Accurate, functioning bar code symbols have become a critical requirement at all stages of the supply chain – especially as manufacturers, suppliers, and retailers all need to meet stringent compliance targets. Poor quality bar code symbols can lead to losses in productivity, massive shipping returns, and even supplier fines. Using a Barcode verifier during printing, application or before shipment saves time, money and trouble
VisionID will supply you with Barcode Verifiers from industry leaders like Cognex and Honeywell so you can streamline and upgrade your PQV process.
Ensuring your printed barcodes meet the strict international compliance targets will keep your supply chain running smoothly, and your products distributed with the confidence that suppliers and retailers alike will benefit from quick and easy barcode scanning.
What is a Barcode Verifier?
Using a scanner to test a barcode will only tell you if it can be read by that particular scanner. This can cause problems where the barcode needs to be read by a different type of scanner in a different location.
Barcode Verifiers generalise the criteria necessary to determine if a barcode is universally readable. This cuts out asset management and tracking issues, meaning the supply chain operates smoothly.
There are international standards for measuring and grading the quality of printed barcodes, known as ISO/EIC standards. They define the techniques required for conventional linear barcodes, 2D barcodes such as Data Matrix, and QR codes.
What is Print Quality Verification?
When barcodes are printed minor printing mistakes start to affect the readability of the barcode. This affects all types of barcode data matrix and all standard 1D barcodes. If these errors are not corrected at the point of printing it could be that a batch of goods or even a whole product can be rejected for sale by a retailer.
In order to combat this issue a barcode verifier is used to check various parameters against a set of predefined rules. PQA verification does not provide exact module measurements; it does however provide a graded (A-F) listing for Data matrix and 2D requirements.
It will measure seven different parameters of the printed barcode, before assigning it a grade, which runs from a 4.0 down to a 0 – 4.0 being the best, 1.5 being the pass grade for most barcodes, and 0 being a fail.
The parameters to be measured are:
- Symbol Contrast
This refers to how black or white the barcode appears to a scanner.
- Minimum Reflectance
This refers to whether the dark bars have enough difference from the white space.
- Edge Contrast Minimum
This identifies the least distinct difference between a black bar and a white space
This refers to how much the black/white contrast varies across the barcode
Identifies whether there are white marks in the black bars, or black marks in the white spaces
Identifies how accurate the different widths of the bars and spaces are
This will check to see if the light margins on each side, the check digit, and the encodation of data are correct
Each parameter is given an individual grade, which in turn is amalgamated into a final grade. The American ANSI grades are listed A-F, and are equivalent to the ISO/IEC grades in the following manner: