When barcode quiet zones go wrong

When barcode quiet zones go wrong

Whilst it is easy to blame the warehousing system when you scan a 1D linear barcode and it fails to read, often this is not the case and there is a very simple reason for the error. We often find that it might be a quiet zone failure connected to the printing and/or layout of the barcode itself.

The quiet zone is the empty space area around the barcode that enables the scanning device to establish where the barcode begins and ends and thus allow it to read the label.

There is usually a simple reason for a quiet zone error. It could be that when the barcode was printed on the carton the ink “bled” on the absorbent cardboard and thus made the bars a different width rendering them illegible....

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_damaged_barcode.jpg

The carton could have been damaged or the label made dirty during shipping or storage and thus difficult for the scanning device to read. As it the case in this example.

 

 

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_barcode_whitespace.jpgEqually there could be a design error on the retail packaging where a barcode is printed on a coloured background and a white box added behind the code but not made wide enough to allow the barcode scanner to recognise the beginning and end of the quiet zone.This type of error is usually down to lack of knowledge on the part of the designer and an attempt to not allow the practical barcode to “detract” from the graphical design of the product label.

Whilst the technology used in the latest barcode scanning devices has become more efficient and tolerant of these errors there are many businesses still using perfectly workable but older models which do not cope so well. Which is why it is necessary to be aware of this and for a business to be vigilant or this could become a "secret" cause of a reduction in efficiency and also reduce the speed of order processing/stock dispatch.

 

Additional Info: When setting up a quiet zone the following should be considered:

b2ap3_thumbnail_quiet_zone_example.gif

Read more about quiet zones on Barcode Betty’s website: http://bit.ly/1pJnXIY

 

 

 

 

 

 

Warehouse abbreviations
Tracking products through the supply chain

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