1D Barcode Symbologies
Barcoding technology has been around a while and for years only used a few symbologies in the linear 1D Barcode Symbology space. 1D symbologies are usually identified as the ladder style barcode technology. These symbologies are sometimes referred to as fonts, but really in 1D they are different lines and white spaces that determine characters. The main symbologies where 128, 3of9, UPC, and Postnet. All of these are still used today and a few more.
|Linear 1D – Postnet Postal Code|
Some symbologies like UPC used in grocery stores use are only numerical characters, and have a defined section for the provider ID and another for the product ID. Most grocery items have a UPC for each product and sometimes more than one barcode ID on the same product, when size, color, and other parameters are necessary to identify. Obviously, as with most 1D items when scanned, the system looks up the number that is unique to a certain product. The product type, company, quantity, sizing, and price is determined by the scan. This has been highly successful in at least the ability to adjust pricing, and not have to retag items for every price change. Really it is more important since it can help to control inventory and assets. The main items that most controllers are looking to control are Inventory control, inventory turns, and inventory reorders which are clear productivity enhancers.
|Linear 1D Symbology -UPC-e||Linear 1D-3of9 Symbology|
Two symbologies the 3of9 and 128 are used mainly in manufacturing. The 3of9 allows for a larger subset of characters including letters and numbers mixed. Most manufacturing codes utilize at minimum a letter at the first of the barcode so programs can easily determine by a prefix code like P(Part) they are putting data in the right spot. With AIAG Labels in automotive, data is separated by this type parameter. P is for part, L for lot, Q for quantity and so on where Quantity 32 would be Q32.
|Linear 1D Symbology -Simple AIAG In Automotive|
|1D Linear – AIAG with 2D|
Since this is not mean to be a primer on all 1D symbologies, but just an overview I will mention a few of the others. Postnet is used by the postal service, books have an abbreviated UPC type code called EAN, due to size constraints and other needs, and many others exist as well as variations. You will find 3of9 and 128 in stores and places where UPC is expected, but for the most part UPC will be in stores.
1D scanners must be read across through all the bars to be successful. 1D Symbology barcodes were almost entirely read by laser scanners for years. In the last few years, LED or linear scanning technology has really consumed much of the market once limited to laser scanners, due to cost, speed, and fewer moving parts. Laser is still used pretty effectively in groceries were orientation/position of the linear 1D is not known. Especially, in the in-counter scanners several laser orientations from different angles(called rasterizing), so you can get a read in most any orientation. Of course, if any part of the barcode is torn or printed badly it will not read. 2D addresses this much better.
In the last few years, 2d barcode symbologies and 3d barcodes symbologies have become available. It seems that 1D Barcodes will survive well into our future, due to the inexpensive cost of implementation, equipment, and simply the current investment in the technology. RFID is also a future technology to watch for, but again it is expensive to maintain and operate. The ladder style barcode technology, or 1D will be here a while longer. Please do read our other articles on 2D and 3D, and give us a call at 800.798.2042, if we can help you with any needs you might have.