Barcoding is the most used technology to identify goods, objects and people and to capture data. A barcode is printed with the suitable printer (laser printers, lijn matrix printers, thermische barcode printers, etc.) and then applied manually or automatically. After that, the barcode can be read with the right readers or scanners, or with an imager.
1D or linear barcodes consist of a number of parallel vertical lines with different widths and interspace. This form of barcodes is the oldest and has been used since the 1970s.
In the meantime, 2D barcodes - or matrix codes - have been developed as well. The best kown vesion is the QR (Quick Response) code. These 2D barcodes consist of a grid with square dots. The can store far more information because they use both the horizontal and vertical space.
In order to read barcodes, the right symbology (see Wikipedia) for the particular application is used to map the message with the barcode: e.g. the EAN International-Uniform Code Council (EAN-UCC) is used in worldwide retail.
Scanning of barcodes can be done in two ways: either with a laser scanner (pen or hand-held) or with an imager. The laser scanner can read 1D barcodes with a laser beam. An imager on the other hand works as a camera that takes a picture of the barcode and then the decoding is done with specific software. Imagers can read both 1D and 2D barcodes.
The success of the barcode application depends largely on the quality of the printing and the accuracy of the scanning. In order to grade the quality of the barcodes there are barcode verifyers that assign a quality category.
Contact PHI DATA® today with your questions around barcoding. We will be able to present to you the right solution for your application.