Barcodes are an integral part of almost every business. They are easy to use, quick and efficient to scan and can contain several types of information. It is difficult to imagine efficient shipping, warehousing and tracking of products without them.
Barcodes were introduced commercially and tested in supermarkets in the mid-1970s. By the Mid-1980s, they were in use in almost every industry. Their use has continued to expand ever since.
During these early years though, there were a lot of problems with code readability. There were basic standards that dealt with the formatting of the barcode, but none that addressed the quality of the barcode image. Thus, a new standard was created in 1990, called ANSI.
The ANSI standard uses scanning to measure the image quality of a label based on 8 characteristics, including the contrast between the white and dark parts of the code, minimum reflectance, which measures if the dark parts of the code are dark enough, the ease of decodability, the amount of uninterrupted white space around the code, or ‘quiet zone’ and defects that may be present in the code, such as a black bar having different shades of black in it.
Use of the ANSI (as well as the ISO/IEC) standard can help you avoid many headaches. If a barcode is not up to ANSI or ISO/IEC standards, it may result in an incorrect reading. The consequences can range the slowing down of the shipping process due to rescanning and/or relabeling, all the way to lost inventory.
Investing in a simple Barcode scanning system that allows you to do ANSI quality control on your packaging barcodes before shipping is definitely worth your money. Using the internationally recognized ANSI standard to guarantee perfect identification wherever you ship, is simply good business practice.
Of course, Barcode performance at ANSI standards demands a good quality label and good quality printing as well. This is an area where it is unwise to ‘’cheap out’’. Look for labels that can withstand the rigors of shipping, with durable finish and excellent adherence, so the label can’t peel off, no matter what kind of rough handling, extreme temperatures or humid conditions it encounters.
IMS carries a full line of high quality labelling solutions including labels and printers that can enable you to easily comply with the ANSI standard. We also carry Axicon ISO/IEC scanners systems for ANSI validation.
Don’t let your sales be slowed or sidetracked by possible shipping problems that could easily be avoided. Contact one of our labelling experts. We’ll be happy to help.