Barcode Verifiers: Everything You Need to Know in 2023
In this article, we explore what barcode verifiers are and the reasons why you might need to verify barcodes. We also cover the verification parameters and some barcode verifier examples to consider for your organization.
What is a Barcode Verifier?
A barcode verifier is a tool that evaluates a barcode's quality and adherence to industry standards, going beyond the basic function of a scanner. It scrutinizes print quality and readability to ensure consistent decoding across diverse scanning conditions, thereby reducing potential errors or misreads.
At QuantumTech Industries, a batch of "Quasar Drives" faced repeated scanning issues at partner retail outlets. Using the "PrecisionCheck V5" barcode verifier, the company discovered inconsistencies in barcode print quality from a recent production run. Immediate verification and rectification reduced potential returns and ensured smooth sales across all outlets.
Why Verify Barcodes?
Here are the reasons why you might need to verify barcodes:
Consistency and Reliability:
Barcodes are used across various industries for inventory management, point-of-sale operations, tracking, and more. A misread or unreadable barcode can cause disruptions, leading to financial losses, mismanagement of inventory, and operational inefficiencies.
Compliance with Standards:
Various industries and organizations follow specific barcode standards. A barcode that doesn't comply might not be accepted by trading partners or might cause complications in integrated supply chains.
By ensuring that barcodes are printed correctly from the outset, businesses can prevent costly reprinting or repackaging of items with poor-quality barcodes.
In sectors like retail, an unreadable barcode can slow down the checkout process, leading to customer dissatisfaction. Verification ensures smooth transactions and fosters a better customer experience.
Barcode Verification Parameters
To guarantee the reliability and readability of barcodes, verifiers assess a variety of parameters, including:
Decode: The verifier checks if the barcode can be decoded correctly, ensuring the encoded data matches the expected format.
Symbol Contrast: This refers to the difference in reflectance between the barcode's dark bars and the light spaces. A higher contrast usually means better readability.
Modulation: Evaluates the consistency in reflectance of the bars and spaces. Inconsistencies can cause scanning difficulties.
Decodability: This assesses how closely the barcode comes to the ideal specifications for its symbology.
Defects: The verifier checks for any imperfections in the barcode, such as spots or voids that can interfere with scanning.
Quiet Zones: These are the blank margins on either side of a barcode. A verifier checks if they're sufficiently clear of any marks and are of the correct width.
Minimum Reflectance: Measures the darkest bar's reflectivity to ensure it can be easily distinguished.
Examples of Barcode Verifiers
Several barcode verifier brands and models exist in the market, each catering to different requirements and industries. Some popular examples include:
Widely used for both linear and 2D barcodes, Axicon verifiers are known for their accuracy and adherence to global standards.
RJS Inspector Series:
These handheld devices are easy to use and offer reliable verification for various barcode types.
Microscan's LVS Series:
This series is renowned for its ability to verify both printed labels and direct part marks (DPM) on various surfaces.
Cognex's Barcode Verifiers:
These verifiers, suitable for label-based and DPM applications, offer precise imaging and extensive reporting capabilities.
We hope you now have a better understanding of barcode verifiers and why they are an integral for businesses to ensure the efficiency and reliability of their barcode-based systems.