UNDERSTANDING
BAR CODES
TABLE OF CONTENTS
UPC Bar Code
How They Are Commonly Used … 4
Anatomy of A UPC (A) Bar Code … 5
UPC (A) Bar Code Glossary ...
UPC BAR CODE 
The UPC ( A ) bar code symbol, is one of the most
common applications of bar code technology and is
seen on ...
HOW THEY ARE
COMMONLY USED
Bar codes are everywhere and they are used to identify
everything from auto parts to hospital p...
THE ANATOMY OF A UPC (A) BAR CODE 
95 MODULES WIDE!

LEFT GUARD!

CENTER GUARD!

THE	
  FIRST	
  SIX	
  
	
  FIGURES	
  DE...
UPC (A) BAR CODE GLOSSARY
UPC: Universal Product Code 

MODULES: The vertical bars that make up the bar code symbol. Numbe...
HOW IT ALL WORKS 
First, the scanner flashes a laser across the
code reading the lines and spaces across. !

1+3+5+7+9=25

...
TESTING THE ALGORITHM

0+2+4+6+8=20	
  

20x3=60	
  

1+3+5+7+9=25	
  

First the scanner sums the
digits in the odd posit...
2D BAR CODE / DATA MATRIX
Two dimensional bar codes are called so because the reader
scans both horizontally and verticall...
HOW THEY ARE
COMMONLY USED
Along with the less popular PDF417 (actually stacked linear)
and Aztec symbologies, Data Matrix...
2D symbologies, like Data Matrix,
provide a consistent and reliable
means of labeling small objects.
	
  	
  

11	
  
THE ANATOMY OF A DATA MATRIX 
TIMING	
  PATTERN	
  

QUIET	
  ZONE	
  

MODULE	
  

DATA	
  REGION	
  

FINDER	
  PATTERN	...
DATA MATRIX BAR CODE GLOSSARY

MODULES: Small square cells that make up the bar code symbol. Usually, dark modules
represe...
BENEFITS OF THE
DATA MATRIX


VERY EFFICIENT: Misread probability of 1/10.5 million (for the 3 of 9 symbol the probability...
QR CODE
The Quick Response or QR code is a trademarked two-dimensional
barcode first designed for the automotive industry ...
HOW THEY ARE
COMMONLY USED
Since then QR codes have become ubiquitous, showing
up on product packaging, billboards and bum...
THE ANATOMY OF A QR CODE

TIMING	
  PATTERN	
  
MODULES	
  

ENCODING	
  PORTION	
  

ALIGNMENT	
  PATTERN	
  

FINDER	
  ...
QR CODE GLOSSARY

MODULES: square modules arranged on a grid. These modules form the components of the
code. Within the co...
HOW IT ALL WORKS 
Data is divided up into code blocks within the data
area, and each code block is sized so that it can
co...
The QR Code bridges the gap between
the physical and virtual worlds.
	
  	
  
20	
  
About NEPS:
NEPS is a Business-Process-Automation Software and Services company. We
deliver the technology platform and se...
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Understanding Bar Codes

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This ebook gathers all of the great information presented during the Bob and Dave Show Bar Code series, including screen grabs, slides and more.

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Understanding Bar Codes

  1. 1. UNDERSTANDING BAR CODES
  2. 2. TABLE OF CONTENTS UPC Bar Code How They Are Commonly Used … 4 Anatomy of A UPC (A) Bar Code … 5 UPC (A) Bar Code Glossary … 6 How It All Works … 7 Testing The Algorithm … 8 QR Code How They Are Commonly Used … 16 The Anatomy Of A QR Code … 17 QR Code Glossary … 18 How It All Works … 19 2D Bar Code / Data Matrix How They Are Commonly Used … 10 Anatomy Of A Data Matrix … 12 Data Matrix Bar Code Glossary … 13 Benefits of The Data Matrix … 14 2  
  3. 3. UPC BAR CODE The UPC ( A ) bar code symbol, is one of the most common applications of bar code technology and is seen on products everywhere. 3  
  4. 4. HOW THEY ARE COMMONLY USED Bar codes are everywhere and they are used to identify everything from auto parts to hospital patients. The Universal Product Code is used to identify retail items in virtually every store and market in the country. 4  
  5. 5. THE ANATOMY OF A UPC (A) BAR CODE 95 MODULES WIDE! LEFT GUARD! CENTER GUARD! THE  FIRST  SIX    FIGURES  DEFINE  THE     MANUFACTURER’S    IDENTIFICATION  NUMBER   RIGHT GUARD! THE  NEXT  FIVE     DIGITS  ARE  THE     ITEM  NUMBER     MANUFACTURER     IDENTIFICATION     NUMBER   CHECKSUM     DIGIT     MANUFACTURER  ID  CODE   ITEM  NUMBER   5  
  6. 6. UPC (A) BAR CODE GLOSSARY UPC: Universal Product Code MODULES: The vertical bars that make up the bar code symbol. Numbers are created by patterns of filled and unfilled modules. 84 modules are used for digits, and 11 are used for the guards that define the symbols boundaries. GUARDS: Left and right guards mark the beginning and end of the symbol and the center guard marks the division between the manufacturer and product codes. MANUFACTURER CODE: Is made up of the first six digits and is distributed and managed by the UCC (Uniform Code Council). MANUFACTURER IDENTIFICATION NUMBER: Used to identify the particular numbering system used by the manufacturer. ITEM NUMBER: Assigned to each product and is defined by the last five digits. CHECKSUM: A single digit used for error checking. 6  
  7. 7. HOW IT ALL WORKS First, the scanner flashes a laser across the code reading the lines and spaces across. ! 1+3+5+7+9=25 In a fraction of a second the scanner makes several calculations to determine the orientation of the code and then error checks to make certain that the scan was valid. ! ! It does this by testing an algorithm against the checksum digit.! 7  
  8. 8. TESTING THE ALGORITHM 0+2+4+6+8=20   20x3=60   1+3+5+7+9=25   First the scanner sums the digits in the odd positions ! Then it multiplies that ! result by three! Next, it sums the even ! place digits ! 60+25=85   85/10=8R5   10-­‐5=5   And adds the two sums! That result is divided by ten! The remainder is subtracted from ten to verify the checksum. If the checksum doesn’t match, the scanner reports an error and the code must be re-scanned.! 8  
  9. 9. 2D BAR CODE / DATA MATRIX Two dimensional bar codes are called so because the reader scans both horizontally and vertically across the symbol, unlike linear barcodes. 9  
  10. 10. HOW THEY ARE COMMONLY USED Along with the less popular PDF417 (actually stacked linear) and Aztec symbologies, Data Matrix is commonly used in healthcare. Because of its accuracy, efficiency and small size, it works particularly well on patient wristbands and medication labels, as it is less likely to distort around curves and takes up less space, in addition to being highly readable and accurate. 10  
  11. 11. 2D symbologies, like Data Matrix, provide a consistent and reliable means of labeling small objects.     11  
  12. 12. THE ANATOMY OF A DATA MATRIX TIMING  PATTERN   QUIET  ZONE   MODULE   DATA  REGION   FINDER  PATTERN   12  
  13. 13. DATA MATRIX BAR CODE GLOSSARY MODULES: Small square cells that make up the bar code symbol. Usually, dark modules represent a digital 1 and light represent 0. FINDER PATTERN: Two adjacent, solid borders are designated the finder pattern. These borders are used by the scanner to locate and orient the symbol and to correct distortion. TIMING PATTERN: Two opposite adjacent pair of borders are constructed with alternating dark and light cells and are designated as the timing pattern. This component gives the scanner information about the symbol’s size. DATA REGION: The actual data and error correction information is divided into regions in the symbol which contain a pattern of modules in a consistent array. QUIET ZONE: A clear space around the symbol. 13  
  14. 14. BENEFITS OF THE DATA MATRIX VERY EFFICIENT: Misread probability of 1/10.5 million (for the 3 of 9 symbol the probability drops to 1/1.7 million). SMALL: Almost 40X smaller than a 3 of 9 carrying the same data. DEPENDABLE: Error correction capabilities (ECC200 method) allows accurate reads on symbols with up to 60% damage. FAXABLE: Data Matrix is also one of the few codes that are faxable. The outstanding capabilities of ECC200 error correction allows even poorly resolved faxed images to be reliably scanned. STORAGE CAPACITY: They are designed to encode up to 2335 alphanumeric characters, though they have a recommended limit of 800 characters, actual best case is around 1200. 14  
  15. 15. QR CODE The Quick Response or QR code is a trademarked two-dimensional barcode first designed for the automotive industry in Japan in 1994 by Denso Wave, a Toyota subsidiary. Almost a decade ago, it was introduced to enable high-speed component scanning during the manufacturing process. 15  
  16. 16. HOW THEY ARE COMMONLY USED Since then QR codes have become ubiquitous, showing up on product packaging, billboards and bumper stickers, in magazines and just about any place where a consumer with a smartphone is likely to seek more information about any topic, item or idea. 16  
  17. 17. THE ANATOMY OF A QR CODE TIMING  PATTERN   MODULES   ENCODING  PORTION   ALIGNMENT  PATTERN   FINDER  PATTERN   17  
  18. 18. QR CODE GLOSSARY MODULES: square modules arranged on a grid. These modules form the components of the code. Within the code the modules fall into two categories:  functional and encoding. FUNCTIONAL MODULES: referring to those pieces that enable accessing the data ENCODING MODULES: pieces used to store actual data FINDER PATTERN: These are made up of alternating black and empty modules used to indicate the position of the symbol’s internal components. ALIGNMENT PATTERNS: looking much like smaller versions of the positional detection indicators may occur in several places in the code depending on the code version. ENCODING PORTION: consists of the information formatting areas and the data and error correction space. QUIET ZONE: A clear space around the symbol 18  
  19. 19. HOW IT ALL WORKS Data is divided up into code blocks within the data area, and each code block is sized so that it can contain no more than 15 errors. This strategy simplifies the algorithm, and interleaving the data in the code blocks minimizes the possibility of an unreadable code due to partial damage to symbol. This also allows for some artistic license with adding logos and other simple graphics to QR Codes. QR Codes can contain four basic types of information: numeric, alphanumeric, binary and Kanji. The key to the success of QR Codes lies in the use of Reed-Solomon error correction. 19  
  20. 20. The QR Code bridges the gap between the physical and virtual worlds.     20  
  21. 21. About NEPS: NEPS is a Business-Process-Automation Software and Services company. We deliver the technology platform and services for personalized communications between our clients and their customers with data-driven hosted and installed software solutions. Our mission-critical business solutions operate in highly complex, data-intensive, regulated environments for the financial services, insurance, healthcare and other select industries.   © NEPS, LLC. All rights reserved. Contact NEPS: www.neps.com @nepsllc (866)636-6377 21  
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