Know the different packaging barcodes

Barcode-imageThere are two types of barcodes, either linear or 2D barcodes, which meet the needs of the packaging industry. These are available in various formats.

Universal Product Code (UPC) is the original barcode format. This linear code is made up of a strip of black bars on a white space above a sequence of numbers. It includes a 12 digit-encoded UPC-A. A compressed seven digit encoded variation, UPC-E, has been created for smaller formats. 

The European Article Number (EAN) barcode is often the first choice for products sold internationally. Globally accepted, EAN barcodes include an additional digit on each variant, which enable countries around the world to be included in the system. EAN-13 is the original format, while EAN-8 is the compressed format for smaller product packaging.

A 14-digit barcode, the ITF-14 barcode is commonly used for printing on corrugated cartons because it maintains high print tolerances. 

Code 128 is a high density linear barcode. It can be encoded with alphanumeric or numeric only coding. It is extremely reliable and widely used globally. The GS1-128 can be encoded with additional information such as lot numbers and expiry dates to improve supply chain traceability and efficiency. This barcode is ideal for the shipping and packaging industries as an identification code for containers.

There are a variety of 2D barcodes. Quick response (QR) codes consist of black modules spread across a white square grid. They offer fast readability, large storage capacity and can support different data sets. They make tracking and identifying products easy, using cameras and smart phones. Once a QR code is scanned, it instantly links to a website or page that provides product information or purchase options.
DataMatrix barcodes have black and white modules spaced over a grid. They are similar to QR codes. The benefit of DataMatrix barcodes is their smaller footprint, making them effective for logistics or where product whitespace is restricted. These types of barcodes hold large amounts of easily accessible data usually scanned using cameras or smart phones.

MaxiCodes are image device-readable symbols for tracking and managing shipment packs. They appear similar to QR and DataMatrix barcodes. These codes comprise dots arranged hexagonally in a grid. Because of the way they are scanned, from virtually any orientation, it’s possible to include primary and secondary messages that include many data types.

PDF417 codes are more effective than other 2D barcodes because of the vast data they can store. These rectangular shaped codes can be adjusted by setting the width to determine the height of the data. PDF417 codes can be used for many applications, including on labelling for hazardous materials.

Information supplied by  Pyrotec PackMark

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