Barcodes - how are they used in everyday life?

by Carlos
3 Minuten
Barcodes - how are they used in everyday life?

A long time ago, I worked in a medium-sized company during my holidays. During my time there, barcodes were introduced in production to document the individual work steps and the employees' working hours. Today, RFID chips are often used to meet the logistical challenges of modern production. But the barcode is by no means obsolete; this type of identification continues to be used in many areas of our lives. Particularly where it is not a matter of recording individual items, but of identifying a product line, there is hardly a more favourable option. Historically, with the triumph of electronic data processing equipment and the ability to capture and evaluate barcodes, the use of the barcode could hardly be stopped.

At the same time, users do not have to worry about producing the barcode themselves, but can hire service providers who can print barcodes and provide it to the user for very little money.

Why barcodes are still important today

Almost every product or their packaging has a barcode today. Often these barcodes are printed and integrated directly onto the packaging. But sometimes it is necessary to use own barcodes. Reasons can be that one's own merchandise management system is structured according to a different system. Or additional information is needed in the in-house process. Barcode labels are also used when optimizing processes in production facilities to achieve traceability within the production chain by scanners. The dwell time between each station can then be used to identify potential for process improvement.

The most prominent example, however, which should be familiar to any reader even from everyday life, is the scanning of products at the supermarket checkout.

What needs to be considered when ordering barcode labels?

When ordering barcode labels, it is important to note that there are different coding systems. The most common type of coding used in retail is EAN-13. Be sure to find out, especially if you are exporting abroad, whether this coding is common there. If you use barcodes to mark products within a value chain, then you should check whether the downstream points in this chain use the same type of coding.

The size of the labels is also critical. They should not be too small so as not to provoke unnecessary time delays during the scanning process. On the other hand, they should not be too large so as not to dominate the product packaging and distract the customer's gaze from the product image.

When ordering, it should be noted that, as is common in many areas, when larger quantities of labels are purchased, the price per piece falls. So if you plan for the long term, you can save money.