The need to increase compliance with regulatory and retail requirements is a top concern for product manufacturers today. They need to protect their operations from costly coding errors or unreadable barcodes. To comply with applicable coding standards and guidelines, manufacturers must choose the right marking solution to meet their coding needs. The correct choice of marking fluids, such as replacement inks from Videojet, play a crucial role when it comes to barcode products. In addition to choosing the ink, barcode users need to follow some important steps to print data on their merchandise. Here are three of the most important:
1. Obtaining a GS1 Company Prefix
Before starting to use barcodes, it is mandatory to assign the numbers that go in the barcode. These numbers are known as GS1 identification keys. The most important step in assigning these numbers is obtaining a GS1 company prefix. You must obtain it from a GS1 member organization. As far as a GS1 company prefix is concerned, they help companies or manufacturers create identification numbers for products, locations, logistic units, coupons and assets. Companies around the world use GS1 prefixes, unique numbers to identify items throughout the supply chain.
2. Choose the right barcode printing process
To get started, you need to determine what products you are barcoding and whether the barcode will contain static or dynamic information. If you want to display static data, you can print the barcode using the conventional printing process. If the barcode displays dynamic information, you will need a combination of traditional and digital printing or just digital printing. For example, if your product requires a barcode with dynamic information and multi-color graphics, you can print the graphics using traditional presses. Leave an empty section for the product label for online digital printing throughout the packaging and production process. You can even print a barcode with static information on a product package, using digital printing. This is applicable if you use similar packaging for a range of products.
3. Selecting a barcode color
Generally, the ideal color scheme for barcode printing is black bars with a white background. However, you can always use other colors. Here are some ideas to help you:
- If you use GS1 barcodes, opt for dark shades for the bars, including dark blue, black, dark green, or dark brown.
- If you wish to use multiple layers of marking fluid to improve background opacity, use quality Videojet inks and ensure each layer is marked with a solid color.
- Bars should always be made up of a single line color. Never print them using multiple imaging tools such as screen, plate, or cylinder.
- As far as GS1 barcodes are concerned, they need clearer backgrounds for the ‘Quiet Zones’. A Quiet Zone means the printing area around the blanks and the barcode.
- Sometimes the background of the symbol does not print. In such cases, the color of the packaging material or substrate serves as the background of the barcode. If you print the symbol background below the bars, the background should display solid line colors.
Use replacement inks from Videojet for perfect printing of barcodes and information on products, boxes or cartons. Remember to follow the correct steps to code your merchandise.