Barcodes are used almost everywhere in a wide range of industries. This is why it is important to ensure the accuracy of data in the barcodes and their scanability. You have probably been involved in a situation at a supermarket or at local stores where the barcode doesn’t scan and the cashier has to manually enter the data to scan the item. Manual entry of data is fine for a few items but it defeats the very purpose of using barcodes.
Barcode verification and validation is focused on ensuring that barcodes can be scanned quickly and accurately with the help of a variety of barcode scanners. While barcode validation and verification are frequently used interchangeably, the fact is that both are different processes and are meant for different things.
What Is Barcode Validation?
Barcode validation is focused on confirming that the barcode contains the right data for a particular product. This validation is performed as per the rule set created by the organisation that is using the barcodes. Simply put, validation is focused on ensuring the accuracy of the data contained in the barcode and making sure that the right barcode is affixed to the right label. There are no standards to meet here as everything is based on the unique requirements of the organisation. Any device can be used for validating the data. Simply put, the process is focused on ensuring that a $2,000 TV doesn’t have a barcode that scans for just $500.
What Is Barcode Verification?
Barcode verification is focused on confirming that the print quality of the barcode complies with the relevant ANSI or ISO standards. It is a standards-based process and specific equipment is needed to verify the print quality of barcodes. A standards-based verifier is necessary to use for verification to make sure that the barcode can be read by a variety of scanners used across the globe.
Barcode Verification Vs Barcode Validation
Let’s now discuss the difference between these two different processes. Here are the main differences:
Barcode validation is focused on ensuring the accuracy of barcode data and in ensuring that the right data is used for every product. On the other hand, barcode verification is focused on ensuring the print quality and scanability of the barcode.
Barcode validation isn’t focused on compliance with particular standards. The goal of barcode validation is to ensure that the data matches the internal parameters set by the organisation. On the other hand, barcode verification is focused on compliance with particular standards.
Barcode validation can be done by using a variety of barcode scanners and does not require any specific equipment. On the other hand, barcode verification needs purpose-built verification systems that measure certain parameters to verify compliance with particular standards.
Barcode validation ensures that the right data is printed on the barcode and the correct barcode is applied to the intended shipping label. On the other hand, barcode verification ensures that the code can be scanned by thousands of different types of scanners across the globe.
Barcode validation is more focused on data accuracy whereas barcode verification is more focused on print quality.
How to Verify Barcodes?
Special equipment is needed to verify barcodes. You cannot use your phone camera or a regular barcode scanner for verification as it doesn’t tell you whether the barcode complies with the relevant standards. As mentioned in the above paragraphs, ANSI or ISO standards are used for barcode verification. ANSI standards use alphabetical grades ranging from A to F and with A being the highest quality and F being the lowest quality. On the other hand, ISO grades use numbers ranging from 4.0 for the highest quality to 1.0 for the lowest quality.
Special equipment is needed to verify barcodes and measure certain parameters. The verification process is focused on checking and grading the barcodes for the following parameters:
- Reflectance margin
- Minimum edge contrast
- Symbol contrast
- Minimum reflectance
How to Validate Barcodes?
No special equipment is needed for barcode validation as the process is focused on ensuring that the data in the barcode complies with the rules created by the company. It is much more subjective and can be conducted using any kind of barcode scanner. A barcode may pass the validation test which means it has accurate data but still fail at the verification test.
Validation is important to ensure that a $2,500 laptop doesn’t scan for just $1,000. Barcodes are also widely used in the health sector. In big hospitals, nurses and doctors regularly scan medical devices and medicines to ensure accuracy. If the wrong barcode label is applied to a medical device or medicine, it could have some serious consequences.
For the barcode validation process, barcode scanners are positioned at a fixed place on the shipping line and a software solution is used to match the expected results with the actual results. You can also use your phone to validate a bunch of barcodes but when it has to be done at scale, automated solutions are needed. These automated barcode validation scanners can also be integrated with packaging or handling equipment to perform the validation process at scale.
Overall, barcodes are widely used in various industries including critical sectors and a variety of scanners are used for scanning the codes. It is important to ensure that barcodes can be read consistently and that these codes contain the right data. Barcode verification is focused on ensuring the print quality of the label and confirming that it can be easily read by any scanner. Barcode validation is also necessary. It ensures that the right code is affixed to the right product and has accurate data.
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