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Barcode Verifiers

In the definition of a barcode symbology (ISO standard, etc.) the widths and edge positions of the various bars and spaces are defined. These widths and positions have tolerances associated with them which are used as the means to determine how to decode the symbol. In the traditional world of barcodes printed on labels, the easiest error to understand is the “creep” of the ink when the bar code symbol is printed. Thus bars generally get larger at the expense of the spaces.

Standards have been established to allow for the measurement of the quality of the barcode symbology. A grade is given from A to D (and F – fail) which allows for a “prediction” of scanning performance based upon shows how easy it is for a scanner to correctly see and decode the symbol. Many retail stores, based upon published GS1 standards, specify that a symbol must have a quality grade higher than a C or they will not be accepted into the system.

This device used to measure the quality is a verifier. This device is in aspects similar to a barcode scanner, but the tolerances, optical principals and internal software used in its designed and to manufacture it are much tighter. It is calibrated to a known device or standard so that the measurements that it makes can be traceable and tied to quality level.

The verifier does not just measure bar widths and edge positions. It uses multiple “quality” measurements to create a grade. These measurements are defined in the ISO standard.