Park Logisitics - Creating Supply Chain Solutions

Park Logistics - Creating supply Chain Solutions

Creating Supply Chain Solutions
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Bar code clinic at PPMA Show uncovers cause of label problems

Poor legibility as a result of inappropriate print direction emerged as the single most common fault in bar codes brought by visitors for testing on the Logopak stand during the PPMA Show. Faults with check digits and light margins were also uncovered.

Nearly forty visitors brought their codes to Logopak’s Bar Code Clinic where specialists from GS1 UK, the independent supply chain standards and solutions organisation, and verification specialist Axicon were on hand to test the codes and advise solutions to any faults uncovered.

The problems with inappropriate print direction were most marked with larger bar code labels, as Logopak Sales Director Howard Jagger explains:

“Many lower cost print heads can only handle large labels short-edge leading, with the bars at right angles to print direction. This means that print head heating elements are being constantly switched on and off to create the bars, and so definition can be lost.

“Printing ‘picket fence’ style with bars following print direction allows the elements to stabilise and avoid any risk of fuzzy codes.”

Further difficulties with bar codes included incorrect programming for calculating check digits in labels carrying variable information, with the result that while test labels submitted to retailers could be approved, subsequent production labels with different information would fail.

There were problems, too, with labels in which insufficient space, or light margin, between the bar code and adjacent print prevented the code from being read correctly.

“Surprisingly there were also a number of problems which could have been avoided if users had simply followed the appropriate GS1 guidelines,”  points out Howard Jagger. “These are readily available, simple to use, and should be the starting point for all bar code labelling projects.”

Logopak International Limited

Tel: 01904 692333


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