Ten Most Common Thermal Printing Barcode Problems and How to Prevent Them

The use of thermal and thermal transfer printing continues to rise and many if not most of those labels include barcodes—thermal is a great technology for barcodes, especially variable or one-at-a-time label printing. Robust, industrial grade thermal printers perform well in less than pristine environments such as warehouses, packaging companies and shipping departments. But heavy […]

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Scan Rate as a Basis for Barcode Verification

Recently we were asked to weigh in on an ongoing conversation between a label printer and their customer. The GS1 Databar symbols the printer was producing had an 8 mil X dimension which is necessary to comply with the GS1 guidelines. The customer wanted the printer to use a smaller X dimension to reduce the […]

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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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