Barcode scanners and mobile computers are a growing market for technology manufacturers and systems integrators. Supply chain management is at the cusp of some major transformations as several factors converge to transform this sector. Competition and consistently tight profit margins in retail are fuelling a drive to reduce operations costs and find savings in the supply chain, while online shopping has brought new demands to warehouse management. When it comes to labor, costs are increasingly being cut by relying on short-term contracts that reflect seasonal trends, and that means any technology adopted in the supply chain should have a low training threshold.
Technavio’s market research reveals that the barcode scanning market is on track to be worth $6.3 billion (USD) in 2021, with a compound annual growth rate of over 4 percent for the next 4 years. Those are rosy predictions for any industry today, but if you’re eyeing an entry into the market, it’s important to understand a few of the factors that separate success from failure. The first thing you should know is the breakdown of the barcode scanning market and which elements are growing fastest:
- Handheld scanners made up slightly less than 20 percent of the market in 2016
- Point of Sales retail scanners accounted for 7 percent
- Self-checkout scanners accounted for 17 percent, but have the highest CAGR at 6.6 percent, thanks to the growth in self-checkout kiosks
- Mobile computers dominate the market, accounting for over 55 percent of sales, but only 2.8 percent CAGR
Secondly, there’s your touch screen supplier – barcode scanners require a durable HMI, especially if they’re used in outdoor or warehouse environments. Resistive touch screens are generally considered the best-fit solution for mobile computers in industrial and warehouse settings. As explained by touch screen manufacturer A D Metro, unlike the capacitive touch screens you find in your smartphone, which rely on the electromagnetic charge of your finger, they read physical pressure. That means that they can be operated by a gloved hand or a stylus, often necessary in industrial or outdoor environments for safety or because of the temperature. Some of the features you should look for in a standard resistive touch screen include:
- Contamination resistance
- Immunity to Electromagnetic Interference, important for any job done around high-voltages or transmitters
- Compatibility with NEMA 4, 12, and IP65 enclosure types
- Low power consumption
These features and more are found in resistive touch screens made by manufacturers like A D Metro, but they have also designed an ULTRA Resistive touch screen made for applications that face harsher conditions. Mobile computers used outdoors should be waterproof and weather-proof, while scanners used on factory floors should not just be resistant to contaminants and sparks, but also function despite contamination. While ULTRA Resistive touch screens from A D Metro may require a larger investment, your clients will realize cost savings thanks to extended operation life and lower replacement costs. If you’re about to enter the growing barcode scanning market, a reliable, an innovative touch screen supplier is a must-have.