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Nine Factor to Consider When Selecting Barcode Labels

Nine Factor to Consider When Selecting Barcode Labels

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Nine Factor to Consider When Selecting Barcode Labels

Consumable media is a critical component of your printing system. Having the correct labels for your application can improve accuracy, lower material handling costs, and make your warehouse operation more efficient. With that said picking out the right labels can be a difficult procedure. But, if you remember the nine letters inB.A.R.C.O.D.I.N.G. you shouldn’t have a problem.

B – Barcode Scanner: What kind of scanning device will you be using to read your barcodes. Labels can have different light absorbing characteristics, which can improve the performance and efficiency of your scanner.

A – Attach: What surface will your labels be attached to? Smooth, rough, grooved, curved, or dirty surfaces can all AFFECT your label selection.

R – Rate: How many labels are you printing per minute? Per day? Per week? Per year? Labels have many different materials and qualities, so the kind of labels will be one factor in determining the final cost.

C – Clock: How long must the label last? What is the shelf-life of the product the label is on? Is it a mailing label to be used once or an asset label that needs to be on a fixed asset for life? This factor will not only determine the kind of label, but possibly the kind of printer!

O – Operating Environment: One of the most important considerations is the operating environment the labels will be exposed to. Will the label be exposed to extreme heat or cold, dryness or wetness, light, extreme handling, or chemicals. If so, there is a label for you, and can be your supplier.

D – Do-it-yourself: Did you know that you do not have to buy a printer for every label application? Some applications, like tracking Fixed Assets with RioScan’s Fixed Asset software, require only pre-printed labels.

I – Inches: It is a matter of inches! The simple question, “how big is my label?” is the first consideration. Choosing a label with a common size, or “stock size” can help reduce costs. Labels can come as small as 1/8″ x ½” or as large as 11″ x 17″.

N – Need: What exactly is you labeling need? For example, some barcoding applications occur on tags that hang from an item, rather than stick to it. There are many different ways to barcode on item such as hanging tags, ID cards, metal tags, and direct print. Make sure that labels will suit your needs best.

G – Glue: The type of glue used to adhere the label to your surface is very important. Do you want your label to be permanently adhered to the surface or you do want it to be removable? Should your label leave behind a tamper-indication if is played with or is it important for the label to leave behind little to no residue when it is removed? These are all important questions and viable options for your labels program!

Other Factors that Affect Barcode Labels


For hand-held readers, bar height is at least one-quarter of an inch or 15 percent of the entire code’s length, whichever is greater.


The “X” dimension is the width of the narrowest element of the barcode. Other elements of the code are multiples of the “X” dimension.


Density refers to the number of characters which can be encoded in a given unit of length and is vitally important to the eventual application of a barcode.


Barcode symbologies are either continuous or discrete. Continuous symbologies use the intercharacter gap as a character, whereas discrete symbologies do not.


The first read rate is the ratio of the number of successful reads to the number of attempted reads.


The principal rule to remember with ribbons is that the ribbon you use in the office will probably not meet the specifications or requirements of the bar coding environment.


In many ways, the specifications which apply to paper also apply to laminates. Laminates should not interfere with the scanning ability of the barcode reader.


Adhesives vary with each application. Some require labels to permanently affixed to an item, such as a piece of capital equipment.