Overcoming barcode label quality issues

Barcode scanners are just the beginning when it comes to technology needed to keep your warehouse operations efficient and profitable. When working with customers, we often find that they invest the bulk of their time in scanning technology and often overlook the media used to generate the barcodes. Label quality is a key component to any barcode data collection solution—regardless of industry.

Common label issues

The print & media experts at Supply Chain Services encounter a variety of issues leading to unreadable barcodes, including:

  • The wrong labels for the label surface
  • Damaged labels that cannot be read by the barcode scanner
  • Missing bars in picket fence barcodes
  • Horizontal white lines in ladder barcodes
  • Labels that are the wrong size for the application
  • Poor resolution
  • The wrong printing orientation

If you’ve experienced any of these issues in your operations, it might be time to consider new barcode labels.

Considerations when choosing a label

More than just a label, there are many things to consider when choosing the right print media. From printing and application to the environment the label will be subjected to. Will it be in subzero temperatures? In a warehouse for more than a month? When choosing the right label for your warehouse, there are six key considerations.

  1. Printer: What type of printer will be used with the labels? This will affect the other decision points when choosing your media.
  2. Pre-print: Will you need a logo or other art pre-printed on your labels? This will need to be determined before media selection.
  3. Stock: Paper, vinyl, synthetic or plastic? There are a lot of options when choosing label stock. The right choice for your operation will be dependent on the label application, the environment the label will need to withstand and the exposure it will receive as a result of the environment.
  4. Direct thermal vs. thermal transfer: Will you be printing with or without a ribbon? Direct thermal eliminates the need for a ribbon, but can only be used in controlled environments. Thermal transfer is more durable and resistant to extreme temperatures.
  5. Adhesive: Will you need high tack, permanent or removable? Your choice will affect the durability of the label over time.
  6. Core and roll size: What size will you need? This will depend on the barcode printer used in your warehouse operations.

There are other considerations for your barcode labels, like pre-printed labels, color, tinted labels, asset tags, hang tags and more. Luckily, the experts at Supply Chain Services have experience in all facets of barcode scanning and data collection solutions. Our print & media team work with customers to uncover the needs unique to their business and warehouse operations and develop a custom solution. Work directly with a Supply Chain Services expert to fill all of your label and media supply needs.

Call 866 205-4310 to consult with our print & media team today!

Yes! I want to track and move materials more efficiently

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