Compliance Initiatives Expected to Boost Shipments for AIDC Scanners

Aug. 1, 2003
Natick, Massachusetts - Over the last two years, growth in bar code scanner shipments has remained flat with sales to the retail sector suffering the

Natick, Massachusetts - Over the last two years, growth in bar code scanner shipments has remained flat with sales to the retail sector suffering the most- largely due to the decline in stationary POS scanner shipments. However, research supporting Venture Development Corporation's "Global AIDC Industry Business Planning Service 2003" provides evidence that global hand held and stationary bar code scanner markets will sustain annual growth of approximately 8% through 2007. VDC anticipates the 2003 bar code scanner market to reach $1.4 billion.

Global AIDC Bar Code Scanner Market

Hand Held Bar Code Scanners

2003 Total: $709.6 Million

Laser: 57.20%

Linear Imager: 31.10%

Arrayed Imager: 6.90%

Pen/Wand: 4.80%

Stationary Bar Code Scanners

2003 Total: $695.4 Million

POS: 43.50%

Industrial Laser: 38.50%

Industrial CCD: 18.00%

According to Taylor Smith, VDC AIDC Analyst, "Emerging technologies and initiatives including Sunrise 2005, the forthcoming U.S. FDA's unit-of-use coding regulation, and the adoption of reduced space symbology (RSS) coding are expected to serve as key growth drivers for stationary and hand held bar code scanners over the next four years." In examining the current and future AIDC scanner market, primary influential trends include:

Pending F.D.A. regs sparking AIDC investment throughout U.S. health care market: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) unit-of-use coding standard should be issued by the end of 2003. Coupled with the immaturity of AIDC solutions within the health care market, this standard provides ample growth opportunities in an otherwise penetrated AIDC scanner market. Hospitals and other health care service providers are already adopting scanning systems for point-of-care and inventory control applications to decrease the number of medical errors, improve efficiency, and lower costs.

Device mobility leading end-user selection criteria: Seeking to increase efficiency and reduce labor costs, many companies are installing cordless technology. Through technological wireless developments such as 802.1x and Bluetooth the ROI/COO of hand held, wireless devices is declining. Further adoption is expected, particularly in field sales/service and mail/courier applications, as suppliers continue to manufacturer lower-cost, multi-functional products that target the mobile workforce.

GTIN standards driving upgrade and replacement shipments for scanners: Sunrise 2005 is bolstering upgrade and replacement shipments of POS scanners in North America as retailers improve systems to handle 13-digit codes. GTIN compliancy, the ability to read and process 14-digit codes such as RSS, is expected to positively affect worldwide scanner shipments for retail and manufacturing applications as end users demand an increasing amount of data within a smaller footprint.

Dual-purpose RFID/bar code scanner solutions providing growth opportunities: With RFID and bar codes increasingly being viewed as complementary identification solutions, cross-technology product development will serve as a mean of competitive differentiation. Several companies have already developed hand held scanning devices capable of reading bar codes and interrogating RFID transponders for applications such as pallet/crate tracking, box identification, and WIP tracking.

Founded in 1971, VDC is a technology market research and consulting firm that specializes in industrial and commercial electronics, computing, communications, software and power systems markets. For more information, visit