Barcode Application Ideas

I am thinking of implementation to track a product along the production line by scanning a barcode on each of the different steps. Any idea what input device I may need and how to get the data into groov System?

Here at Opto we found a USB barcode scanner that emulated a HID (Human Interface Device - aka, a keyboard) and used the Node (and followed to the letter the instructions on the same page) here;

This gave us the barcode into the flow each time we scanned, from there, it was a matter of writing the Node-RED flow to do the job we needed.

Note. We also found a Bluetooth scanner that we could not get working with the groov EPIC.

I’ve used RS232 serial barcode scanners for many years. Manufactures can provide different interface cables depending on your needs, such as USB or RS232. If the barcode is in the same position on the product, you can setup a fixed mount scanner to read continually. It will transmit the code as soon as it reads it. If the position of the barcode is not known, you’ll need a wide-field imaging scanner or even a scanning tunnel to scan every side of the package (which can get very expensive).

Note that RS232 distance is limited. I try not to exceed 30 feet at 9600 baud.

We used RS-485 scanners (longer cable runs) on conveyors to track bar codes on boxes at fairly high speed. We read it into PAC controllers which of course can get it to groov. In our case we used Allen-Bradley scanners but as Joey said other companies make them as well.

We use SICK barcode readers. They have a bunch of different output/protocol options. They even have QR code readers that are pretty fast.

Hi guys,

I am actually thinking of a wireless handheld barcode reader, for operator to scan on different area of production, where barcode data will be send to opto22 and determine which area it is. Our product is relative huge in size.

Specifically, I am trying to grasp how wireless barcode system typically works. Looking for some kind of wireless PLC barcode receiver…

wireless barcode scanner -> wireless receiver with rs232 port -> SNAP PAC rs232 module?

I am still looking for Wireless barcode scanner that comes with receiver with rs232 port.

As long as the wireless barcode scanner has an API, I don’t see why you cant use a fully wireless one.
No need to go to serial?
The groov could talk via a comm handle and PAC Control to it (since it will have an IP address), or you could possibly use Node-RED since it has an HTTP node…

Or am I missing something?

Thank you Ben, I will look at this.

I have found what I have been looking for:

This setup will connect to ethernet. And send barcode data via Profinet, Ethernet/IP, or Modbus TCP.

That’s pretty cool. It’s like a fieldbus gateway. If all you’re looking for is a simple TCP/IP interface, then you could also a serial device server like the Advantech VESP211-232. It’s much less expensive and you can configure it for client or server (I usually use server). Then you would open a channel to the converter and just listen for the data. Anyway, just a thought.

I think that is briliant, if Node-Red is able to access serial data thru ethernet network (using advantech as adapter) then I do not need to use PLC with Ethernet/IP to interface EA3600.

It certainly can. I happen to have that adapter and plugged it into my computer which is running Node-RED. Just insert a tcp input node and set the Type to Connect to and the port and host address (default port for these adapters is 4000 but is variable in the utility software). I set the output to “Stream of” then either String or Buffer depending on if you want to see a string or byte array. I didn’t have a scanner so just used a serial terminal program to send data to the adapter’s serial port. The result showed up in the debug console in Node-RED. Note that serial to Ethernet adapters are not uncommon so the one I mentioned isn’t your only option. Good luck!

Hello Beno,

How did you install node-red-contrib-usbhid ? In my case, i got an error when i tried to install it. The error : ./hidapi/libusb/hid.c:47:20: fatal error: libusb.h: No such file or directory.

I simply go to the ‘Manage Palette’ option on the menu and install it via that.
What version of EPIC firmware (and thus what version of Node-RED) are you using?

I did like you.
Node red version : 1.0.2
Epic firmware version : 1.5.0-b.42

Yeah, Ok, seems something changed between when we first did this install/test and the newer version of Node_RED…

Have you got shell?
If not, you will need it to get this node installed.
Once you have shell, here is the command you need; sudo apt-get install libusb-1.0-dev
From there, you go to the manage palette and install the node as usual.

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Thanks beno, it’s working.
I tried with apt-get install libusb-1.0-0-dev …
Have a good day.