Barcode Reader Installation on Machines

Choosing the Barcode Reader

If you are buying your own barcode readers for use on each machine then make sure that they have an RS-232 interface (often sold as an add-on module) that plugs into a standard PC 9 way serial port and that they require a 5V power supply (most do). CIMCO recommend the Symbol LS2208 RS-232 barcode reader and this can be bought complete with the RS-232 module and mounting stand as a kit from CIMCO if required.

Mounting the Barcode Reader

The main consideration when mounting a barcode reader on a CNC machine tool is how the operator will have access to it. There is no point placing a barcode reader on the back of a machine tool if the operator has to leave the control to use it. In most cases the reader should be attached to the side or top of the control panel, near a flat surface to which a barcode chart can be attached.

Drill a hole in the machine cabinet big enough for the barcode reader end of the cable to pass through (it comes away from the barcode reader) and put a rubber grommet in the hole. The RS-232 end of the cable plugs directly into the MDC box. Then feed the cable through the grommet and reconnect to the barcode reader. In some cases it will be necessary to extend the RS-232 lead supplied with the barcode reader which should be done inside the machine cabinet. The flexible stand can then be fixed to the machine by screws or Velcro.

Configuring the Barcode Reader

Once you have setup the machine baud rate you must set the baud rate and stop bits on the barcode reader to match that of the machine. You can either do this on each machine one at a time where the barcode reader is powered from the MDC box or you can pre-program all the barcode readers before installation using an external power supply (CIMCO supply one with the barcode reader for this purpose).

Setup is achieved by powering up the barcode reader and scanning a series of special purpose barcodes from the reference manual. You will need to print the relevant barcode pages from the barcode manual (you can laminate them for later use) in order to scan the baud rate settings.

If you are using the Symbol LS2208 barcode reader recommended by CIMCO, print the following pages from the reference manual and then scan the options as below:

6-6Host Type - Scan Standard RS-232
6-8 & 6-9Baud Rate - Scan the correct baud rate
6-10 & 6-11Parity - Scan parity code (normally Even)
6-12Stop Bits / Data Bits

Adding a CRLF to the End of the Scan

Most barcode readers do not send an end of line (CRLF) by default after the scan. DNC-Max expects this at the end of a string so you will need to print the relevant pages from your manual to do this.

If you are using the Symbol LS2208 barcode scanner then you will need to print the following pages:

13-4 & 13-5Scan Data Transmission Format
Scan "SCAN OPTIONS", then "<DATA><SUFFIX>", then "ENTER"

Once the barcode readers are setup the settings are kept in flash RAM, so you can remove power from them and install them in the machines without losing the settings.

See Appendix A - LS2208 Setup for a two page document which can be printed with all the scan codes needed for the LS2208 barcode readers.

Testing the Barcode Reader

Once programmed, connect the barcode reader into the MDC box in the machine. On the DNC-Max Client, highlight that machine and click the Terminal tab, then on the machine try scanning some barcodes. Use the sample barcodes from the dealer kit or scan a code from the barcode manual. Scan a code and check that you are seeing the appropriate code (e.g. MAX8010) followed by newline (CRLF) on the DNC-Max terminal screen.