So we’re back online here after a testing week but back blogging better and stronger hopefully!  Rugged solutions usually mean you need some form of Microsoft or other type of solution, however there are a lot of customers out there both big and small who simply need something more basic.  Step in the “batch scanner” which come in all shapes, sizes and ruggedness but just how do these weird little things work and how can they help you build an inexpensive but effective solution for your warehouse.

This week I wanted to share some expertise with everyone by essentially showing you how you can do this extremely quickly and with our choice of batch scanner, the Cipherlab 8200.  Cipherlab make great kit, they have a lovely northern UK base and you’ll find their tech at the heart of other brands, most notably the Honeywell ScanPal 2.b  Their kit is well priced, good quality with nice scanners and most importantly their batch scanners come with a free utility called “Forge” which gives you a small, basic but powerful little application generator that you can easily start to create applications under.

The problem

The problem with many companies is that they either don’t have the infrastructure to support a fully fledged warehouse solution or they might have one but it could be old and very complex, requiring a lot of expertise and money to link up to.  However something that can spit out a CSV file in the right way could be the answer and this is where the Cipherlab 8200 with Forge can help.

So what do I need

Lest take a really simple stock taking solution.  All we want to do is scan something and take a QTY on the shelf of it.  This will be stored and then reported out at the end.  We need a batch scanner to do this, we need forge to create the application and we need a PC to sync all the data to.

Setting up

The 8200 comes ready to use out of the box, all it needs is a good charge of the battery and you’re away!  However in order to sync to your PC you need some USB drivers specific to the device.  Don;t worry this is simple, just a double-click and the drivers self install on your PC. Just keep the device unattached whilst doing this.  Forge is also easy to set up, you just get the package when you buy a device, install it like you would any other windows application and everything will be there ready to use, including a comprehensive manual.

Testing the set-up

Once done, attach your Cipherlab 8200 to the PC via the USB cable or cradle if your bought one and it just connect.  When the little bubble appears it will tell you the COM port it will be using, make sure you take a note of this.  If you miss it then just go into your Device manager and find it there.

So we’re all set-up, in the next blog we’ll start to create a basic application that will scan and store products and their QTY’s.

The Rugged and Mobile blog.

About The Author

Dave's one of the founders of Raptor, his rants are memorable, his thoughts are stimulating and his heart is set on helping, entertaining and making things like mobile, Android, ruggedness, 3D printing and IOT simple.

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