Barcode Standards: Is there more to passing ANSI?

Barcode ScanRecently, we discussed ANSI grades for barcodes. In order to determine how well a barcode will perform, a number of measurements are executed by a verifier to determine the final grade of the symbol. While a grade of C or better is passing, it is possible that there may still be issues with a barcode that makes the grade.

Sometimes a passing ANSI grade barcode could fail an industry standard, such as the GS1 applications standard. While the barcode itself may be a valid symbol, sometimes the Application Identifiers (AIs), which define the purpose of the data and how it should be used, are in the wrong location or missing altogether. In addition, there are often problems with the Family Code being invalid.

Errors such as these are not usually included in the ANSI verification process, but sometimes they are, which leads to non-uniformity within the industry. Such variants almost defeat the purpose of standards, allowing for guessing and inconsistency.

Often times, these variants are symbology specific. For example the frequently used UPC symbology has different variants for different industries such as books, coupons and music, just to name a few. While the generic UPC may meet all of the ANSI guidelines, that same barcode could fail an industry specific parameter if the verifier used does not check for industry specific applications.

In order to prevent such problems, it’s important to invest in a good verifier that will check for industry specific problems.