The need for increasing compliance with regulatory and retailer requirements is one of the major concerns for product manufacturers today. They need to protect their operations from expensive coding errors or illegible barcodes. In order to comply with applicable coding standards and guidelines, manufacturers need to opt for the right marking solution to meet their coding needs. The right choice of marking fluids, such as Videojet replacement inks, plays a crucial role when it comes to barcoding products. Besides choosing the ink, barcode users are required to follow some important steps to print data on their merchandise. Here are three of the most important ones:
1. Obtaining a GS1 Company Prefix
Before you start using barcodes, it is obligatory to allocate the numbers that go into the barcode. These numbers are known as GS1 identification keys. The most important step towards assigning these numbers is to get a GS1 company prefix. You need to obtain it from a GS1 member organization. As far as a GS1 company prefix is concerned, they help companies or manufacturers to create identification numbers for products, locations, logistic units, coupons and assets. Companies from all across the world use GS1 prefixes, unique numbers to identify items in the entire supply chain.
2. Choose the Right Barcode Printing Process
To begin, you need to ascertain which products you are barcoding and whether the barcode will have static or dynamic information in it. If you want to display static data, you can print the barcode by using conventional printing process. If the barcode displays dynamic information, you will require a combination of traditional and digital printing or simply digital printing. For instance, if your product requires a barcode with dynamic information and multi-color graphics, you can print the graphics with traditional printing presses. Leave an empty section for the product label for digital printing inline throughout the packaging and production process. You can even print a barcode with static information on a product package, employing digital printing. This is applicable if you are using similar packaging for a range of products.
3. Selecting a Barcode Color
Usually, the ideal color combination for barcode printing consists of black bars with a white background. However, you are always free to use other colors. Here are some ideas to help you:
- If you are using GS1 barcodes, opt for dark shades for the bars, including dark blue, black, dark green or dark brown.
- If you want to use several layers of the marking fluid to enhance background opacity, use quality Videojet inks and ensure that each layer is marked as a solid color.
- The bars must always comprise of a single line color. Never print them using multiple imaging tools such as screen, plate or cylinder.
- As far as GS1 barcodes are concerned, they need lighter backgrounds for the ‘Quiet Zones’. A Quiet Zone means the printing area around the white spaces and the barcode.
- Sometimes, the symbol background is not printed. In such cases, the color of the packaging material or substrate serves as the barcode background. If you print the symbol background underneath the bars, the background must show solid line colors.
Use Videojet replacement inks for seamless printing of barcodes and information on products, cases or cartons. Do remember to follow the right steps to barcode your merchandise.