Barcodes can be used in a variety of ways, all of which can save a business time and money. So much thought goes into implementing a barcoding system that little is put into how those barcodes will be printed and displayed. However, one overlooked aspect of barcoding is the use of barcode labels. Choosing the right type of barcode is important, and a company can prosper or suffer depending on the decision. A whole system can be compromised if the labels don’t adequately do their job. Here are a few things to consider when choosing barcode labels:
Environment is extremely important when choosing barcode labels. The labels you choose for your company must be able to survive any conditions they will be exposed to. If the barcode labels are going to be exposed to liquids/chemicals, extreme heat or cold, or any other form of rough conditions, having the right label matters.
Barcodes are only used because they vastly outperform people, and mistakes are almost entirely eliminated. If the environment ends up damaging your business’ barcode labels, the whole purpose of the barcode system is destroyed. However, if your company operates under normal or temperate conditions, there is no need to purchase labels for extreme conditions because it will be unlikely your products will not encounter any. It’s always good to be safe, but spending extra money on something that is unneeded is always a bad idea.
If a company wants to maximize the savings barcodes bring, it is important to look at the size of the barcode labels. Smaller labels are most commonly used, but they shouldn’t be so small that they are difficult to scan. A lot of time is lost looking for barcode labels that are difficult to find and scan. The size of barcode labels will differ from company to company, but it is extremely important to determine the ideal label size.
If you tend to scan from long distances, larger barcode labels would be beneficial. However, having large barcodes, unless specifically needed, is a waste of space and material. Paying for unneeded material is nothing more than throwing money down the drain.
The adhesive used to stick barcode labels to products is another factor to look into. Some barcodes are meant to be permanent, while others are meant to only last for a specific amount of time. A permanent adhesive should never be used if the labels are going to be removed after some time.
The surface the label will be attached to is also worth considering. If the surface is not flat, barcodes are more likely to run into problems. Rough, curved, and ridged surfaces all provide challenges. If the product is dirty or wet when barcodes are attached, the adhesive must be strong enough to still do the job.
The idea of barcoding is simple, but the implementation of a barcode system is much more complex than most people realize. Picking a barcode system and label at random is most likely going to produce poor results. Time and money are extremely important to the success of a business, and a bad barcode label could end up costing much more than one would think. It’s important to take these points into consideration before making a decision on barcode labels.
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AML was founded in 1983 to respond to a need in the barcode data collection marketplace for high performance, easy-to-use, and cost-effective barcode and data collection products. Our goal is to provide sensible solutions for mission critical activities, to improve efficiency and productivity, and to make barcode data collection applications worry-free.
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