After finding the correct types of barcodes needed for your trade units, it is important to note the barcode specifications that need to be adhered to. Should a barcode not adhere to the standards set by GS1 Australia, inefficiencies will be caused in the supply chain causing dramas to your trade partners and in effect your products will not be stocked on shelves.
Barcodes are required to be specific sizes in order for the barcode to be read by the scanner. If the barcode is not the required size, the scanner cannot read the bars and register the number, requiring costly manual intervention. The below size guide will help to ensure your barcodes are the correct size when placed on the product in its' formed state. Remember that it is important to consider the product in its' formed state – as the process of vacuuming, sealing, labelling and plastic wrapping products should not tamper with the readability of the product.
Cutting the barcodes height to fit in with the package design is not recommended due to the scanning problems it causes. See the size guide above as a guide for the minimum label heights required on each trade unit, carton, inner and pallet.
A scanner produces a red laser light that reads the spaces and bars, recognises the contrast between dark and light and returns a number according to the width of the bars (which is determined by the space in between the bars and the bar width itself). A dark barcode on a light background is essential as the scanner recognises only contrast. It is important to note that a red laser scanner will not read a red barcode – because it will not read the spaces upon reflecting its own red light against the contrasting background.
- White background, black barcode
- Orange background, black barcode
- Yellow background, black barcode
- Black background, white barcode
- Yellow background, red barcode
- Blue background, yellow barcode
As mentioned earlier, the product must be in its' finished form before the barcode is applied. That means all plastic wrap, labels, vacuuming and sealing should be applied to the product before the barcode is applied to the product. Seams, seals, additional labels, corners, overlapping materials etc. can render the barcode unreadable. Pallets have specific location requirements which can be found by visiting the GS1 Australia website.
Barcodes require a specific measurement of 'Quiet Zones' on either side of the barcode in order for the scanner to recognise the bars and spaces contained within it. The scanner will identify the quiet zones first, and then identify that it should read the bars and spaces contained within the quiet zones. Areas to the left and right of the barcode must be kept clear of obstructions that will cause scanning difficulties.