Barcode scanning technology is widely used in many industries, including retail, entertainment, medicine, and manufacturing allowing businesses to have a more efficient inventory and asset management system.

Commonly used in store check-out or taking inventory, a barcode scanner is a simple device that scans the alphanumeric digits in a barcode and translates it to an electronic code. When the barcode of a particular item is scanned, the electronic code is sent to a computer database to identify further information about the item, including the its price, description, image, and the number of items in stock.

Barcode scanners make time-consuming tasks easier to do, with little or no errors so keeping them in tip-top shape is a priority. A malfunctioning barcode scanner needs to be repaired immediately to prevent business downtime or device replacement. Below are the commons signs which indicate that a barcode scanner needs to be repaired.

Dirty or Damaged Optics

A faulty barcode scanner can misread an otherwise acceptable barcode. If the problem is as simple as a dirty lens, then cleaning it is the obvious solution. However, care should be observed when cleaning the lens to prevent scratching or chipping it. Using a soft, moistened cloth with water or mild detergent will remove dirt and smudges. But if there are cracks on the lens, sending the scanner for repair or have the lens changed is recommended.

No Scan Beam

When there is no laser or scan beam coming from the device, it can mean that the device was not configured properly. Resetting the device to its default settings will usually resolve the problem. However, if their barcode scanner still does not produce any scan beam after being restored to factory default settings, it may need to be brought to a technician for proper diagnosis.

delivery man scanning barcodes of packages

Device Beeps but Does Not Scan and Transmit Data

The barcode scanner produces a beeping sound when it reads a barcode. Proper alignment and holding the scanner at the appropriate distance from the barcode will ensure readability. In case the barcode scanner beeps but fails to scan a barcode, one way to troubleshoot it is to unplug and then reconnect the device to the database. Restoring the device’s settings to factory default is also another option. However, if none of these work, it could mean that the device needs to be sent for repair.

Device Misreads Barcodes

Sometimes, a barcode scanner is able to scan a barcode but fails to transmit the correct alphanumeric code to the database. If this happens, checking the scanner’s settings for the type of barcode being scanned is the first step to resolve the issue. Some scanners are programmed to read a minimum or maximum number of characters. Adjusting the settings correctly and scanning the barcode with another device will help solve this issue. However, if the device continues to misread the barcode, it may need to be repaired.

Some barcode scanning issues may be due to simple human error and may be solved by configuring the device to its factory default settings. DIY troubleshooting might solve the problem, however, it is best to send the barcode scanner to a technician so it may be inspected thoroughly and properly, and repaired, if necessary.