Origins of Bar Codes
A bar code system must have a source of bar codes and a way to read them. Bar code labels fall into one of the following categories: preprinted or printed-on-demand.
Preprinted Bar Codes
Using preprinted labels is the most economical way to get high-quality bar codes. This places some restrictions on you, because the information in the bar codes must be determined in advance. In many cases this is acceptable, but in some it is not. Preprinted bar codes are used where very durable, high-quality labels are necessary to withstand the environment (such as on printed circuit boards), or where high-volume packaging or labeling is done. Examples of preprinted bar codes are:
Either of these systems works very well when you can manage the assignment of codes beforehand.
In many cases, you can also use assigned codes by generating a correlation between the bar code and another significant value. For example, you could use a randomly numbered sticker or tag and have the user type in the corresponding invoice number, control number, or other information that goes with it.
Printed-On-Demand Bar Codes
On-demand bar codes are used where the bar code must contain some information that is available only when the bar code is generated. Percon produces products to help with creating on-demand bar codes.
On-demand bar codes can be produced in small quantities for less money than preprinted bar codes, and in less time. They can be printed with: