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In order to construct a shorter, more efficient sentence, I am combining multiple verbs with a single object phrase. Take the following sentence, for example:

"Sally discusses an automated system having an apparatus for scanning and transmitting bar codes from a remote location to a central computer."

This is more compact than the following sentence:

"Sally discusses an automated system having an apparatus for scanning bar codes at a remote location and transmitting the scanned bar codes from the remote location to a central computer."

But is the first construction grammatically correct? It seems that there is some problem, as "scanning" an "transmitting" do not connect with the object phrase "bar codes from a remote location to a central computer" in the same way. That is, "scanning" applies to "bar codes" but "transmitting" applies to "bar codes from a remote location to a central computer." Is this a problem?

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Your alternative to the compact sentence is much too long. It should read

... scanning bar codes at a remote location and transmitting them to a central computer.

It's not much longer than

... scanning and transmitting bar codes from a remote location to a central computer,

and I think it's quite a bit easier to understand, for exactly the reasons that you point out in your question.

The fact that the first sentence above is much easier to understand makes me doubt the grammaticality of the second one. It certainly is not the best way to phrase this.

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