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Barcodes are a critical component of item and data recognition and organization. A barcode printer can help keep products organized and tracked from the warehouse to the point-of-sale. When relying on enterprise mobile solutions for product data, a faulty barcode can cause unnecessary loss of data and possibly throw off inventory. Here are four common barcode printing malfunctions, and how to avoid them:
Contrast between background (unprinted space) and information (printed space) is critical for the successful scanning of barcodes. Low contrast can occur in a number of ways—typically, it’s an error in the printing process, but a similar effect can happen due to low light at time of scanning. Even colour contrast can cause problems for scanning, so be sure to print black barcodes on white or light-coloured backgrounds whenever possible to avoid this issue. Also, ensure that codes are well lit when scanning. Finally, be sure to adjust your barcode printer so that ink is distributed evenly.
The “dead” or “quiet” zone is an important blank space around the barcode that is kept free of text or symbols. This zone provides the space needed for readers to recognize the barcode and read the data. If there is any text or stray ink within this quiet zone then you will likely experience unreadable barcodes. Luckily, this is an issue that can be avoiding with a little pre-planning. Be sure to place barcodes on product away from other text or symbols and allow for the minimum amount of dead zone to ensure easy scanning. If a printer error causes ink to bleed into the quiet zone, service your printer immediately.
Distortion and damage to barcodes can occur in a number of ways. Distortion may occur with packaging that includes shrink wrapping or other plastic coverings. Wrinkles can cause barcode distortions that alter how the light reflects off of it. This makes it difficult to properly scan the code. Likewise, damage to the barcode means critical loss of information, making it impossible to successfully scan. Although it is difficult to have much control over the barcode once it has entered circulation, some preparation can minimize damage. If distortion issues originate with packaging or printing, then this can be remedied before distribution. Also, make sure to avoid environmental factors that might damage codes.
The way a barcode reader is held can be a source of malfunction. If the code or reader is held at too severe of an angle, then the reader may not be able to scan all the data. Scanners should be held direct and level with the code for best results.
You can eliminate barcode printer and readers issues can be quickly with some forethought and planning. Keep these enterprise mobile solutions in mind to avoid common barcode problems and ensure the safety of your products and data.
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