An Introduction To Barcoding Essay

4782 words - 20 pages

BARCODES: WHAT THEY ARE AND HOW THEY ARE IMPLEMENTED Barcoding is the process of identifying and tracking each product using a unique barcode label. The first barcode, a circular design, was patented in 1949. The grocery industry was the leader in wide spread use of this process in the early 1900's. Today, companies in virtually every industry have adopted over 50 different barcode symbologies. Each of the barcode symbologies offers one or more of the following characteristics: robust character set, structural simplicity, generous tolerances for printing and reading, and high data-to-size ratio.Definition of a barcode A barcode is a graphical symbol composed of parallel bars and spaces with ...view middle of the document...

To overcome this problem, a zero must be added to the end of the code. I 2 of 5 is also a fixed length code. The code has two key features. The high-density nature of the code allows a large amount of information to be encoded in a small amount of space. In addition, the code has wide tolerance for printing and scanning meaning general-use printers and scanners can produce and scan it.Codebar Codebar was one of the first non-retail barcodes developed. This form of barcode is now being used exclusively by the photo processing and Health Care industries. Codebar is primarily a numeric code; however, an additional six symbols are used to code the information and the letters a, b, c, and d are used to indicate the beginning and end of the code. Unlike I 2 of 5, this symbology is not continuous.Code 39 Code 39 is probably the most popular industrial barcode format in use today. It can be used to encode uppercase alphabetic, numeric, and special characters. An asterisk (*) is used to designated the beginning and end of the code. Similar to I 2 of 5, the code uses a pattern of narrow and wide bars and spaces to encode a single character. Therefore, there is no restriction on the length of each character. There is also a full ASCII version of the code that can handle lowercase letters. The major advantages of Code 39 are the high level of data security provided by the self-checking feature and the wide tolerance for printing and scanning.Code 128 Code 128 is more complex, yet versatile than any code discussed thus far. Code 128 uses three different character sets. The first set encodes all uppercase characters and all ASCII control characters, the second set encodes all upper and lowercase characters, and the third set encodes all numeric characters. Through the use of four different bar and space widths, as compared to two used by I 2 of 5, a single code symbol can contain a few character sets. As a result, this code requires more sophisticated printing and decoding technologies. Code 128 is used by UPS in their package-tracking process.EVOLUTION OF THE BARCODE The first barcode was patented around the time of the initial introduction of computers. At the time, electronic parts were scarce and very expensive, which made the use of barcodes complicated and costly. Today, barcodes can be found in every aspect of our lives.The development of barcodes Why are there so many different types of barcodes? Different symbologies have been developed to replace or improve existing, inefficient codes. When barcode technology was first developed, Simple Code 2 of 5 could only read up to four digits. Then the number of readable digits increased to 12 with the introduction of the Universal Product Code (UPC). The UPC code was developed to meet the needs of grocery retailing. As the size and cost of computerized technology decreases, more information can be stored in a smaller barcode. Code 39 was later developed to meet the need to encode the alphabet in addition to...

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