Error correction makes a big difference in the choice of 1D vs. 2D barcoding

Previously on this blog we've expressed the differences between 1D versus 2D Barcoding. Traditional bar codes and more dynamic 2D barcodes serve different functions, respectively. Despite this, 2D barcodes have proven to have great potential for barcoding.

For starters, 2D barcodes have identification speeds of 0.3 to 1 second. They reveal information quickly and accurately. Let's focus on the inherent error-correction technology. Ever been in a supermarket and had a barcode not read well, because it's misprinted, warped or folded? Two-Dimensional barcodes such as Aztec Code, Datamatrix, MaxiCode, and PDF-417, use Reed–Solomon error correction algorithms which allow for correct reading even in cases of damaged barcodes. Codes can be designed with four levels of error correction from 'Low' (7% codeword restoration) to 'High" (30% codeword restoration). These error correction algorithms are less common in one-dimensional bar codes, but can be found in some symbologies. Some information storage capacity in the 2D barcode will be sacrificed for higher correction levels.  

Since both barcode technologies are fairly inexpensive to reproduce, the use of 2D barcodes technologies such as DataMatrix, QR, PDF417 and CM (Compact Matrix Code) have the capacity to encrypt much more information thereby providing a extra layer of value. One-Dimensional barcodes can only handle words (only in English) and numbers, while 2D barcodes can hold such information as numbers, different languages, pictures, binary information and URLs (Uniform Resource Locators).

For example, the Food Modernization Safety Act, signed into law in 2011, requires food processing companies to establish, maintain, and make available information about the entire pedigree of food sold to consumers. That translates into robust information requirements such as the field, lot and row where grown, temperatures at which the food is stored, the grower, manufacturer, warehouse, distribution, and transportation used while moving the product through the food supply chain. 2D  barcodes can contain all those types and levels of information.  

In the case of PDF417 barcodes can encrypt about 1 KB of information, while CM 2D barcodes can hold 32KB, this greater storage capacity gives makes CM barcodes more applicable for is identification cataloging and digital documentation. Two-dimensional barcodes help to streamline and optimize your supply chain with more accuracy and more capacity for qualification and organizations.

Therefore, whether you need to track product inventory, organize medical files, or warehouse a museum's holdings, our experienced software partners can recommend the right barcode products to implement your system. We can link the usage of handheld wireless devices to spreadsheets, or incorporate mobile printers for time saving measures that will increase margins and cut down on data errors. Two-dimensional barcodes can deliver solutions, eliminate discrepancies and provide data collection in real-time to provide reliability.

Contact Supply Chain Services to learn more about the barcode solutions that have the power to revolutionize your business.

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