How Barcoding Works
As inventory automation software experts, we make extensive use of barcodes here at HandiFox, but for many of our customers, the mechanics of barcoding remains a mystery. So for this blog, we’re going to take a look at exactly how barcodes work.
Most barcodes are UPC barcodes - these are the codes composed of vertical lines that can be found on virtually everything from auto parts to a carton of milk. UPC stands for Universal Product Code, and these codes originate from a company called the Universal Code Council (UCC). The UPC symbol is actually composed of two parts – the machine readable bar code, composed of vertical lines of varying thickness, and the human readable UPC, composed of cardinal numbers. These two components actually have the same data, just represented in different forms.
The number itself has two sections. The first six digits represent the manufacturer identification number, and the next five digits represent the item number. Finally, the last digit in the UPC number is called a check digit, which ensures that the code has been scanned correctly. Here’s how the check digit is calculated (it gets a little complicated!):
Let’s start with an imaginary UPC of 1 - 23456 – 78909 - 8
So our check digit, in this example, would be 8.
Your Inventory Automation Experts
As always, if you have any questions regarding optimizing your inventory management, feel free to contact us. And don’t forget to check back to this blog regularly – we’ll be keeping it up to date with relevant information on inventory management.