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
Barcode verifiers are the bridge between creating the barcode image and successful, accurate and efficient scan rates, an important part of any barcode system. Once used exclusively by large printing houses and / or major label vendors, barcode verifiers are now commonly used for on-site demand printing as well as on warehouse receiving docks. These quality control instruments grade a barcode symbol’s print quality based upon published criteria. Some verifiers also provide results based on industry application standards to ensure conformance to National, Industrial and International standards.
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.
- Fixed Patterns (checking that the code is laid out correctly, checking the finder patterns and timing patterns)
- Data Safety Margin (making sure enough error correction is used)
- Horizontal Print Growth (the variation in the printed modules horizontally)
- Vertical Print Growth (the variation in the printed modules vertically)
Additional data that is reported is:
- The size in modules of the Data matrix barcode
- The error correction mode used i.e. ECC200
- How much data is present? 8. How many error correction checks are used?
- There is also an X measurement of the module size (this depends on distance from and the angle at which the code is being read)
- The actual code being read.
Barcode Verifiers are used to check the validity of barcodes that are printed and to predict how well the barcode is created in relation to industry standards. A barcode verifier will decode, measure and check the format of a barcode and grade the results so that corrective action may be implemented.