These days, if you place a unreadable bar code label on a carton, you may find a fine coming your way! With the high volume of customers implementing automated receiving systems in their large distribution centers, bar code compliance is critical. The bar code label needs to be readable, the right symbology, and in the right placement on the carton or pallet. In order for a fixed position scanner to read a bar code on a carton going down a conveyor, the label has to be in a certain spot and the image easy to read. Anything less may slow down operations and cost money.
How to avoid fines? Here are some ideas:
- Determine exactly what your customer needs. What bar code symbology? What size is required? (measured in mil size which is the number of milometers between each line in the bar code) What is required in terms of placement of the bar code on the carton or pallet? Make sure you are getting this information from those who have responsibility to support the distribution center.
- Resist purchasing low cost label materials containing low grade adhesive that prevent the labels from staying on the cartons. Use thermal transfer searchversus thermal direct labels if the customer is keeping the stock for longer periods of time or if the shipment may be subject to high temperatures during shipping. Thermal direct labels will turn dark and unreadable over time and if subject to high heat.
- Clean and check printers and replace print heads when needed. Run a print test to ensure quality creation of a label.
- Use a bar code verifier to test out your bar code labels. This device analyzes bar codes for readability and accuracy. The verifier will provide you a grade on the bar code from A to D (or failed). This will allow you to take actions to correct the situation, which might involve recreating the bar code, cleaning your existing printer, or upgrading your current printer to one with a higher resolution or DPI (Dot per Inch).
L-Tron has the expertise to help you through this process of bar code compliance by ensuring your bar codes are readable and in the right place. We can provide the right equipment, software or training to help you keep your clients, by using bar code labels that are in compliance with their business needs. Contact us today!