When Barcodes Break…

January 17, 2013
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barcodesAt first look it wouldn’t appear that  barcodes could stop working effectively. After all they are just a mass of black and white lines and numbers. There they are sitting ready to go on your product. What could possibly go wrong? Well, unfortunately it is how they appear and communicate with the scanner which could cause problems.

When things go wrong…

If the data it is giving back is not 100 % then it could play havoc with your retail check-outs, your manufacturing processes and the ease in which you keep in touch with your stock and inventory. In other areas a barcode not working properly could lead to criminal behaviour or simply ineffective security, access control devices and identification systems.

Because this ineffectiveness will not be easy to spot it is recommended that barcodes are verified and tested on a regular basis. This way any changes can be picked up quickly.

What do you need to test your barcodes for?

So what are you testing a barcode for? What are you looking out for? One issue that needs to be tested is that reflective and colour contrast performance and how accurate it is both in terms of its image integrity and its data structure. Image integrity (i.e. how it is picked up by the scanner) includes such things as the edge quality and widths of its bars and spaces as well as how precisely bars and spaces are positioned relative to each other.

How to test your barcodes

Many managers mistakenly believe they can check the barcodes with the scanner itself. but all scanners are different and cannot be used to check contrast performance. An ISO-compliant bar code verifier can test all of the essential attributes of a printed bar code image and grade it in order to predict how that bar code will perform at the intended destination, whether that’s on a nurse’s crash cart in a hospital, making sure the patient is getting the right medications, tracking inventory movement and doing price look-up for a grocery product in a supermarket, or allowing a legitimate employee to enter a secured zone in a restricted area.

Contact us for support

Still confused? Don’t worry. Tanto Labels are experts in barcode labels and we want to support you in ensuring you choose the correct barcode label for your product and work environment. Just give us a call on 01934 417665

 

 

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