Bing, zap, ding, beep….we all have our own word for the sound of a
barcode scanning in a retail store - usually when we are in a hurry
and are waiting for the person in front of us - and we really
notice when that familiar beep or zap doesn't happen.
That means there is a problem with the barcode scanning and
possibly a longer wait for us.
Why don't barcodes always scan? Sometimes the issue is
with the scanner not working correctly. However, very often the
reason is within the barcode itself. And when poor quality
barcodes fail to scan, costly fines and penalties can be imposed on
the issuer or owner of the barcode.
There are 8 elements in a barcode that affect its quality, or
ability to be scanned. The American National Standards
Institute (ANSI) and the International Standards Organization (ISO)
have established universal quality criteria and grading for
barcodes. A barcode verifier, or inspection device, is
a tool that analyzes the code for the 8 elements (minimum
reflectance, symbol contrast, defects, etc.) and provides an
overall grade for the barcode. Verifiers are calibrated to
ISO specified levels for inspection.
What is the impact on Coupon barcodes?
The GS1 Databar coupon barcode uses a barcode language or
symbology called Reduced Space Symbology (RSS Stacked) with
multiple rows to encode large amounts of data - substantially more
data than its predecessor - the linear UPC extended barcode.
Databar coupon barcodes can be encoded in 2 to 11 rows of data and
require more processing power to scan and decode the data.
This can mean potentially more room for error.
What is the GS1 specified quality grade for
The previous UPC extended coupon barcode had a specified a quality
level of ANSI / C, or ISO / 1.5. The new GS1 Databar barcode
has an increased specified quality level of ANSI / B, or ISO /
2.5. Coupon issuers and printers need to ensure that the code
meets the specified quality level. Coupon barcodes can also fail to
scan if they are encoded incorrectly, or fail to meet a minimum
size requirement - a common error with coupons. A barcode
verifier will also check for correct data encodation, and the
proper size requirement.
If you are issuing coupons with GS1 Databar barcodes, you can
avoid fines and penalties and ensure successful retail scanning, by
using an ISO barcode verifier to check your barcode quality.
By John Gorowsky; Vice President, Sales and Marketing for