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Incorporating barcode technology provides greater accuracy in real-time. You can grow your business with the ability to process more inventory and data to create more orders in less amount of time, while ensuring safety and compliance are addressed every step of the way. Why wouldn’t you want to speed up processes to gain more clients and grow your business?

Man holding a barcode scanner and scanning labels at a distance

Consumer goods businesses must be able to keep up with changing regulations, technological advances, and increasing omnichannel shopping. In fact, in today’s climate, productivity and effectiveness are greatly affected by the ability to keep up with the demands of regulations, clients, and the economy.

Zebra Technologies and Imprint Enterprises have the tools, knowledge, and expertise to help you move forward with the future of barcode technology, including which barcode scanners are best for your manufacturing facility.

What’s Important to Know About Scanning

Checking barcodes

It's important to know what kind of barcodes your consumer goods SMB is needing to scan to determine what kind of Zebra scanners are best suited to your needs. There are different forms of barcodes, depending on the product it is placed on and the lifecycle requirements of the barcode itself.

1D, or linear, barcodes can only hold approximately 20-25 characters. 2D barcodes can have a higher data density in a smaller space. 2D barcode labels use patters, shapes, and dots to encrypt more data information and can include images, website addresses, and binary data.

RFID tags are considered either active or passive, where the antenna is always waiting to receive a signal from the RFID reader. Active tags are always awake, have their own power source and transmitter, and respond to the RFID reader’s signals. Passive tags are asleep until pinged by a signal, at which point it will then wake up and respond to the RFID reader. You can refer to Imprint’s RFID technology FAQ for more information.

Once you know what kind of barcodes you will be scanning, it’s important to determine if you will need tethered scanners or cordless scanners. Tethered scanners are typically connected to a host computer via USB cable, which powers the scanner. Cordless scanners are portable and typically connect via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi to host computers.

An Option for Any Stage of Business

Zebra has options to support any stage of business growth. From just starting out to facilitating a growing demand, Imprint can help walk you through Zebra’s barcode scanner options.

Starting Out Options

For consumer goods SMBs that are just starting out, the following scanners are good options:

LI2208 in stand

LI2208 Handheld Scanner

      • Scans 1D barcodes only
      • Reads 13 mil 100% UPC barcodes up to 30 in (76.2 cm) away
      • Reads 26 mil 200% UPC barcodes up to 55 in (139.7 cm) away
      • IP42 Sealing

DS8100 Series Handheld Imagers

      • Tethered and cordless options
      • Scan 1D/2D barcodes
      • Reads 13 mil 100% UPC barcodes up to 24 in (61 cm) away
      • High resolution imaging sensor
      • Zebra’s exclusive PRZM Intelligent Imaging technology
      • IP52 Sealing

Durable and Flexible Options

For consumer goods SMBs that are looking for options that provide greater flexibility and durability, the Zebra DS4600 series provides a better option:

      • Capture laser etched direct part marks, high density and low contrast codes, and 4-in wide barcodes
      • Reads 13 mil 100% UPC barcodes up to 8.5 in (21.5 cm) away
      • 800 MHz microprocessor, megapixel sensor
      • Zebra’s exclusive PRZM Intelligent Imaging technology
      • IP52 Sealing
Zebra DS4600

Long-Lasting Options

For consumer goods SMB’s that are wanting professional and long-lasting solutions, and scanners that can withstand sterilization and sanitization measures, the following are the best options to choose from:

The DS3678 scanner

Zebra DS3608

      • Ultra-rugged tethered scanner
      • Scan 1D/2D barcodes up to 5 ft (1.5 m) away
      • High resolution imaging sensor scans damaged barcodes
      • Zebra’s exclusive PRZM Intelligent Imaging technology
      • IP67 Sealing
      • Drop Spec 8 ft (2.4 m) drop to concrete with 5,000 tumbles
      • Extreme temperature rating

Zebra DS3678

      • Ultra-rugged cordless scanner
      • Scan 1D/2D barcodes up to 5 ft (1.5 m) away
      • High resolution imaging sensor scans damaged barcodes
      • Zebra’s exclusive PRZM Intelligent Imaging technology
      • IP67 Sealing
      • Drop Spec 8 ft (2.4 m) drop to concrete with 5,000 tumbles
      • Extreme temperature rating
      • Sealed rugged cradle with IP65 sealing

Fixed RFID Readers

Fixed RFID readers are attached to warehouse doors, a production line, or within a warehouse for easy tracking and inventory automatically. Consider the following:


      • Requires no hard-wire connection.
      • Best for warehouse, manufacturing, and loading dock environments with high-volume pallets and containers.


      • Requires a hard wire connection but provides faster and more accurate reads.
      • Best for back-end applications in retails, warehouse, manufacturing, transportation, and business-class or office environments.
      • Paired with a Linux-based network.
Warehouse worker pulling a pallet

Handheld RFID Readers

Need a portable RFID reader option? Handheld readers are an excellent option for carrying around:


      • Built on the Android platform with a large touch screen and keypad for comfortable, all-day use.
      • Best for omni-channel fulfillment, inventory management, automatic replenishment, control with receiving, trunk stock demo/sample inventory, and pharmaceutical and laboratory inventory.


      • Requires no hard wire connection.
      • Best for long-range, inventory management, item location and tracking, automatic replenishment, cross docking, and control with receiving.

FRD8500 Sled

      • Easily adds UHF RFID tag reading, writing, and locating abilities compatible with your Zebra TC20 RFID-ready mobile computer.
      • Best for inventory management.

Barcode Labeling is an Interconnected System

Cartton rendering of people connected with lines and data points

When you incorporate a complete Zebra Technologies barcode labeling system within your consumer goods business, the process becomes more simplified which enhances operational efficiency. Every aspect of barcode labeling technology creates an interconnected system that can help your company thrive and grow into the future.

Zebra Technologies & Imprint Enterprises have over 30 years of experience each to help move your SMB consumer goods company into a technological future that is more efficient. Zebra is an expert in the barcoding technology field with their rigorous testing of their own products. Zebra has multiple R&D facilities to test their products and is one of the largest converters in the USA for barcode labels.

Imprint Enterprises is a Premiere Solution Partner with Zebra Technologies. Imprint is a company that grows with you, providing your consumer goods business with a total, competitively priced solution. Imprint builds a lifelong relationship with you and your company that is based on quality and trust.

With Zebra & Imprint, there are multiple options to suit your growing needs and your budgetary requirements. From just starting out to a long-lasting solution, Imprint’s specialists can help you determine what it will take to get you where you want to go. You can have a comprehensive barcoding solution that will decrease overall costs, increase efficiency, and achieve higher levels of customer satisfaction.

Contact Imprint Enterprises today to discuss Zebra’s barcode labeling solutions that are best for you.