What is Barcode??
Barcodes are simply a set of symbols used to represent
alpha-numeric information instead of seeing a number “1”,
or letter “A”, you would see a series of black and white
bars in various combinations and in different widths.
These are used to encode data. The data encoded in such
bars can be decoded again to represent it in human readable
What is Barcode Reader??
A barcode reader (or barcode scanner) is an electronic
device for reading printed barcodes.
Like a flatbed scanner, it consists of a light source, a lens
and a light sensor translating optical impulses into electrical
Additionally, nearly all barcode readers contain decoder
circuitry analyzing the barcode's image data provided by
the sensor and sending the barcode's content to the
scanner's output port.
As far back as the 1960s, barcodes were used in industrial
work environments. Some of the early implementations of
barcodes included the ability identify rail road cars.
In the early 1970s, common barcodes started appearing on
grocery shelves. To automate the process of identifying
grocery items, UPC barcodes were placed on products.
Today, barcodes are just about everywhere and are used for
identification in almost all types of business.
A bar code consists of a series of parallel, adjacent bars
and spaces. Symbologies are used to encode small strings
of character data into a printed symbol.
A bar code reader decodes a bar code by scanning a light
source across the bar code and measuring the intensity of
light reflected back by the white spaces. The pattern of
reflected light is detected with a photodiode which
produces an electronic signal that exactly matches the
printed bar code pattern. This signal is then decoded back
to the original data by electronic circuit.
Pen type readers and Laser Scanners
Pen type readers consist of a light source and a photo diode that
are placed next to each other in the tip of a pen or wand.
To read a bar code, you drag the tip of the pen across all the bars
in a steady even motion. The photo diode measures the intensity
of the light reflected back from the light source and generates a
waveform that is used to measure the widths of the bars and
spaces in the bar code.
Dark bars in the bar code absorb light and white spaces reflect
light so that the voltage waveform generated by the photo diode
is an exact duplicate of the bar and space pattern in the bar code.
This waveform is decoded by the scanner in a manner similar to
the way Morse code dots and dashes are decoded.
CCD (Charge Coupled Device) readers use an array of
hundreds of tiny light sensors lined up in a row in the head
of the reader. Each sensor can be thought of as a single
photo diode that measures the intensity of the light
immediately in front of it.
Each individual light sensor in the CCD reader is extremely
small and because there are hundreds of sensors lined up in
a row, a voltage pattern identical to the pattern in a bar code
is generated in the reader by sequentially measuring the
voltages across each sensor in the row.
Camera based Readers
The newest type of bar code reader currently available are
camera-based readers that use a small video camera to
capture an image of a bar code. The reader then uses
sophisticated digital image processing techniques to decode
the bar code.
Video cameras use the same CCD technology as in a CCD
bar code reader except that instead of having a single row
of sensors, a video camera has hundreds of rows of sensors
arranged in a two dimensional array so that they can
generate an image.
Bar code readers are available with two types of output -
either "keyboard wedge" output or RS232 output.
The bar code readers with keyboard wedge output plug
directly into the keyboard port on your PC .
The other option is RS232.With this type of bar code reader
we can connect available serial port on the back of PC.
Why use Barcodes??
When barcodes are used in the business process,
procedures are automated to increase productivity and
reduce human error.
Whenever there is a need to accurately identify or track
something, bar-coding should be used. For example, in a
data entry work environment, workers may be required to
enter an enormous amount of data into a customer database
Instead of manually typing a customer identification
number into a database, if the information is contained in a
barcode, a data entry operator may scan it in. This would
increase automation and reduce human error.
Barcode types and use:
The type of barcode to use for a particular situation
The data encoded in the barcode.
How the barcode will be printed.
There are several different types of barcode standards
for different purposes - these are called symbologies.
Each type of symbology (or barcode type) is a
standard that defines the printed symbol and how a
device, such as a barcode scanner, reads and decodes
the printed symbol.
When multiple parties or companies are involved in the ID
process, industry standards are usually established. Note
that the standard is not necessarily the same as the barcode
symbology. If an industry standard has been established for
the customer's use of bar-coding, then most likely there will
not be a choice in selecting the barcode symbology.
Barcode standards define how to use the barcode
symbology in a particular situation. For example, ISBN is a
standard for labeling books and periodicals that uses the
Two types of Barcodes(examples):
Linear Barcodes 2D Barcodes
Code 128 Data Matrix
UPC Pdf 417
Some Established Barcode Industry
Established standard Common use Symbology
AIAG Automotive item
UPCA, EAN13 Items for sale
MIL-STD-130L US Department of
SSCC-18 Shipping cartons Code 128
Benefits of Barcoding:
ACCURACY OF DATA INPUT (ERROR FREE)
AID EFFECTIVE MANAGEMENT OF RESOURCES AND INVENTORIES
LABOUR SAVINGS BY AVOIDING MANUAL SYSTEM
REAL TIME DATA COLLECTION
MEASUREMENT OF WORK IN PROGRESS THROUGHOUT THE
RAPID ACCESS TO TOTAL PRODUCTION COSTS
MORE ACCURATE DISPATCH
Counter-mounted Bar Code scanners
Universal Product Code (UPC)
Price and description information
HEALTH CARE APPLICATIONS
Drugs, devices, instruments
Identification of expiry date
• Blood group
• Expiry date
• Donor traceability
10th Floor, Plot G1,
Block EP & GP,
Sector V, Salt-Lake,
Kolkata – 700091.
Next to Chincholi Fire
Brigade, Malad (West),
Mumbai – 400 064.