Barcodes have come a long way from a simple UPC (Universal Product Code), invented in the 1960s. The adoption of the Universal Product Code, on April 3, 1973, transformed bar codes from a technological curiosity into a business juggernaut. At that time, everything was run through the register by hand. Fast forward in time and now retailers use scanners to capture the coded information from the label. Additionally, packaging and labeling printers have overcome improper bar scanning issues that were commonplace in the past. Now there are visual and automated checks performed on-press to ensure that the barcodes are readable and accurate. At Apogee we inspect on press and off press with scanners and barcode checkers to verify accuracy and quality. The problems from the past have been eliminated.
Barcodes are used in many applications with the most common being linear barcodes that are scanned with infrared scanner, and are part of the UPC’s on most packages, from shampoo to soda. Other barcodes are used for product tracking, such as work-in-process (WIP) inventory in production facilities or factories.
Label printers print everything from common UPC labels for food & beverage products, to 2d & 3d barcodes, as well as QR (quick read) codes that are sometimes sequentially numbered for asset management and logistics shipping.
If you are looking to label retail products with a barcode, you have to get your own UPC code. The UCC (Uniform Code Council) must be contacted and they will assign you the info that you need for the UPC. Once you have this information, Apogee can import this into software to generate UPC and other types of barcodes to drop into the label. If you are looking to create barcodes yourself, Apogee is an authorized reseller of thermal printing and barcoding systems. We can consult with you on the best barcode printing system for your application.
Barcodes have become so ubiquitous we don’t even notice them and they are not too hard to understand. Apogee can help guide you by understanding with the type of barcode application and environment that the product will be used in, as a starting point towards making the best solution choice.