A - B - C - D - E - F - G -
H - I - J - L - M - N - O -
P - Q - R - S - T - U - V -
W - X
2D - Two-Dimensional bar code
802.11 - IEEE 801.11 Standard for Wireless LAN Interoperability
Active Tag - Active Tags are radio frequency identification devices which
for their operation
AI - Application
AIDC - Automatic Identification and Data Capture
AIM - Automatic Identification Manufacturers, Inc., the worldwide association
representing the AIDC industry, is the source for technically accurate,
unbiased, commercial-free, and up-to-date information on all AIDC
Alignment - In an automatic identification system, the
relative position and orientation of a scanner to the symbol
A/N - See
Alphanumeric - The character set which contains letters,
numbers and may contain other characters such as punctuation marks or control
ANSI - The American National Standards Institute is a
non-governmental organization responsible for the development of voluntary
Antenna - In a radio frequency identification system,
the antenna is the device which radiates and/or receives the RF
Aperture - The opening in an optical system (scanner) implemented
by a physical baffle that establishes the field of view
ASCII - The
character set and code described in American National Standard Code for
Information Interchange, ANSI X3.4-1977. Each ASCII character is encoded with
7-bits (8 bits including parity check). The ASCII character set is used for
information interchange between data processing systems, communication systems,
and associated equipment. The ASCII set consists of both control and printing
ASN - Advanced Shipping Notice
Aspect Ratio - In a bar
code symbol, the ratio of bar height to symbol length
- The ability of bar code reading equipment to recognize and correctly decode
more than one symbology
Average Background Reflectance - Expressed as a
percent; the simple arithmetic average of the background reflectance from at
least five different points on a sheet
Background - The spaces, quiet zones, and area surrounding a printed
Bar - The darker element of a printed bar code symbol.
Bar code - An automatic identification technology which encodes information
into an array of varying width parallel rectangle bars and spaces.
Bar code Character - A single group of bars and spaces that represent an
individual number, letter, punctuation mark, or other symbol.
Bar code Density - The number of data characters which can be represented in
a linear unit of measure. bar code density is often expressed in characters per
Bar code Label - A label which carries a bar code symbol and is suitable to
be affixed to an article.
Bar code Reader - A device used to read a bar code symbol.
Bar code Symbol - See "Symbol".
Bar Height - See "Bar Length"
Bar Length - The bar dimension perpendicular to the bar width. Also called
Bar Width - The thickness of a bar measured from the edge closest to the
symbol start character to the
trailing edge of the same bar.
Bar Width Reduction - Reduction of the nominal bar width dimension on film
masters or printing plates
to compensate for systematic errors in some
Base Line - A reference line used to specify the desired vertical position of
characters printed on the same line
BCD - Binary Coded Decimal (see "Decimal, Binary")
Bi-Directional - A bar code symbol capable of being read successfully
independent of scanning direction
Bi-Directional - Read See "Bi-directional"
Binary - The number system that uses only 1's and 0's
Bit - An abbreviation for "binary digit". A single element (0 or 1) in a
Capture Window - In an automatic identification system employing RF, that
volume which defines the
active portion of the radio frequency antenna
CCBBA - Committee for Commonality in Blood Banking in America.
Centerline - The vertical axis around which character elements are located
for letters, numerals, or symbols.
Character - 1) A single group of bars and spaces which represent an
individual number, letter, punctuation mark, or other symbol. 2) A graphic shape
representing a letter, numeral, or symbol. 3) A letter, digit, or other symbol
that is used as part of the organization, control, or representation of data.
Character Alignment - The vertical or horizontal position of characters with
respect to a given set of
Character Set - Those characters available for encodation in a particular
automatic identification technology.
Check Character - A character included within a message whose value is used
for the purpose of performing a mathematical check to ensure the accuracy of
Check Digit - See "Check Character" .
Clear area - See "Quiet Zone".
Codabar - (2 of 7 Code, Code 27). A numbers only bar code consisting of seven
modules, two of which are wide. See ANSI/AIM X5-3 USS-Codabar for
Code - See "bar code".
Code 39 - (3 of 9 Code). A full alphanumeric bar code consisting of nine
modules, three of which are wide.
See ANSI/AIM X5-2 USS-39 for
Code 93 - A full alphanumeric bar code capable of encoding all 128 ASCII
characters. See ANSI/AIM X5-5
USS93 for specifications.
Code 128 - A full alphanumeric bar code capable of encoding all 128 ASCII
characters. See ANSI/AIM X5-4 USS128 for specifications.
Code 16K - See stacked codes. See ANSI/AIM X5-6 Code 16K for
Code 49 - See stacked codes. See ANSI/AIM X5-7 Code 49 for
Code Reader - See "bar code reader".
Continuous Code - A bar code symbology where all spaces within the symbol are
parts of characters,
e.g. USS I 2/5. There is no inter-character gap in a
CPI - Characters per inch (see "Bar code Density")
Data Capacity - The amount of memory available in an RF tag or in a
Data Rate - In an automatic identification system employing RF, the rate at
which data is communicated between the identification tag and interrogator.
Typical units are bits per second or bytes per second.
Decimal, Binary Coded (BCD) - A numbering system using base 2 that represents
each decimal digit by four binary bits, with the place values equal to 8, 4, 2,
and 1, reading from left to right.
Decoder - As part of a bar code reading system, the electronic package that
receives the signals from the scanner, performs the algorithm to interpret the
signals into meaningful data, and provides the interface to other devices.
Density - See "Bar code density".
Depth of Field - The distance between the maximum and minimum plane in which
a code reader is capable of reading symbols.
Diffuse Reflection - The component of reflected light, which emanates in all
directions from the reflecting surface.
DISA - Data Interchange Standards Association.
Discrete Code - A bar code symbology where the spaces between characters
(inter-character gap) are not part of the code, e.g. USS-39.
Dot Matrix - A system of printing where individual dots are printed in matrix
(5x7, 7x9, etc.) forming bars, alphanumeric characters, and simple graphics. See
AIM document T11, "Matrix Impact Printing", for specifications.
Dot Size - (Ink Jet, Dot Matrix, Thermal) The size of the printed dot laid
down on a substrate in a matrix or line to form characters.
Dot Size - (Scanner) The diameter of the beam of light used to scan a bar
code symbol - ideally the beam width should be the same as the width of the
DSSG - Distribution Symbology Study Group
EAN - European Article Numbering System, the international standard bar code
for retail food packages.
EAS - Electronic Article Surveillance.
EC - Electronic Commerce.
ECN - Engineering Change Notice.
EDI - Electronic Data Interchange.
EDIFACT - EDI for Administration, Commerce, and Trade.
EDP - Electronic Data Processing
Electrostatic - A method of printing that utilizes a special electrostatic
paper or a charged drum, both of which attract toner to the charged area. See
AIM document T-12, "Electrostatic Printing".
Element - In a bar code symbol, a single bar or space.
ERP - Enterprise Resource Planning
Film Master - A photographic film representation of a specific bar code or
OCR symbol from which a printing plate is produced.
First Read Rate - See "Read Rate".
Fixed Beam Scanner - Either a visible light or laser scanner reading in a
fixed plane. Requires a more exact positioning of bar code than with a moving
Foil - See "Ribbon".
Font - A specific size and style of printer's type.
Formed Font Impact - A printing method for labels consisting of a rotating
drum etched with raised bars and characters. A one time ribbon and the label
move between the drum and a micro controlled hammer.
Guard Bars - The bars which are at both ends and center of a U.P.C. and EAN
symbol. They provide reference points for scanning.
GUI - Graphic User Interface
Hand Laser Gun - See "Laser Scanner".
Helium Neon Laser - A type of laser commonly used in bar code scanners. It
emits coherent red light at a wavelength of 633 nanometers..
He-Ne - Common name for helium neon laser.
Horizontal bar code - A bar code or symbol presented in such a manner that
its overall length dimension is parallel to the horizon. The bars are presented
in an array, which look like a picket fence
ID - Identification.
IEC - International Electrotechnical Commission.
Impact Printing - Any printing system where a micro processor controlled
hammer impacts against a ribbon and a substrate.
Ink Jet - A method of printing using liquid ink, projected a drop at a time
against a substrate.
Intercharacter Gap - The space between two adjacent bar code characters in a
discrete code. For example, the space between two characters in USS-39.
Interleaved bar code - A bar code in which characters are paired together
using bars to represent the first character and spaces to represent the second,
e.g., USSI 2/5 (see also "Continuous Code").
Interleaved Two of Five Code - (I 2/5) A number-only bar code symbology
consisting of five bars, two of which are wide. In this code both the bars and
spaces carry information. See ANSI/AIM X51 USS I 2/5 for specifications.
Interrogator - In an automatic identification system employing RF, the
device, which triggers the identifying, tags to respond with a modulated RF
Ion Deposition - See "Electrostatic".
ISO - International Organization for Standardization.
IT - Information Technology.
IVR - Interactive Voice Response
JTC - Joint Technical Committee
Ladder Code - See "Vertical bar code".
LAN - Local Area Network.
Laser Scanner - An optical bar code reading device using a low energy laser
light beam as its source of illumination. Often hand held.
LED - Light emitting diode. A semiconductor that produces light at a
wavelength determined by its chemical composition. The light source often used
in bar code readers.
LF - Low frequency. 30-300 KHz.
Light Pen - In a bar code system, a hand held scanning wand, which is used as
a contact bar code reader held in the hand (see "Wand Scanner").
Logmars - Logistics of marking and reading symbols. A Department of Defense
program to place a Code 39 symbol on all federal items. For specifications see
LTL - Less than Truckload
MES - Manufacturing Execution System.
MF - Medium Frequency. 300 KHz to 3 MHz.
MH10.8.3 - ANSI Standard for Unit Loads and Transport Packages - Two
MHI - The Material Handling Institute, Inc.
MICR - Magnetic Ink Character Recognition. The stylized printing on the lower
left of personal and bank checks.
Microwave - A radio wave between 0.1 and 100 centimeters in wavelength or
1-100 GHz. Several automatic RF identification systems use this frequency
Mil-Std - Military Standard.
MIS - Management Information Systems.
Misread - A condition, which occurs when the data output of a reader does not
agree with the data encoded in the bar code symbol.
Module - The narrowest nominal width unit of measure in a bar code.
Modulo Check Digit or Character - See "Check Character".
Moving Beam Scanner - A scanning device where scanning motion is achieved by
mechanically moving the light beam through the bars.
MRPII - Manufacturing Resource Planning/2nd Generation
Nanometer - A unit of measure used to define the wavelength of light. Many
standards require scanning in the B633-B900 range.
NIST - National Institute of Standardized Testing.
Nominal - The exact (or ideal) intended value for a specified parameter.
Tolerances are specified as positive and negative deviations from this
Non-read - In a bar code system, the absence of data at the scanner output
after an attempted scan due to no code, defective code, scanner failure or
Number System - A method of identifying individual or groups of objects.
Number systems are of two types: 1) Significant digit where each item is
uniquely identified and 2) Non-significant digit where sequential numbers are
assigned regardless of product or item description.
Numeric - A character set that includes only numbers
OCR-A - An abbreviation commonly applied to the character set contained in
ANSI Std. X3.17-1981
(ISO 1073 Part 1). The code is both human and machine
OCR-B - An abbreviation commonly applied to the character set contained in
ANSI Std. X3.49-1975.
(ISO 1073 Part ll).
OMS - Order Management Systems.
Opacity - The optical property of a substrate material that minimizes
show-through from the backside or
the next sheet. The ratio of the
reflectance with a black backing to the reflectance with a white backing.
Ink opacity is the property of an ink that prevents the substrate from
Orientation - The alignment of a bar code symbol with respect to the
horizontal axis. Two possible orientations are horizontal with vertical bars and
spaces (picket fence) and vertical with horizontal bars and spaces (ladder).
Overhead - In a bar code system, the fixed number of characters required for
start, stop and checking in a given symbol. For example, a symbol requiring a
start/stop and two check characters contains four characters of overhead. Thus,
to encode three characters, seven characters are required to be printed
Passive Tag - Passive tags are radio frequency identification devices that do
not have any internal power source. Their energy source is the power emitted
from adjacent antennas.
PCS - Print Contrast Signal. A measurement of the ratio of the reflectiveness
between the bars and spaces of a symbol, commonly expressed as a percent. PCS is
PCS = R1 - Rd divided by R1, where R1 is the reflectance of the light
background and Rd is the reflectiveness of the dark bars.
PDF417 - A 2D Stacked bar code symbology.
Pen Scanner - A pen like device either connected by wire to a device or
self-contained, used to read bar codes. Requires direct contact with the
Photo Comp - Photo composition. A system to produce very high quality labels
Picket Fence Code - See "Horizontal bar code".
PIN - Personal Identification Number.
Pitch - Rotation of a bar code symbol about an axis parallel to the direction
of the bars.
POS - Point-of-Sale.
PPBM - Positive Passenger Bag Matching.
Preprinted Symbol - A symbol that is printed in advance of application either
on a label or on the article to be identified.
Print Contrast - See "PCS"
Print Quality - The measure of compliance of a bar code symbol to the
requirements of dimensional tolerance, edge roughness, spots, voids,
reflectance, PCS, quiet zone, and encodation.
QR Code - A 2D Matrix bar code symbology.
Quiet Zone - A clear space, containing no machine readable marks, which
precedes the start character of a bar code symbol and follows the stop
characters. Sometimes called the "Clear Area"
RF - Radio Frequency. An electro-magnetic wave.
RFID - Radio Frequency Identification (see "Radio Frequency Tag"). See AIM
document T-1, "RFID Systems".
Radio Frequency Tag - An electronic tag capable of receiving/storing and/or
transmitting digital information by means of, and in response to, RF energy.
Range - In a radio frequency system, range is defined as the maximum
allowable distance between the antenna and the tag.
Read/Only - Read/Only identification systems employ radio frequency tags,
which contain pre-programmed data.
Read/Only Tag - In an RF tag that is capable of only being read.
Read/Write - In a RF automatic identification system, the capability of the
RF tags to have their stored data changed by an external RF signal.
Read/Write Tag - In an automatic identification system employing RF, an
electronic tag capable of receiving, storing, and transmitting digital
Read Rate - The ratio of the number of successful reads on the first attempt
to scan to the total number of attempts.
Reflectance - The ratio of the amount of light of a specified wavelength or
series of wavelengths reflected from a test surface to the amount of light
reflected from a barium oxide or magnesium oxide standard under similar
Resolution - In a bar code system, the narrowest element dimension which can
be distinguished by a particular reading device or printed with a particular
device or method.
Ribbon - A cloth or plastic tape with several layers of material, one of
which is ink-like, that produces the visible marks on a substrate. Used on
formed font impact, dot matrix, thermal transfer and hot stamp printers. Also
ROI - Return on Investment.
Rule of "X" - X Dimension
SAW - Surface Acoustic Wave. A technology by which radio frequency signals
are converted to acoustic signals and confined within a small substrate made
from Lithium Niobate or other crystalline materials. SAW waves propagate at
relatively low speed with reference to radio waves and, as such, a small
substrate may produce relatively long time delays.
SC - Subcommittee.
Scanner - An electronic device to read bar codes that electro-optically
converts bars and spaces into electrical signals. For RF systems see
SCC-14 - Shipping Container Code.
Self-checking - A bar code or symbol using a checking algorithm which can be
independently applied to each character to guard against undetected errors.
Show-through - The generally undesirable property of a substrate that permits
underlying markings to be seen and may adversely affect read rate.
SI - Systems Integrator.
Skew - Rotation of a bar code symbol about an axis parallel to the symbol's
Sniff Mode - Occurs when some radio frequency based systems are searching for
a radio frequency tag. The interrogator continually emits trace amounts of radio
waves until a tag is detected. Upon detection, interrogation is made at the
SNMP - Simple Network Management Protocol.
Space - The lighter element of a bar code usually formed by the background
Space Width - The thickness of a space measured from the edge closest to the
symbol start character to the trailing edge of the same space.
Spectral Response - The variation in sensitivity of a reading device to light
of different wavelengths.
Specular Reflection - The mirror-like reflection of light from a surface.
Spot - The undesirable presence of ink or dirt in a space.
SSCC-18 - Serialized Shipping Container Code.
STAC - Symbol Technical Advisory Committee to the Uniform Code Council, Inc
Stacked Codes - 16K and Code 49 are examples where a long symbol is broken
into sections and "stacked" one upon another similar to sentences in a
paragraph. Extremely compact codes.
Standard - A set of rules, specifications, instructions and directions to use
a bar code or other automatic identification system to your profit. Usually
issued by an organization, e.g. Logmars, HIBCC, U.C.C, etc.
Start Stop Character or Pattern - A special bar code character that provides
the scanner with start and stop reading instructions as well as a scanning
direction indicator. The start character is normally at the left-end of a
horizontally oriented symbol. The stop character is normally at the right-end of
a horizontally oriented symbol.
Substitution Error - A mis-encodation, mis-read, or human key entry error
where a character that was to be entered, is substituted with erroneous
information. Example: Correct information 1,2,3,4, substitution 1,2,3,5.
Substrate - The surface on which a bar code symbol is printed.
Symbol - A combination of bar code characters including start/stop
characters, quiet zones/data characters, and check characters required by a
particular symbology, which form a complete, scannable entity.
Symbol Density - The number of data characters per unit length.
Symbol Length - The distance between the outside edges of the quiet zones
TCP/IP - Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol.
TCS - Transport Case Symbol.
Telepen - A European code capable of encoding the full ASCII set.
Thermal - A printing system where dots are selectively heated and cooled and
drag upon a heat sensitive paper. The paper turns dark in the heated areas. See
AIM document T-20, "Direct Thermal Printing".
Thermal Transfer - A printing system like thermal except a one-time ribbon is
used and common paper is used as a substrate. Eliminates the problems of fading
or changing color inherent in thermal.
Tilt - Rotation of a bar code symbol about an axis perpendicular to the
TSC - AIM USA bar code Technical Symbology Committee
UCC - Uniform Code Council, (see Uniform Product Code Council); the
organization which administers the U.P.C. and other retail standards.
UCS - Uniform Container Symbol.
UHF - Ultra-High Frequency. 300 to 3000 MHz.
ULF - See "VLF".
U.P.C. - Universal Product Code - The standard bar code symbol for retail
food packages in the United States.
UPCC - Universal Product Carton Code - A standard administered by the
UPN - Universal Product Number.
USS - Uniform Symbol Specification. The current series of symbology
specifications published by AIM.
UV - Ultra Violet
VAR - Value-Added Reseller.
Verifier - A device that makes measurements of the bars, spaces, quiet zones,
and optical characteristics of a symbol to determine if the symbol meets the
requirements of a specification or standard.
Vertical bar code - A code pattern presented in such orientation that the
axis of the symbol from start to stop is perpendicular to the horizon. The
individual bars are in an array appearing as rungs of a ladder.
VLF - Very Low Frequency. Frequency less than 30 KHz.
Void - The undesirable absence of ink in a bar
Wand - See "Wand Scanner".
Wand Scanner - A hand held scanning device used as a contact bar code or OCR
Wedge - A device that plugs in between a keyboard and a PC. Includes a pen
scanner allowing data to be entered either by keyboard or pen scanner.
WIP - Work in Progress/Process
"X" Dimension - The nominal dimension of the narrow bars and spaces in a bar
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