EMP Tech Tips

Label Material and Read Range

Label Material and Read Range | White Paper Vs. Retroreflective Material

One of our customers was looking for some guidance on how to label their warehouse. Specifically, they asked about the relationship between label material and read range. Manufacturer specifications are helpful guidelines, but we prefer to supplement them with real-world data whenever possible.  Knowing that the objective was to scan barcodes on tall warehouse racks up to 30’-40’ away, we chose the Motorola Lorax Long Range Laser and a few low density (wide bars = large barcode) barcode samples to test.  Since one of the key variables that determines the maximum read range is the contrast between the bars and spaces, we tested on both white and retroreflective labels.  The data below reflect the results we experienced in our shop.  We also recommended to our customer that we perform similar testing in their environment before labeling their entire warehouse.

White Paper

  • 50mil C39 – 3” x 8” label – 11’ max scan distance
  • 75mil C39 – 3” x 12” label – 17’ max scan distance
  • 100mil C39 – 3” x 14” label – 19’ max scan distance

Retroreflective Label

  • 50mil C39 – 3” x 8” label – 26’ max scan distance
  • 75mil C39 – 3” x 12” label – 40’ max scan distance
  • 100mil C39 – 3” x 14” label – 54’ max scan distance
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