Different Variations of Barcodes and UID Plates

BY Rowena Taylor

Barcodes and UID Plates

Did you know that those tags with the lines and numbers that you see on products you buy actually come in many forms? As similar as these tags may seem, barcodes and UID plates can actually carry different kinds of codes on them. The choice of which code to use on a specific tag usually depends on a number of important factors.

What are the factors that dictate what type of barcode is chosen by a company for their needs? What are these many different barcode types? Are all of these different types ideal for any of the uses you may have for barcodes?

Barcodes, in a nutshell, are essentially information that is compressed and stored in machine readable form, which means that these can be read with the use of an optical scanner. The kinds of forms that these come in are divided into two main groups, the linear ones and the 2D ones. Linear barcodes are those that you see with vertical line running from the top to the bottom of the tag or label, and may or may not carry numbers, or alphanumeric combinations at the bottom of such lines. 2D barcodes, or what some people call matrix codes, are usually square in shape and come with dots that carry the information that is needed.

More often than not, linear barcodes are used for POS (point of sale) purposes, inventory and tracking, and asset management needs. 2D barcodes are also used for inventory and tracking as well as asset management requirements, but are usually seen on items that require more information on them to be available when scanned. This is because 2D barcodes, or matrix codes, can carry more data on them than linear barcodes.

Barcodes and their Symbologies

For linear barcodes, you will notice that the lines or bars on them come in different widths or thicknesses. This is because of the different symbologies that are being used for these barcodes, and the variations in bar widths on these metal nametags are due to the type of symbology being used. For example, for a Code 25 Interleaved 2 of 5 barcode, you will find that two different bar widths being used, while for a Code 39 barcode, you will notice quite a lot of diverse widths from end to end.

These different bar widths make these various barcodes ideal for use in many ways. Some of these barcodes are used in retail, while others are ideal for industrial uses. Still a few more are ideal for healthcare purposes and some are used for marking and tracking equipment with.

The same goes for 2D codes, although the variations to these are in the designs that are used on them, with some carrying small squares of patterns while others carry dots. There are also some codes that have triangles, squares and circles on them, and a few more have colors too. These codes can come in a variety of sizes, with the bigger codes being able to carry more information than the smaller ones.

All of these codes that can be found on barcodes and UID plates, with some carrying only one type and a few carrying both, can be read by scanners or barcode readers. This is what makes these tags convenient and ideal for those businesses who want to be able to keep track, check or sell their inventory with great ease. The code that you choose will definitely depend on the amount of information you are thinking of having attached to these items – for those who need a lot of information to be on these tags, 2D codes are what you need, for minimal info, linear will probably suffice.

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