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A Guide to Owning an Ultra-Rugged Barcode Scanner

Ultra-Rugged Barcode Scanner

Barcode has immense usage in many industries and throughout their supply chains. They help users optimize and make asset identification and tracking more efficient. To implement a barcode system, users need three things, namely – barcode labels, barcode scanners, and software. Today, we will be discussing one of these components, more specifically a type of barcode scanner. Known as the ultra-rugged barcode scanners.

So, let’s check out all that you need to know about these devices.


What are Ultra-Rugged Scanners?

These are a type of barcode scanner, designed to operate in a rugged environment. As the name suggests, these scanners are capable of withstanding environments where with more wear and tear than regular ones. They are made to resist physical and environmental damage like impact with hard floors, moisture, dust, etc.


How to Assess the Viability of Your Scanner?

These are not tests to be conducted, but if you buy an ultra-rugged barcode scanner, then, it should be able to withstand the following without getting damaged. These, are the criteria that will assure you that your scanner is a genuine article.

IP Rating

Firstly, the initial step is to check the IP rating on the scanner. Ingress Protection (IP) rating refers to a system of classification of equipment safety against intrusion from outside substances, like dust, moisture, etc. This rating applies to electrical appliances that operate within 75 kV.

IP ratings consist of the word IP and two numerical digits, the first one represents protection against solids (like dust) and the second one represents protection against liquids. The first rating can range from 0 to 6, 0 being no protection against dust and 6 being completely sealed against any dust intrusion. The second rating ranges from 0 to 9, 0 meaning no protection against water or any other liquid, and 9 meaning that it can withstand highly pressurized water from multiple angles.

Solid Particles




Not any sort of protection against solid particle intrusion.


Prevents the ingress of particles bigger in size than 50 mm.


Protects the device from intrusion of particles bigger than 12.5 mm.


Solid particles bigger than 1 mm cannot enter the device.


Protected against dust intrusion, meaning even if dust enters, it will most probably not damage the device.


Completely sealed against intrusion from even dust particles.






No protection against liquids and can be damaged in extreme moisture.


The outer shell is protected against liquid drops along the vertical axis.


Can repel liquids from above if the tilt of the device is no more than 15 degrees.


The device can prevent water from entering the device as long as the flow is angled at no more than 60 degrees along the vertical axis of the device.


The device is sealed to oppose water splashes from any direction.


The device can prevent the intrusion of water sprayed from a standard-powered jet nozzle.


The enclosure seal is strong enough to stop powerful water jets from penetrating inside the device.


The device can be submerged temporarily underwater and resist any water damage, as long as it is under the specified time and depth/pressure limit.


Same as the IP rating 7 for water intrusion, but with a more extreme time and depth range.


The enclosure shield can resist high pressured and high-temperature water jets from entering the device.


No Fall Damage

These scanners have a hard and shock-absorbent outer covering that is capable of protecting the device and internals against kinetic impacts. One of the biggest reasons for broken scanners is falling to the floor, during operations. Handheld scanners are usually wireless and need to be attached to harness points. These scanners are rated after repeated testing about the limits of fall damage they can resist.

Invulnerable to Extreme Temperatures

Ultra-rugged scanners are also supposed to perform in extreme environments where they must deal with extremely high or low temperatures. Based on testing, the manufacturers will rate scanners for a particular range of operational temperatures. For example, 1990iXLR Long Range Scanner is capable of operating within the temperature ranges of –40 °C to 70 °C.

Scanning Range and Readability

These scanners can be LED, Laser, or Area-Imaging Scanner, depending on their application. Different types of readers have different ranges. Ultra-rugged barcode scanners need to have good readability capacity and range.


Applications of Ultra-Rugged Barcode Scanner

There are various applications for ultra-rugged barcode scanners, due to their resistance to various forms of damage and excellent performance. These scanners are very popular in industries like Warehouse Management, Automotive Manufacturing, Electronic Production, etc.

These industries, especially the ones in manufacturing often have extreme environments. Therefore, they have a requirement for ultra-rugged scanners


Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. What are the applications of laser barcode scanner?

These types of scanners are capable of reading 1D barcodes at an efficient rate. They are mostly applicable in optimizing computerized inventory tracking & management systems. They are used in industries like retail, warehouses, manufacturing, supply chain management, etc.

Q2. What is rugged barcode scanner?

As the name suggests, these are essentially standard barcode scanners that are designed to withstand a rugged environment. Meaning, they provide additional protection against physical damage, moisture damage, heat damage, etc.

Q3. What are the different types of barcode scanners?

There are three primary types of barcode scanners available in the market, based on the technology they use to operate. These are – LED Scanners, Laser Scanners, and Area-Imaging Scanners.

Disclaimer: The information presented here is for general information purposes only and true to best of our understanding. Users are requested to use any information as per their own understanding and knowledge. Before using any of the information, please refer to our Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions.

  • Created on Jun 19, 2023

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