Inline Verifiers–Necessary or Overkill?

Thinking about LabelExpo Americas last week, although I don’t have show statistics it felt like attendance was up from previous years. I saw more emphasis on inline verifiers than I have seen in the past. This is interesting to me because I am skeptical about its effectiveness. Surely there are circumstances where 100% automated, unattended […]

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Inconsistent Verifier Results: Defects

We were recently invited to a flexo printer who was getting inconsistent verifier results. The barcode was a UPC on a clear poly bag. When the symbols were tested on the flat, white substrate in the light box, they graded much worse than if the operator held the barcodes in the palm of his hand. […]

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Barcode Verification: Protect Important Partnerships

We have all heard a legion of tales about the importance of barcode verification. Many of the stories follow a similar path: verify and prevent problems—end of story. But in the real world that is not always the end of the story—it often is more interesting than that. Here is one such scenario. XYZ Labels […]

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How to Create a Stress Free Barcode Quality Audit

A barcode audit can be one of the most stressful things a vendor will experience, be it a retail, healthcare or a manufacturing supply system. A stress free barcode quality audit is the result of good internal practices and good external communications. Audits are an increasingly frequent occurrence in a world where barcodes support ever […]

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Barcode Names: What Do They Mean?

[Note to people who call all barcodes “UPC” and all photo-copiers “Xerox machines”-- don’t bother reading any further—this article will not interest you.] Not all barcode names have significance—UPC or Universal Product Code and Data Matrix, for example, are just generic names with no intrinsic meaning. Other barcode names are much more descriptive and interesting–at […]

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Five QR Code Myths Dispelled

QR Code myths abound, as do articles about them. Our concern is the mythology surrounding QR Code from a quality standpoint. For example, we recently saw—and commented on—an article about a new graphics design technique that makes QR Code less obtrusive and more “harmonious” with the graphic it accompanies. The QR Code examples that accompanied […]

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Printing Barcodes on Difficult Surfaces

Printing barcodes on difficult surfaces  can be confusing because we don’t expect some substrates to be problematic. We received a call recently from a client who was printing 1D barcodes with a thermal transfer printer on what they described as a metallic silver label. We suspect it was a silver-colored mylar, but no matter—the barcodes […]

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2014 Automatic Identification Teacher’s Institute

Just back from the 2014 Automatic Identification Teacher’s Institute which convened at the University of Memphis. This great AIDC industry event recent relocated from its previous home at Ohio University in Athens, OH. This year Barcode-Test co-presented a workshop on barcode verification to a large group of attendees including professors from engineering and technology departments […]

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Bar Code Match in Packaging

In its fullest sense, bar code quality is a broader topic than just the quality of the printed image. There are two additional considerations where the bar code plays an important role. One of them is what I call validation: making sure the encoded data in the bar code is on the right package. The […]

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The Perfect Universal Verifier

The Perfect Universal Verifier First let’s define terms:  a “universal” verifier is one that tests both 1D or linear barcodes and 2D or matrix symbols. UPC, Code 128 and ITF14 are examples of 1D barcodes; QR Code and Data Matrix Code are examples of 2D symbols.  Having been in the barcode business—and the barcode quality […]

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