We have many customers worldwide who integrate badge readers with the L2L Dispatch Smart Manufacturing Platform for the purpose of checking in operators against a production line using their corporate employee badge. These badges could be RFID cards, standard 1D barcodes, or 2D QR codes.
The process is rather simple and easy to do using our API, and this is based on how most Badge Readers and Scanners work as a keyboard wedge. A hardware keyboard wedge is a device that “wedges” between the keyboard and computer unit and converts the data read by the reader or scanner into keyboard data. When you use a keyboard wedge barcode scanner or RFID reader, it will convert all of the barcode characters to keyboard keystrokes to send them to your application. The computer actually thinks that any data scanned or reader is being typed in on the keyboard directly. These scanners either fit in line with your keyboard cable or connect directly to your computer using USB.
A simple integration application here could prompt the user to scan their badge and then listen for the keyboard input to capture the badge data. Then send that badge data, via our API, to look up the user and check the user into the production line.
L2L Badge Reader example application
We've created a simple python command line application to demonstrate this functionality. You can find our example code on Github.com:
This application uses the clock_in_by_externalid API call to look up the user's badge information in the externalID field of the L2L User record to check the user into the configured production line.
This simple application can be used today to get you started. It also provides a good foundation for more sophisticated use cases.
Other uses of scanners
The versatility of these "keyboard wedge" scanners and readers allows users to interact directly with the L2L Dispatch Smart Manufacturing Platform directly. Users can scan part numbers directly into search fields or scan standard codes and descriptions from a "cheat sheet" to simplify data entry. This functionality combined with our easy-to-use Rest Based Webservice API allows for a whole host of customer applications and integrations that companies can leverage to solve their own unique business needs.