Barcodes have become universal as they have succeeded in the commercial industry with their use at check-outs of every supermarket.
A Barcode is a machine-readable code in the form of numbers or patterns of lines, which represents data in the visual form. Barcodes are attached to the products as a quick identification.
Barcodes were invented to provide better data. One barcode can be used for inventory as well as pricing information making it possible to obtain data quickly. Further, barcode tags can be customized to obtain the needed relevant information.
The first use of Barcode:
Wrigley gum was the first product to have its barcode scanned and a pack of 10 Wrigley fruit juice gum was the first item to be scanned for its UPC in a grocery store that too 40 years ago in 1974.
Who invented Barcode:
The barcode was first invented by Norman Joseph Woodland and Bernard Silver and was patented in the US in 1951. Early use of one type of barcode in an industrial context was sponsored by the Association of American Railroads in the late 1960s.
Automatic identification and data capture (AIDC):
- AIDC refers to methods of automatically identifying objects, collecting data about them, and adding them directly to computer systems, without any human involvement.
- AIDC includes various asset tracking technologies as QR codes, Barcodes, Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), Biometrics, Magnetic Strips, Optical Character Recognition (OCR), Smartcards, Voice Recognition.
- AIDC is also referred as Automatic Identification, Auto ID, Automatic Data Capture.
It is an optical scanner that can read printed barcodes and decodes the data contained in the barcode and send it to the computer. It uses Optical Technology for scanning the data like infrared light.
Some of the barcode scanners use integrated decoders, others have two different units for reading and decoding the barcode.
The digits on the barcode refer to a particular item, and scanning the numbers and bars records the entry in the database with further information like price, number of items in stock, description of the item which makes a possible picture of a product for reference.
Types of barcodes:
Earlier the barcodes at the start of their time were known as linear barcodes or 1-dimensional (1D) barcodes that can be scanned by optical scanners called barcode readers.
After the time, 2-dimensional (2D) barcode variants were developed using rectangles, dots, hexagons and other geometric patterns called matrix codes. These can be read and decoded by using application software on mobile devices with inbuilt cameras.
Linear or 1D barcodes Matrix or 2D barcodes- These barcodes only store information horizontally from left to right.
- Simplest kind of barcodes and can be read by any barcode scanner rapidly.
- It can hold between 8-25 characters but as the information rises the size of the barcode also gets bigger.
- It keeps the barcode at respectable and printable sight.
- The information which is stored is description, customer or item identification, pricing, tracking information and more. - These barcodes can store data horizontally as well as vertically making it more versatile for use.
- It requires an image scanner to get read.
- It can hold up to 1-2,000 characters of encoded data.
- Its great advantage is that it provides the ability to use any keyboard character.
- It gives user endless referencing and cross-referencing encoded data.
- The information which is stored is inventory tracking, sales registry, supply chain management, mobile marketing, and logistics.
- The added perk to 2D barcodes is the possibility of encoding images or links onto a barcode.
Quick Response Code (QR code) is a type of 2D barcode. It was invented in Japan in 1994 for use in the automotive industry.
QR code is an optical label that contains information which is machine-readable.
The information on QR codes often points to a site or an app.
The code stores information about locator, identifier or tracker in the form of various standardized encoding modes such as numeric, binary, alphanumeric, and kanji.
It offers fast readability and great storage capacity through this it has gained popularity in various industries.
It is being used in time tracking, extracting product information by barcode tracking, document management, item identification, and overall marketing.
Here are some points which may clarify you more about QR codes and why you should use them for tracking:
- Store up to more than 100 times data as of other barcodes.
- Can scan it from any direction and at any angle up to 360°.
- Easier to read and decode.
- Less risk of interference in the background.
Information stored in QR codes:
You might be wondering about the information that is stored in the QR codes. It features the following applications:
- Positioning markings
- Alignment markings
- Time pattern
- Version Barcode Information
- Format information
- Keys for error and data correction
- Quiet zone
Note: QR can hold up to 4296 characters and 7089 digits.
How are barcodes important for Asset Management and Tracking:
In today's world, barcode tags are at a very dynamic stage especially with the smartphones and what's happening online.
The improvement of customer service has anyhow become a mandatory goal of any business. In the Asset Tracking solution, it's best to use what is best along with giant features in terms of efficiency.
Following are the points to discuss the importance of barcodes in asset tracking solution:
- Fewer errors: Barcodes have the capacity to hold extensive data of the assets they are attached to and are therefore more efficient and accurate. Barcodes are virtually error-free.
- Speed: Barcodes increases the speed of work of your business as compared to manual tracking of each and every asset or inventory in the warehouse.
- Less Costly: With respect to RFID technology, Barcodes are less expensive to produce in large quantities.
- Easy to Track: It is very important to know the location, quantity, and condition of your inventory from its production to purchase and beyond.
- Cloud Capabilities: Barcode tags nowadays are adaptive to increasingly widespread cloud technologies. Barcodes solutions are developing cloud-hosted applications that will reduce the total cost of ownership.
- Seamless Integration: Barcode label technology ties with your existing systems and will integrate with your ERP.
- Quick Response: The speed of scanning barcodes is already established. Data is instantly loaded upon scanning the barcode. 2D barcodes can hold up to 2,000 characters of text.
- Depreciation Tracking: Fixed assets will include the notifications and reminders of the asset's useful life and its required maintenance and upkeep. On scanning an inventory it will notify you the condition of it whether it needs repair or broken. This eases in audits for accountants for the need of status.
- Options for Asset Tags: Barcodes are available in many varieties with choices in shape, size, color, and material. Depending upon your industry type, you will need different barcode tags as metalized polyester for the harsh internal environment or anodized aluminum foil for outdoor scanning.
Asset Tracking is an important factor for any organization. The organization should find the best way for tracking its assets or inventories according to the working criteria which suit them the best. The barcode tags are in trend as well as very efficient and store much of the related data to help to configure in tracking specifically.