So your company has finally made the decision to make a change in your packaging quality control process and to invest in a barcode verifier. It’s not just the fact that manual barcode inspection is an extremely inefficient task, it is also very risky and has caused many businesses to lose millions of dollars.

Barcode verification software reduces this risk and saves time. But the amount of risk it reduces and how it will help you minimize the time spent in the quality control process, all depends on how well the software is built.

Before moving forward, it’s important to clear one thing right at the beginning. Barcode Verification is completely different from barcode scanning. You might or might not know this, so let’s clear it up.

A Barcode Scanner VS A Barcode Verifier

A barcode scanner uses a technology device such as a laser beam, and even your smartphone to scan a barcode. It scans one barcode at a time, and it only reads the data on it. That’s it! It does NOT analyze the data, it can’t detect data errors or defects,  it isn’t manufactured to the ISO/IEC 15426-1 standard, and it can’t read more than one barcode at a time.

A barcode verifier, on the other hand, can do all of the above mentioned (which a scanner won’t do) for multiple barcodes at a time.

It’s important that you know what you can and should expect from a barcode verification system. So before you make the final decision about the software your company is going to invest in, there are some crucial things you must remember.

Based on the experiences of other enterprises, which have been there where you are now, and the experiences around, which all well-built packaging quality assurance software is developed; here are a few tips and questions to keep in mind in your project scope.

Does the software for inspecting barcodes guarantee maximum time efficiency?

A barcode verifier must be able to scan and detect multiple different barcodes at a time. It must also be able to detect any changes made during the artwork production, printing and digital exchange of files. It should be able to detect any unintentional change, even by comparing a digital graphic to an upside down word file. You should be able to rely on your barcode inspection system to protect you from any accidental occurrences of error, through reporting – as proof that errors were not made on your end during the barcode file exchanges with other companies or clients.

Is the software able to verify and grade all industry specific barcode types?

A well-developed barcode verification software must support all or most industry specific barcode types and symbologies.

Barcode types:

  • 1D and 2D UPC
  • Data Matrix
  • QR

The following are industry specific barcode symbologies:

  • Retail
    • UPC Code
    • EAN Code
    • Code 93
    • GS1 DataBar
    • MSI PLESSEY
    • QR Code
    • DataMatrix Code
  • Healthcare
    • CodaBar
    • GS1 DataBar
  • Logistics
    • Code 93
    • CodaBar
    • PDF417
  • Defense and Automotive
    • Code 39
  • Supply chain
    • Code 128
  • Packaging
    • ITF (Interleaved 2 OF 5)
  • Manufacturing
    • Code 93
  • Education
    • CodaBar
  • Entertainment and Advertising
    • QR Code
  • Electronics
    • DataMatrix Code
  • Transportation
    • AZTEC

Can the barcode verifier help you setup your printer so that it prints the correct barcodes each time?

Barcode inspection should be carried out more than once during the process, especially before printing or B2B exchange. You’re looking to print error free packaging and barcodes on the first time print job. So each time a file is changed; from text to art-work, from art-work to print-ready and finally to printing, you should be able to inspect multiple different barcodes at once.

This way you reduce the time spent on proofreading, approval, and verification, and the risk of printing files with errors.

Automated packaging quality control software with a barcode inspection feature speeds up your process reducing errors at each phase. It can be integrated with your workflow system, enabling you to set up your scanners and printers to scan and print error free files.

Is the barcode inspection system produced according to the ISO/IEC 15426-1 standard and does it guarantee maximum risk reduction?

There is a global standard, with defined specifications, which has been set up in order to ensure maximum process control and quality assurance. The barcode verifier, which you decide to invest in, MUST be produced according to the ISO/IEC 15426-1 standard and it MUST guarantee maximum risk reduction.

Your software for verifying barcodes should be able to provide you with comprehensive reports. So, in case errors occur during the B2B exchange, you’re able to provide proof that the errors didn’t occur on your end.

Is the barcode verifier able to detect that the barcode value matches the product?

As well as detecting errors, the quality of a barcode, speeding up the process and ensuring correct first-time print jobs; a barcode verifier must be able to detect that barcode value matches the product and that unintentional barcode mix-up hasn’t occurred during the creation of the packaging art-work. This is extremely important, especially in industries such as nutrition and health care.

Did you find these tips useful?

In general, these are considered the most important questions to pay attention to during the decision making process for investing in a barcode verifier. Of course, additional requirements will exist based on your industry and company workflow.

If you work for a big time company, you may want to consider investing in an all in one packaging quality control automation software which ensures maximum efficiency and risk reduction and most certainly guarantees a return on your investment.

Want to contribute to rabidofficemonkey.com? Check out our writer’s guidelines at rabidofficemonkey.com/write-for-us/.

Facebook Twitter Google+