Barcode Verifier Series: Most Important Question
Barcode Verifier: The one question to ask…
Artful wording and sins of omission are as prevalent in barcode verifier technology as anywhere else. Crafty, lawyerly word-smithing on the very edge of advertising fraud makes you believe one thing while something else is the actual truth.
The “One Question” is whether the barcode verifier you’re considering is compliant to the ISO and ANSI specification. The data sheet or advertising piece should state it plainly.
There are actually two specifications involved: one describes (in detail) the nine critical attributes for the quality of the barcode symbol itself: it should achieve reflectivity above a stated minimum; defects should not exceed a specified threshold, etc.
The other specification describes how the barcode verifier, which is the test instrument, is performing in order to be able to measure the quality of the barcode. It’s a way to “benchmark the ruler”.
Barcode verifiers are expensive—this is certainly a consideration in the decision. They are expensive because of the technology involved and the relatively small marketplace over which to amortize development cost. Ironically non-compliant verifiers are not less expensive than compliant ones. So why buy a non-compliant barcode verifier at all—and what are the ramifications of that decision?
Most people who buy a non-compliant barcode verifier do so because they simply didn’t know. The literature was just as attractive—even more attractive—than that of the compliant brands. And here’s where carefully crafted working can be beguiling. One non-complying manufacture’s literature states that their barcode verifier “…give you the industry’s highest quality bar code verification…” and “…will meet all your needs.”
Well, maybe not. The ramifications of buying a non-compliant barcode verifier can be dire—and expensive.
Your worst nightmare: a major customer notifies you that they are refusing your latest shipment of product because the barcodes are failing at the point-of-sale. Attached to their email is a verification report from their ISO compliant and recently calibrated instrument. What defense do you have? Will the manufacturer of your non-compliant barcode verifier stand behind their product and help you defend yourself? On what basis? How will it sound when you point out that you have “…the industry’s highest quality bar code verifi(er)…” but your barcodes have failed and you are facing the possible loss of your most important customer? How will your boss feel about the situation you have put them it—even though they might have encouraged you to “…buy the company favorite… device?
One simple and critical question to ask: “Is this device ISO/ANSI compliant?” Look for the statement. If it isn’t there, it is speaking volumes to you—volumes of uncertainty and maybe pain.