Barcode Test

Why It’s Important, How It’s Done

Barcode testing (also known as barcode verification) can save your company serious money. It improves quality control and customer satisfaction, and reduces costly reprints, return shipments and chargebacks.

Why Barcode Testing Is Needed

Flexography is an art and science.  The proper pre-press adjustments to a bar code image must be made to compensate for print gain that is sure to occur on press. During a print run, the amount of plate pressure can vary, resulting in too much gain.  So, a barcode test is a way to control your printing process from beginning to end.

Even the best thermal transfer label printers can produce improperly formatted and/or unreadable barcodes. Ribbon wrinkles, blown printer heads, and incorrect heat settings can cause a thermal printer to malfunction. A barcode tester will prevent these problems before they occur.

Laser printers may be using too much or too little toner, leading to problems with bar width growth. Worse yet, bar codes that are placed into documents in desktop publishing software can be distorted by mismatches between the element size and the raster resolution of the printer.

The barcode may even be formatted incorrectly – independent of printer problems – and thus not conform to data format conventions such as those specified by GS1.

Barcode Testing Benefits

Quality control: a barcode not scanning correctly can have serious effects ranging from manufacturing errors to production downtime. Verification gives you feedback about your barcode production process that can help you control the process itself.  Successful barcode test ensures that a label or direct part marker is working properly, and will be readable further on in the supply chain.

Customer satisfaction: verification guarantees a first time scan rate. When barcodes do not scan correctly, the data has to be manually entered, opening up room for human error. Correctly scanning barcodes will prevent fines from major retailers or production downtime.  Using a barcode tester can save your company serious money by preventing chargebacks.

According to the National Chargebacks Management Group (NCMG), these fees typically reduce a manufacture’s overall revenue by 2% to 10%.  Major retailers such as Walmart are known for issuing costly chargebacks when items delivered do not meet expectations.  TESCO is another company with large fees. This retailer fines £40,000 per incident and returns the merchandise back at the manufacturer’s expense. Barcode testing will insure that merchandise will not be sent back because of unreadable bar code symbols.

Mobile Barcode Tester

Verifying can also ensure that your mobile barcode campaign is properly implemented. A recent study by GS1 UK and Cranfield School of Management discovered that 91% of mobile barcode scans return incorrect products descriptions. With a barcode test, you can save your company money from having to re-do a marketing campaigns due to improperly printed codes.

Barcode Tester – Why It Must Be Up to Date

Barcodes often pass in-house barcode testing, but then fail at the customer level. How could this happen? That’s because low cost verifiers are often out of date with current standards. The customer might be using a current ANSI standard verifier, while the low cost verifier might be utilizing traditional standards.

It may be time to purchase a newer verifier that is up-to-date with all the latest industry and international standards. Let Webscan’s resellers assist you in choosing the right one for your company.

Failing Barcode Test?

When verification reports that a barcode failed, the user can view a full detailed report. Each of the 10 individual scans results will be displayed and graded on each parameter. From here you can analyze on which parameters the barcode failed, and how to fix the problem in for subsequent print runs.

Refer to ANSI/ISO Quality Parameters for a complete understanding of the cause of low grades for each barcode tester parameter.  Based on the particular parameter that caused the failure, you can adjust your production process to improve that characteristic of the barcode.