Barcodes are symbols that can be scanned electronically using laser or camera-based systems.
They are used to encode information such as product numbers, serial numbers and batch numbers. Barcodes play a key role in supply chains, enabling parties like retailers, manufacturers, transport providers and hospitals to automatically identify and track products as they move through the supply chain.
Why use Barcodes?
Barcodes enable the rapid and unambiguous identification of products, assets, documents and people. Using a barcode can greatly reduce human error in data entry and processing, eliminate doubt caused by inconsistent approaches to product labelling and mistakes in reading handwriting.
There are a number of different types of barcode symbols being used today; these include the most widely known basic, linear or 1D barcodes (EAN 13) and the smaller GS1 DataBar Symbols to the latest technology in 2D GS1 Data Matrix codes.
Barcode Symbol Types
There are a number of symbologies among the GS1 family of barcodes or data carriers. These include:
- EAN 13
- EAN 8
- UPC A & UPC E
- ITF 14
- GS1 128
- GS1 DataBar
- GS1 Data Matrix
- GS1 QR Code
Useful Guide to Barcode Symbol Requirements:
For answers to all the common questions about barcodes - how they are composed, what size and colour they should be and where they should be placed on a product, download a copy of the GS1 Ireland Express Guide to Retail Barcodes - an introductory guide to GS1-standard barcodes for products and outer cases.