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 Bar Code Timelin

Timeline compliments of A2B Tracking Solutions

Since their invention more than 50 years ago, bar codes have been enablers for accurate data capture, the rapid movement of goods, and all types of automation. Whether at the Point-of-Sale, in a hospital, or in a manufacturing environment these little black and white images deliver incredible value.

Barcode Symbologies 

There are many different bar code symbologies, or languages. Each symbology has its own rules for encoding characters (e.g., letter, number, punctuation), printing, decoding requirements, and error checking.

Barcode symbologies differ both in the way they represent data and in the type of data they can encode: some encode numbers; others encode numbers, letters, and a few punctuation characters; still others offer encodation of the 128 or 256 ASCII character sets. Recently unveiled symbologies include options to encode characters in any language as well as specialized data types.

Learn more about each symbology:

Barcode Technologies

Barcodes in common use are covered by international standards. International standards also cover print quality measurements and equipment. 

Barcode technology standards define:

  • Rules for representing data in an optically readable format,
  • Rules and techniques for printing or marking,
  • Reading and decoding techniques, and
  • Rules for measuring the quality of printed/marked symbols

Scanning, Printing, and Quality Verification

Barcode scanners are either handheld or fixed-mount; typically, handheld scanners are used to read barcodes on stationary items and fixed-mount scanners are used with items passed by the scanner by hand. Scanners are include a means of illuminating the symbol and measuring reflected light. The light waveform data is converted from analog to digital, in order to be processed by a decoder, and then transmitted to the computer-based application software.

Click here to learn more about barcode scanning.

Barcode symbols may be produced in a variety of ways: by direct marking, as with laser etching or with ink jet printing; or more commonly, by imaging or printing the barcode symbol onto a separate label.

Click here to learn more about barcode printing.

As barcode applications have become critical to a company’s success, the cost of scanning failure becomes ever more significant. Consequently, barcode verification systems, once exclusively used by printers and label vendors, are now commonly used for on-site printing.

Click here to learn more about barcode quality and verification.

Learn more about barcodes in our FAQ section or in our Resources section. Or, contact us today with questions!

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