# The Definitive Guide to Barcoding

28 de Aug de 2015

### The Definitive Guide to Barcoding

1. The Definitive Guide to Barcoding
2. When implementing a barcoding solution in your business it is important to know exactly what you need. It can be an expensive and time- consuming solution, so researching what you need can help save you time and money. In our latest series we will be discussing barcoding and the various ways it can be used through different industries. This week we will start with the basics and discuss exactly what barcodes are.
3. What are barcodes? A barcode is used to encode information in a visual pattern. A barcode is a small image of lines (bars) and spaces that contains data relating to the object that it is attached to. The barcode can be read through the use of a barcode scanner. The code uses a sequence of vertical bars and spaces to represent number and other symbols. A barcode symbol typically consists of five parts: a quiet zone, a start character, data characters (including an optional check character), a stop character, and another quiet zone. Barcode can come in all sizes but it is important to remember that the smaller the barcode the harder it will be for the scanner to read it.
4. The Difference Between 1D and 2D Barcodes: A barcode that represents data by varying widths and spacing of parallel lines, is referred to as either linear or one dimensional (1D). There are several variations of 1D barcodes and some encode only numbers while others can encode any keyboard character. All the information in the code is organised from left to right. 1D barcodes can fit 20 – 25 characters.
5. 2D barcodes are slightly more complex. The barcode is represented with rectangles, dots, hexagons, and other geometric patterns. All the information in a 2D barcode is organised horizontally and vertically. This allows there to be much more information stored on this code – up to 2,000 characters – while taking up less space than a linear barcode. Although 2D codes use a variety of symbols they are still referred to as barcodes.
6. Variations of 1D Barcodes: There are many different 1D barcode types available so it is important to know exactly what one is best for you.
7. UPC Code: These codes are used to label and scan consumer at the point-of-sale, mainly in the USA, but also in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and some other countries. The UPC-A variation encodes 12 numerical digits while UPC- E is a smaller variation, which encodes only 6 numerical digits. Industry: Retail Variations: UPC-A, UPC-E
8. EAN Code: These codes are also used to label consumer goods worldwide for point-of-sale scanning, primarily in Europe. They look similar to UPC codes, and the main distinction is their geographical application. While EAN-13 (made up of 13 digits) is the default form factor, you’ll find EAN-8 (covering 8 digits) barcodes on products where there is only limited space available, like small candles. Industry: Retail Variation: EAN-13, EAN-8, JAN-13, ISBN, ISSN
9. Code 39: These are used to label goods across many industries, and are often found in the automotive industry. They allow the use of both digits and characters, and the name originates in the face that it can only encode 39 characters– though in its most recent version the character set has been increased to 43. It’s similar to, but not as compact as the Code 128 barcode. Industry: Automotive
10. Code 128: These barcodes are compact, high density codes used in logistics, and transportation industries for ordering and distribution. They’re geared toward non-POS products, like when supply chain applications label units with serial shipping container codes. Code 128 barcodes are powerful and can store diversified information because they support any character of the ASCII 128 character set. Industry: Supply Chain
11. ITF (or Interleaved 2 of 5): These are used to label packaging materials across the globe. Since they can deal with high printing tolerances, they are good for printing on corrugated cardboard. ITF barcodes encode 14 numeric digits and use the full ASCII set. Industry: Packaging
12. Code 93: These are used in logistics to identify packages in retail inventory, label electronic components, and even provide supplementary delivery information for the Canadian post. Like Code 39, it comes with full ASCII support, but it improves upon complements Code 39. It enables additional security within the barcode itself, and its high density and compact size makes its labels around 25% shorter than barcodes produced in Code 39. Industry: Retail, Manufacturing and Logistics
13. Variations of 2D Barcodes: QR Codes: 2D matrix barcodes with a strong consumer focus, often used in tracking and marketing such as advertisements, magazines, and business cards. Free to use, flexible in size, a high fault tolerance, and a fast readability, though they can’t be read with a laser scanner. QR codes support four different modes of data: numeric, alphanumeric, byte/binary, and Kanji. Industry: Retail, Entertainment, and Advertising
14. Datamatrix Codes: These barcodes are used to label small items, goods and documents. Their tiny footprint makes them ideal for small products in logistics and operations. In fact, the US Electronic Industries Alliance (EIA) recommends that they be used to label small electronic components, Similar to QR codes, they have high fault tolerance and fast readability. Variation: Micro-Datamatrix Industry, Electronics and Retail