Creating barcodes with REINER® marking systemsDigital barcode printers apply the barcode directly to goods and packaging

Some still remember how we admired the memory of the ladies at the ALDI cash registers: how they quickly wiped any product of the assortment off the checkout belt with one hand and typed in the price with the other - without a price label on the packaging! Since the turn of the millennium, the scanner cash registers have also conquered this discounter and the so-called EAN code, the best-known type of several established barcodes, can no longer be missing on any product.

Meanwhile, barcodes not only simplify shopping, but also entire production processes and logistics management in trade and industry. But regardless of the environment in which the barcodes are to be scanned, the print quality and the stored code must function immediately. The quality of the barcode has become a critical success factor in various process chains.

The mobile inkjet printers from REINER® have proven themselves reliably as barcode printers for many years and combine a multitude of special features in a single device:

- Direct printing of many barcode types on individual parts, products, packaging, cardboard boxes

- On almost all smooth surfaces made of paper, cardboard, metal, plastic, glass, curved surfaces, coated labels

- Ideal for marking both fixed and sequential barcodes

- The barcode can be created quickly and easily on the PC using the PCset graphic software supplied

- The models jetStamp® 1025, jetStamp® graphic 970 and REINER® 940 allow data transfer through Windows based programs like Word, Excel as well as through barcode label software or ERP systems

Interesting information about  barcodes

What is a barcode?

As the English term barcode implies, it is about the graphic representation of data as an arrangement of parallel bars and gaps of different widths. This barcode can be read contactlessly via optical reading devices such as barcode scanners or cameras. Depending on the standard, the amount of data is limited to a defined set of numbers or character-number combinations, the unique "code" that can be used to recognise and identify the product by computer. Once this barcode has been scanned and recognised by the software, the stored information may be read out of a database and then processed. The 13-digit EAN number is known, for instance, from the reverse of books. There, the EAN barcode contains the ISBN number to determine the title and price, but depending on the software also stock levels, contents descriptions, photos and much more.

The barcode can nowadays be found by anyone shopping in a supermarket when paying at the scanner checkout. The employees pull the goods with the barcode quickly across a glass plate, the barcode scanner underneath confirms the successful identification with a beep and automatically enters the name and price into the cash register. Worldwide standardization is a prerequisite for identifying consumer products unambiguously by EAN code (or in the USA by UPC code). Today, barcodes are essential markings for production control and administration, especially in industry and warehousing.
Create barcode

Which barcode types are there?

EAN Barcode
The "European Article Number" (EAN) has its origin as European standard, but can be seen worldwide in the labelling of consumer products. When creating an EAN barcode, it is important to note that it only allows numeric characters.

UPC Barcode
The "Universal Product Code" was the North American pioneer of all commercial, standardised barcodes and is used in the USA mainly in the trade. As with the EAN number, only numeric characters are used to generate the UPC barcode.

Code 128 Barcode
This barcode takes its designation from the significantly extended character range, which can be represented with it: it is the complete ASCII 128 character set.
Thus not only the numbers 0-9, but all Latin letters from a - z and A - Z as well as various special characters like # $ % & () etc. can be coded.
Code 128 is mainly used in the logistics and transport industry.

IT F Barcode
The "Interleaved 2 of 5" (ITF) code was developed for more robust use on packaging materials such as cardboard, as it can usually still be read even with poor print quality. It also supports the entire ASCII character set and always consists of 14 characters.

How to create and print a barcode?

Are labels suitable for sequential barcodes or is it possible to print the barcode directly on a product?

Labels have many disadvantages. They are complex to use and require at least three work steps: 1. Printing the labels, 2. detaching it from the label carrier and 3. applying it precisely to the object. Self-adhesive labels may peel off or become illegible, especially in humid environments. The design and printing of the labels is also very complex and may impair the product image.

The mobile REINER® marking devices are a smart alternative and perform barcode printing in one step.
Place the device and apply the barcode to the goods at the push of a button – done! The robust handheld inkjet printer models jetStamp® 1025, jetStamp® graphic 970 and REINER® 940 do this job reliably and reasonably priced.

Simply generate the desired barcode with a few mouse clicks using the supplied software. The device can even process the following 3 barcode types, Interleaved 2/5, Code 39 and Code 128 b,sequentialy.
If necessary, activate the "sequential" function and automatically generate serial numbers as barcodes.
Ernst Reiner

How can a barcode be applied to metal, glass and plastic?

For particularly smooth surfaces, REINER® has developed a quick drying ink that remains water and smudge-proof immediately after printing. The innovative technology of the handheld inkjet printer jetStamp® 1025 ensures an airtight closing of the ink nozzles when not in use and is therefore 100% mobile. This prevents them from drying out and keeps these mobile marking devices functional at all times, even during long interruptions.

Barcode printer

So, who invented the barcode and since when is it standard?