon Bar Code Verifier Demo Unit