Barcode Quality

If your company prints labels which include barcode images, don’t forget that there are a number of factors which can materially affect how that code will scan when your product reaches your customer. For example, if you change your label supplier or the grade of thermal transfer ribbon (if any) you use, put a new label printer on-line with whose printing characteristics you are not familiar, change your manufacturing / packaging methods or simply have a print head that’s reached the end of its’ life, your barcode quality can suffer. Unfortunately, it is not always obvious with the naked eye (or a standard barcode scanner) to spot when a barcode has slipped below the quality threshold. You must periodically have your barcodes verified to check that they meet the necessary ISO standards, particularly if these items are entering into the retail supply chain. The best solution is to purchase a recognised barcode verifier. Prices vary from about £1600 to £6300 depending on whether you are verifying small retail codes or the latest 2D codes such as Data Matrix or QR codes. Another alternative is to use an external barcode verification service. Using a standard barcode reader/scanner is no substitute for fully verifying your codes. Certainly a reader will prove that a code scans, but if it does not, then that reader can’t analyse the code and tell you what has gone wrong!

Metapace S-62 2D Bar Code Reader – a new kid on the block!

Metapace S-62Metapace S-62

Metapace S-62 2D Bar Code Reader – how we found it…


We’ve just tested a new scanner – the Metapace S-62 2D reader.

We were eager to get our hot little hands on it since the spec is high and the price-point is low. I know, we’ve been this way before with various devices – some deliver and some don’t and some can leave a decidedly nasty taste….

We were surprised however by this reader. It is in fact, very good indeed.

Many organisations are now looking at employing 2D codes both for their marketing (QR codes for URL’s)  manufacturing, retailing and also patient information gathering within the NHS and private sector – normally Data Matrix or Aztec codes.

A year or two ago, 2D scanners attracted a premium price, but we’re now seeing prices drop as the 2D code becomes widely accepted in a number of sectors.

Down to brass tacks then:-

The quality of the molding is comparable with the likes of Motorola, Honeywell and Datalogic. The guns sits easily in the hand and the trigger has a familiar soft touch activation. There is a red aiming bar during triggering which is accompanied by white light  illumination for the decode itself. With it being an area imager of course, there is no need to align the beam along the length of the code – you can scan from any angle.

A PDF manual is supplied on a full sized CD which allows you to read through and print out – if you must!  There is also a quick setup leaflet which enables hands free mode, carriage return after scan, computer type (PC/Mac/IBM SurePOS)  and keyboard nationality. The really great thing about this type of technology, is that it allows you to scan codes directly off your screen as well. So if you require additional programming, volume and pitch of bleep, adding of prefix, suffix etc., all can be activated by scanning the setup codes directly from the screen when you’re viewing the PDF!

The stand is a simple two-part affair – the swan neck clips into the base and the reader slides into the top bracket. The base is not as heavy as some so it may not be as stable – that is our only criticism at this stage.

We tried it scanning all sorts of different codes – EAN’s ITF’s, Code 128, Code39, QR code and Data Matrix – it even scans the really small Data Matrix codes in the back of Nokia phones – up to 27 characters in a 5mm square code, very well.

Metapace must be confident with this product to be offering a 60 month warranty. They’re even throwing in a 4-port USB hub in case you’re running short of ports – that’s nice of them!

At £112.99 we consider this to be outstanding value for money.

Zebra buys Motorola…

Interesting news that Zebra have now acquired Motorola for a reported 3.5 billion USD. This news comes hot on the heels of the other major story in the last few months that Honeywell bought Intermec to add that quality mark to their range of scanning technology.  So a couple of very major players combining scanning and printing technology – interesting times lie ahead!

FREE Operator Manuals….

FREE Operators Manuals!

Yes, we’ll give you a free operators manual if you have an old bit of kit – bar code reader, reader/PDA, Label Printer etc, or you’re tempted to buy one off eBay and you want an operators manual for it, drop us an email with the make and model number and if we haven’t got it, we’ll find one for you in PDF format. We now put these on our own personal cloud space for you to download or refer to whenever you like!

New Colorbit Bar Code Offers Amazing Features…..

Just when you thought barcodes were looking ‘old hat’!

This could be a fantastic opportunity for clients to be able to gather inventory information in one go rather than have to individually scan. Be patient though – the technology is only just leaving Japan and hasn’t really got to the States yet, so it could be some time….


There’s a new color bar code in town and it offers new exciting potential uses that conventional bar codes can’t match.    Some major companies have already licensed the code.   The technology is known as Colorbit(R), and it is comprised of a string of colored little blobs that can be translated into a binary code/numerical code.

/”>Read More…

Link from here »

Happy Easter!

Well, I don’t think any of us are going to find anything approaching Mediterranean temperatures this Easter if we plan to stay in the UK!  Still, as long as we can bid farewell to the snow that’s something I suppose…

We’ll be back again on Tuesday 2nd April so in the meantime, we wish you all a very Happy Easter.

All the best,