Barcodes can contain images

A summary - useful knowledge about barcodes

We clarify the basic questions here:

What is a barcode?

A barcode, tooBars and barcode called is abinary code and belongs to the category of 1D barcodes. These consist of printed lines / bars and gaps.

How does a barcode work?

To decipher a barcode, a barcode reader / barcode scanner is used to read the width of the printed bars and the non-colored gaps between them with a laser or LED. This happens via reflections of the light and dark distances. The scanner transmits the character string, which can be numeric or alphanumeric, to an IT system. This can interpret and provide the information encoded in the barcode.

The actual information in the barcode is therefore quite short and only a code.

Barcodes should include self-verification. This is made possible by the fact that the number of thin and thick bars per digit is the same. The self-check is then carried out by counting the bars. In addition, a check digit can also denote the.
Most barcodes begin with a start and end with a stop character. The scanner is signaled here where the reading should begin and where it should end. The check digit is placed in front of the stop character. If the check digit matches the digit calculated by the decoder, if the reading is successful, if it is not, an error is displayed.

What types of barcodes are there?

1D barcode - barcode
Over the years, different types of barcodes have developed, which have been optimized for the individual industries. The barcodes with the greatest benefit have prevailed. Depending on which application, printing method or reading method you use, you select a barcode.
The following examples are currently still the most commonly used barcode types and are subject to a German and European standard.

2D barcodes

Another more specialized type of barcode is the2D barcode or.Batch code. In contrast to the one-dimensional barcode, the information is stored in a small rectangular area, stacked. So not only the X-axis is used to store information, but also the Y-axis. This allows you to store significantly more information. These codes have to be scanned as a whole, and often with a different type of barcode scanner than those used for linear codes. These scanners are called camera scanners or imagers. The image of the 2D barcode is read in and decrypted with an image processing program.

The best-known 2D barcodes are DataMatrix code and QR code. These codes have been used since the late 1980s, but are not nearly as widespread as the barcode - despite the fact that they are more robust and more reliable to read despite being damaged.

Bar coding symbol specificationuseexample
DataMatrixCompact code that can reconstruct data even if 25% of the code is damaged and thus remains readable. An error correction algorithm is responsible for this. Can only be read in with image processing systems.
QR codeCan still be read in even if 30% of the area is destroyed. Can also be read in with camera phones and smartphones, which makes it interesting to use when addressing customers.
PDF 417Suitable for ID cards, shipping, transport, warehouse, distribution. Compact and flexible in height and width. Can be scanned with a conventional reader if the decoder has been expanded.

Other types of barcodes

There are also3D and 4D barcodeswhich have been rarely used so far. The third dimension of 3D barcodes is achieved through colors. This works with color saturation and brightness of the color. 4D barcodes are animated barcodes that use time as a dimension. A sequence of different barcodes is played, which results in a composite piece of information. The advantage here is the transmission of significantly more information.

How and where are barcodes used?

The areas of application are very diverse and the barcode can hardly be imagined without the modern link to the flow of information. Barcodes allow control, monitoring, tracking, automation, simplification and optimization in company processes.

We all know barcodes from theSupermarket. The cashier swipes the barcode printed on a product over the scanner. With aBeep he receives a read confirmation and the price and the name of the product appear at the checkout. On the one hand, there is the advantage of faster checkout, with less susceptibility to errors, but on the other hand there is also the great advantage that the exit is recorded from the inventory so that goods on the shelf can be replenished and reordered in good time.

In theIndustry Process information is collected via barcodes and recorded in the IT system (merchandise management system). In production and in the warehouse, the scanner uses barcodes to identify: components, assemblies and / or finished products. The production process can be tracked on the computer, and parts can be reordered, reproduced and replenished. When the goods are then transported, the movement of goods can be precisely and easily documented using barcodes.

You can also use your own inventory, systems and devices in a companyInventory labels equipped with a barcode. This facilitates inventory and inventory. Information on the date of purchase, depreciation, etc. can be stored in the code and easily accessed and counted during the inventory using a scanner.

In the pharmaceutical sector and production, 2D barcodes have also been used for a number of years. But today you can see them more and more often in theeveryday life. You can with oneScanned cell phone and you get to a website, for example, via the stored data.

How can barcodes be created?

The professional way is a suitable onesoftware such as the BarTender. This makes it easy to create and print barcodes / labels. The software can access databases or Excel tables for the creation of barcodes, characters and graphics can be inserted, variables can be created, quiet zones (gap between the colored bars) can be checked and thus the function of the barcode or readability can be ensured and it can be checked whether the data is valid for the barcode, i.e. whether it corresponds to the specified format.

There is also the possibility to get oneGenerate barcode online allow. Software should be used for professional use.

How do you print barcode labels?

The advantage of barcodes lies in the high reading speed, avoidance of errors and processing of the information. Of course, these advantages can only be used if the barcode is also read in error-free by a barcode reader. Good pressure is required for this. You need a high degree of contour sharpness. The best results are achieved by aLabel printing companythat can match the color and label material to one another according to individual needs and wishes, or elseLabel printerwith thermal transfer or thermal direct printing technology. Print shops can produce very large quantities, but with the label printer you are independent and can quickly print just a few labels. Which label printer and printing technology you choose depends mainly on which label you need, how long it should be durable, which DPI number you need, which quantities, etc.

With a high-quality barcode reader, the advantages of barcode labels can be fully exploited in the end.

Categories General informationTags 1D barcode, 2D barcode, barcode, barcode, barcode types, barcode labels, binary code, batch code, barcode