Barcodes on Corrugated: The Perfect Verifier

 In 201

As everybody in the  industry knows, barcodes on corrugated are a special problem. The undulations of the substrate are a problem; recycled material does not respond to pressure uniformly and accepts ink unevenly; the brownish color is low reflectance.  It’s a challenge for a printer under the best of circumstances and barcodes can make it a nightmare.

Barcodes on Corrugated–difficult under the best of circumstances

A hard job is nearly impossible without the right tools to test and evaluate a large format linear barcode on corrugated, but thankfully the perfect verifier is available: the Axicon 7015.

What makes the 7015 “perfect’?

Besides its ability to verify a symbol up to 7.7” long including the quiet zones, the 7015 has several unique features that make it especially well suited for barcodes on corrugated.

The Axicon 7015 is uniquely well suited for barcodes on corrugated

The 7015 covers the basics: it is ISO-ANSI compliant (ANSI x3.182 and ISO/IEC 15416-1). What good is a quality-assurance tool if isn’t compliant to global, industry-recognized standards? Furthermore, Axicon equipment is independently tested and conforms to ISO/IEX 15426-1.

Barcodes on corrugated can be a wide variety of types and sizes, from relatively small UPC’s and Code 128’s to huge ITF-14’s. The 7015 determines the correct aperture for each symbol and automatically sets itself, from a range of apertures of 8, 10 or 20 mils. Other manufacturers require the user to determine the correct aperture from the symbol X dimension and manually configure the verifier—sometimes this means purchasing additional reading devices which requires recalibration of the verifier with each aperture change.

Axicon’s pc-tethered verifiers, including the 7015, derive power from the computer: no onboard batteries are required. This makes the 7015, although large enough to verify even the largest Shipping Container Codes, light and easy to use.

But the 7015 can also become completely portable with the very clever PV-1000 Portable Display Unit. The user can switch the 7015 back and forth, from pc-tethered to portable and back again at will, depending on the project at hand. Transferring data from the small, 2-line LCD display PDU to the computer is dog simple: it’s done in seconds with any readily-available USB flash drive, and the complete verification report is displayed in full color on the computer display.

One of the challenges of verifying barcodes on corrugated is the reflectance properties of the substrate. It is always low reflectance; frequently the best possible grade is a D just because of this. Besides low reflectivity, the substrate can also be unevenly reflective, a factor which is impossible to detect and diagnose on other verifiers. Not so with the 7015. Just click the Static Reflectance box in the Scan Reflectance Profile window, and you can measure the reflectivity across the entire 7.7” scan window and graph the reflectance characteristics of the substrate.

Barcodes on corrugated often have variable background reflectivity–the 7015 can detect this 

Other verifiers will have you wondering why they are reporting problems of modulation or decidability when you can’t see any evidence of these issues in the barcode image—you can spend hours chasing a ghost issue. The 7015 makes it easy to see and quantify the problem.

Other features include automatic re-calibration reminders, product look-up function and a multi-language user interface.

Once again, Axicon has got it exactly right.

 

 

John helps companies resolve current barcode problems and avoid future barcode problems to stabilize and secure their supply chain and strengthen their trading partner relationships.

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Showing 4 comments
  • Doug Moody
    Reply

    John,

    Thank you for the insightful post! I have experienced many of the challenges with corrugated you mention and have made use of the 7015 in my work to analyze inadequate barcode quality. Although I have not come to the conclusion that the Axicon 7015 is “the perfect verifier”, it has served my purpose for quite some time and has been the best choice for me to date.

    I have found that in order to grade a barcode in its entirety, it is best to take dozens if not hundreds of scans top-to-bottom, a laborious ask with most verifiers. This would provide a more accurate picture of a barcode’s quality than one can get from 10 (or so) scans. A barcode can get robbed of a good grade simply by scanning a couple bad spots when 90% of the code is high quality.

    I will be testing the Integra 9570 over the next few weeks. This is a just-released product from Label Vision Systems (LVS) that claims to take 50-100+ scans of a barcode with a single ‘swipe’ of the light and portable unit. I have no financial interest in this product and am looking forward to testing it’s capabilities.

    Again, thank you for the article and your insight into this industry!

    –Doug M.

    • John Nachtrieb
      Reply

      Doug:
      You might want to consider the Axicon 7025S which does continuous scanning.

      This automates the 10 scan averaging process into one easy “scan” of the barcode, top to bottom.

      Let me know if you’d like a test unit to try out.

      I’m very interested in your comments about the LVS Integra 9570 after you’ve had a chance to test it.

      Thanks so much for your comments.

  • Doug Moody
    Reply

    John,

    Thank you for the insightful post! I have experienced many of the challenges with corrugated you mention and have made use of the 7015 in my work to analyze inadequate barcode quality. Although I have not come to the conclusion that the Axicon 7015 is “the perfect verifier”, it has served my purpose for quite some time and has been the best choice for me to date.

    I have found that in order to grade a barcode in its entirety, it is best to take dozens if not hundreds of scans top-to-bottom, a laborious ask with most verifiers. This would provide a more accurate picture of a barcode’s quality than one can get from 10 (or so) scans. A barcode can get robbed of a good grade simply by scanning a couple bad spots when 90% of the code is high quality.

    I will be testing the Integra 9570 over the next few weeks. This is a just-released product from Label Vision Systems (LVS) that claims to take 50-100+ scans of a barcode with a single ‘swipe’ of the light and portable unit. I have no financial interest in this product and am looking forward to testing it’s capabilities.

    Again, thank you for the article and your insight into this industry!

    –Doug M.

    • John Nachtrieb
      Reply

      Doug:
      You might want to consider the Axicon 7025S which does continuous scanning.

      This automates the 10 scan averaging process into one easy “scan” of the barcode, top to bottom.

      Let me know if you’d like a test unit to try out.

      I’m very interested in your comments about the LVS Integra 9570 after you’ve had a chance to test it.

      Thanks so much for your comments.

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