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Optical bar-code detection systems are not usable for goods management in dirty factories or in outdoor environments. For such applications, a novel bar-code scanner with a tape-automated-bonding (TAB) head structure, which allows highly sensitive detection and increased height detection, has been developed. with this scanner the gap between the magnetoresistive sensor and the scanner head tip is reduced to half of that in a conventional head scanner. This structure is effective for recognizing a high-density bar code at a 0.15-mm-higher detection height than in a conventional bar-code scanner. Using a grooved bar code plate with two different groove structures reduces mutual magnetic interference, and the detection height is improved by 0.05 mm compared to a single-groove structure. It was experimentally confirmed that the newly developed bar-code scanner with a TAB head structure is not affected at all by contaminating substances.