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Barcode Verification – How it Works

By aisltd, Wednesday, 17th April 2019 | 0 comments
Filed under: Publications.

In today’s post we are looking at the importance of barcode verification and why you might need to purchase a barcode verifier. We offer a range of Omron Microscan verifiers to suit all Barcode verification needs.

Barcode verifiers were first designed back in the 1990’s as a way to implement ISO standards. This method predicts how well your barcodes can scan. Early barcode verifiers were difficult to use but throughout the years they have become more user friendly. Barcodes have become the key to improving productivity and data collection and barcode print quality verification is now mandatory. Using barcode verification is the only way to determine if and how well your barcodes can be read by others. Just because you can scan it with your barcode scanner does not mean that your customers barcode scanner will be able to. There is a difference between verification and scanning and we explain this further down.

Getting Your Barcodes Right

It is essential that your barcodes are right. Barcodes are the primary method for collecting accurate information. They must be 100% correct at all times. A nurse will scan a pharmaceutical barcode to make sure it’s right before giving it to a patient, products are scanned in shops and supermarkets around the world to determine the price, etc. There are different verification grades that must be adhered to as well.

Barcode Verification Grades

  • ISO A 3.5 or Greater: This should scan on the first pass almost instantly. This is the best grade to have.
  • ISO B 2.5 – 3.5: This will read after 1 or 2 scans. This is the minimum requirement for heavily automated manufacturers and is the recommended target for automated conveyor scanning.
  • ISO C 1.5 – 2.5: This is the minimum quality and it may take a few scans for the barcode to be read. It is the minimum standard for most organizations.
  • ISO D 0.5 – 1.5: Because of the low contrast, ITF-14 barcodes printed on  fibreboard are allowed a grade D. They can cause difficulty with some barcode scanners though.
  • ISO F 0 – 0.5: This is a fail and should not be used. This grade cannot be relied on and should not be used.

How Does Barcode Verification Work?

The inspection methods used for barcode verification are contained in the ISO specifications. To verify a barcode you must scan it 10 times for each barcode symbol. Barcode verifiers have software that analyses the information in the scan and measures this against the grade parameters that affect the barcode quality. There are a number of different parameters too, including Edge Contracts Modulation (MOD), Minimum Reflectance (Rmin), Maximum Element Reflectance, Non-Uniformity (ERN), etc. Everything is completed by the barcode verifiers software to give you the overall grade and how well your barcode can be scanned.

Scanning Vs. Barcode Verification

There are numerous types of barcode readers and behind each of them, is software that interprets what the reader has seen. There are literally thousands of different barcode scanners and configurations in use and you need all of them to be able to scan your barcodes.

If you use a barcode scanner to do your testing, the only thing you will know is that your scanner can read it. This is where barcode verification comes into play and why barcode verifiers are so important. They let you scan and test your barcodes to ensure that they meet industry standards and you can be sure that once verified, your barcodes can be read in any location using any barcode scanner.

For more information, be sure to check out our range of barcode scanners and barcode verifiers.