Most asset and inventory control systems include either barcode labels or RFID tags to identify items. These tags are often used in combination with scanning hardware and a centralized enterprise asset management (EAM) platform to create a complete closed-loop process for tracking assets and equipment. But to choose the best labeling solution for your application, you need to know how to compare barcode labels to determine which labels meet your requirements. Implementing a barcode system has many benefits, including:
When comparing barcode label types and styles, it’s essential to consider how well the features of each one fits with your desired applications. You may also require more than one type of barcode label in your facility to meet specific application requirements. Here are a few of the most important features to look for when choosing a barcode label.
Barcodes can come in hundreds of different configurations. In general terms, there are three basic types of symbologies, which include numeric, alpha-numeric, and 2-dimensional. The first two have a similar look with an arrangement of vertical lines that most people are used to seeing on everything from physical goods to mailing labels. 2D barcodes, such as the QR code, have become popular in recent years due to their ability to store more information – up to 7,089 characters from a single barcode. When assessing a barcode label, always check which symbologies are compatible with the scanning system that you intend to use.
The hardware that will be used with your barcode labels may also dictate some of the features you require. Handheld scanning hardware will often have different optimal scanning ranges versus fixed systems. Scanning can also be done in a linear fashion or omnidirectional orientation based on the hardware’s capabilities. Hardware scanning capabilities can potentially limit your choice of label orientation or may require some adjustments to your scanning process after installation.
The best barcode label size depends on several factors. These factors may impact the size of the final label and should be considered carefully as part of your overall design:
Barcode labels can be fabricated from several different metal and plastic materials. Each of these materials has unique properties that should be compared to your application requirements. These are some of the most significant considerations for selecting barcode label materials:
To compare barcode labels, you must consider the features for each label type. As we’ve discussed, the barcode symbology, label size, material, and finishing options will often be the most critical factors in addition to your in-house scanning hardware and software systems. Working with an experienced vendor like Camcode and considering the costs versus your intended printing volume will help you compare barcode label options and determine the best labels for your intended use.
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