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Barcode Technology - EAN-13
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EAN-13 is unique identifiers
(barcodes) used to identify new,
branded products sold at retail.
The products contain
the EAN number or GTIN (Global
Trade Item Number) to identify
EAN-13 is one of the many
barcode formats currently in
A Barcode is a method of
representing data in a visual,
The barcode formats has two
One-dimensional (1D) ---
Barcodes represented data by
varying the widths and spacings
of parallel lines.
Two-dimensional (2D) --- Using
rectangles, dots, hexagons and
other geometric patterns to
EAN-13 is 1D barcode.
GTIN-13 number encoded
in EAN-13 barcode. The
first digit is always
placed outside the
symbol; additionally a
right ">" indicator is
used to indicate a
"Quiet Zone" that is
necessary for barcode
scanners to work
EAN-13 has 12 digits and
1 check digit.
EAN - European Article Number,
but is now referred to as The
International Article Number. It
is a standard
describing abarcode symbology and numbering
system used in global trade to
identify a specific retail
product type, in a specific
packaging configuration, from a
specific manufacturer. EAN
barcodes are used worldwide for
lookup at retail point of sale,
each retail product has its
unique EAN-13 number.
EAN barcodes only represent the
digits 0?, it cannot represent
The most commonly used EAN
standard is the thirteen-digit
EAN-13, the less commonly used
8-digit EAN-8 barcode
was introduced for use on small
packages, where EAN-13 would be
too large. 2-digit EAN-2 and
5-digit EAN-5 are supplemental
barcodes, placed on the
right-hand side of EAN-13 or UPC.
These are generally used for
periodicals like magazines or
books, to indicate the current
year's issue number; and weighed
products like food, to indicate
the manufacturer's suggested
The 13-digit EAN-13 number
consists of four components:
** GS1 prefix - 3 digits
The first three digits of the
EAN-13 identify the GS1 Member
Organization which the
manufacturer has joined (not
necessarily where the product is
actually made). Each
manufacturer by the numbering
authority indicated by the GS1
Prefix. Some EAN-13
codes which beginning with 0 are
actually 12-digit UPC codes with
prepended 0 digit.
** Manufacturer code -
The manufacturer code is a
unique code assigned to each
manufacturer. EAN-13 uses
codes". Assigning fixed-length
5-digit manufacturer codes,
means that each manufacturer can
have up to 99,999 product codes.
In the publishing industry( ISBN
and ISSN), this component is
used to identify the language in
which the publication was issued
and managed by a transnational
agency covering several
** Product code - variable
The product code is assigned by
the manufacturer. The product
code immediately follows
manufacturer code. The total
length of manufacturer code plus
product code should be 9 or 10
digits depending on the length
of country code (2-3 digits). In
ISBN, ISMN and ISSN, it uniquely
identifies the publication from
the same publisher.
** Check digit
The check digit is an additional
digit, used to verify that a
barcode has been scanned
correctly. It is computed modulo
10, where the weights in the
checksum calculation alternate 3
and 1. In particular, since the
weights are relatively prime to
10, the EAN-13 system will
detect all single digit errors.
It also recognizes 90% of
transposition errors (all cases,
where the difference between
adjacent digits is not 5).
Calculation of checksum digit
The checksum is calculated as
sum of products - taking an
alternating weight value (3 or
1) times the value of each data
digit. The checksum digit is the
digit, which must be added to
this checksum to get a number
divisible by 10 (i.e. the
additive inverse of the
checksum, modulo 10). See
ISBN-13 check digit calculation
for a more extensive description
and algorithm. The Global
Location Number(GLN) also uses
the same method.
Most barcodes display their
corresponding values below them,
which makes it possible to human
read and manually enter
the barcode values into the
equivalent system when the
barcode label is worn out and
cannot be read by the barcode
The different of EAN and UPC
(Universal Product Code):
They are both Global Trade Item
Numbers (GTINs), with the
difference being UPCs are one
digit shorter (12) and are more
commonly used in the United
States and Canada.
It's not required to label all
articles with the price. The
price is stored in the database
and can be accessed via the
barcode number. There is no need
to manually calculate the price
of the product. You only need to
use the POST system to scan the
EAN barcode on each product
purchased by a customer. Because
each product has its own unique
EAN number, the POST system can
get the corresponding price of
each product in the database and
calculate the total amount. It
is fast and safe because there
is no way to make a mistake.
In 1977 the EAN code was used by
12 countries (all the countries
of the European Community).
Today, use of the EAN code has
spread to all west European
countries, USA, Canada,
Australia and Japan. Today the
EAN is called GTIN (Global Trade
Frequently Asked Questions About
What is the
origin and development process of the EAN-13 barcode?
EAN-13 is the
abbreviation of European Article Number, a barcode protocol and
standard used in supermarkets and other retail industries.
established on the basis of the UPC-A standard established by
the United States. The EAN-13 barcode has one more
country/region code than the UPC-A barcode in order to meet the
needs of international applications. The UPC-A barcode is a
barcode symbol used to track goods in stores. It is only used in
the United States and Canada. It was developed by the United
States (Uniform Code Council) in 1973 and has been used since
1974. It is The earliest barcode system used for product
settlement in supermarkets.
of a prefix code, manufacturer identification code, product item
code and check code, with a total of 13 digits. Its encoding
follows the principle of uniqueness and can ensure that it is
not repeated worldwide.
barcode is mainly used in supermarkets and other retail
industries and is a very common product barcode.
barcode standard was formulated by the International Commodity
Barcode Association. It is a world-wide commodity barcode system
that is designed to facilitate the identification and
circulation of commodities. The EAN-13 barcode standard
specifies the barcode structure, encoding method, printing
(EAN) is a non-profit international organization founded in 1977
and headquartered in Brussels, Belgium. Its purpose is to
formulate and improve a globally unified commodity barcode
system and provide value-added services for optimizing
enterprise supply chain management. Its member organizations
span the globe.
Why don't the
United States and Canada use EAN-13 barcodes?
The reason why
the United States and Canada do not use EAN-13 is because they
early adopted the UPC-A barcode as the standard for product
barcodes. The UPC-A barcode was produced by the United States
Uniform Code Committee.
length is 12 digits and only supports 0-9. number. The EAN-13
barcode was later developed by the International Article
Numbering Center. The code length is 13 digits and only supports
numbers 0-9, but it has an additional country/region code.
In fact, the UPC-A
barcode can be regarded as a special case of the EAN-13 barcode,
which is the EAN-13 barcode with the first digit set to 0.
Therefore, EAN-13 barcodes and UPC-A barcodes are compatible as
long as the scanning device can recognize both types of
What is the
difference between EAN-13 barcode and UPC-A barcode?
barcode has one more country/region code than the UPC-A barcode.
In fact, the UPC-A barcode can be regarded as a special case of
the EAN-13 barcode, that is, the first digit is set to 0. 13
barcode is developed by the International Article Numbering
Center and is universally used. The code length is 13 digits,
and the first two digits represent the country or region code.
The UPC-A barcode
is produced by the United States Uniform Code Committee and is
mainly used in the United States and Canada. The code length is
12 digits, and the first digit indicates the numeric system
barcode and the UPC-A barcode have the same structure and
verification method, similar appearance, and both have grooves.
barcode is a superset of the UPC-A barcode and is compatible
with the UPC-A barcode.
What is the
difference between EAN-13 barcode and EAN-128 barcode?
barcode is just a product code. In addition to the product code,
the EAN-128 barcode can also include various product-related
information, such as weight, quantity, consumption date, etc.
The data length
of the EAN-13 barcode is fixed at 13 bits, and the data length
of the EAN-128 barcode is variable, depending on the data
content, but it must be an even number of digits.
barcode is universal. The EAN-128 barcode is a special
application of the Code 128 barcode. It must be used in the EAN/UCC
system to represent the information of the storage and
transportation unit or logistics unit of the commodity.
Will the EAN-13
barcode be replaced by the EAN-128 barcode?
No, because the
application scope and purpose of EAN-13 barcode and EAN-128
barcode are different.
barcode is used to represent the basic information of the
commodity, such as country, manufacturer and product, while the
EAN-128 barcode is used to represent the information of the
storage and transportation unit or logistics unit of the
commodity, such as weight, quantity, date, etc. Therefore, the
EAN-13 barcode and the EAN-128 barcode can be used at the same
time or selected according to different needs.
At present, the
EAN-13 barcode is still the universal commodity barcode and
there is no sign of being replaced by the EAN-128 barcode.
If I have a UPC
code, do I still need to apply for an EAN?
UPC and EAN can identify goods. Although the former originated
in the United States, it is part of the global GS1 system, so if
you register UPC under the GS1 organization, it can be used
globally. If there is a requirement for 13 digits, you can add
the number 0 in front of the UPC code.
can be converted to EAN-13 barcodes by adding a leading 0. For
example, the UPC-A barcode 012345678905 corresponds to the
EAN-13 barcode 0012345678905. This will not only ensure
compatibility with UPC-A barcodes, but also enable your barcodes
to cope with international exchanges.
What are the
advantages and disadvantages of EAN-13 barcodes?
barcode is a world-wide commodity barcode that can encode a
relatively large amount of data in a small area and ensure that
it is not repeated worldwide.
It has strong
applicability and can be used in supermarkets and retail
accommodate products or assets of different sizes and shapes.
It takes up a lot
of space and requires higher print quality and scanning
Please list some
examples of applications of EAN-13 barcodes in store management.
are mainly used in supermarkets and other retail industries to
identify the country, manufacturer and item code of goods.
Used in POS
systems to quickly scan product information and prices to
improve checkout efficiency and accuracy.
inventory management, tracking the incoming and outgoing goods,
and preventing shortages or excesses.
Used for market
analysis, collecting product sales data, and understanding
consumer needs and preferences.
4 types of EAN
original 13-digit format, suitable for countries around the
world except the United States and Canada, which use UPC
compressed version suitable for small products.
EAN-5: A 5-digit
extension appended to the EAN-13 or UPC-A barcode to indicate
currency and price.
EAN-2: A 2-digit
extension appended to the end of the EAN-13 or UPC-A barcode to
indicate the issue number of magazines and newspapers.
Most commonly used barcode types
EAN-13 code: Product barcode, universal, supports 0-9 digits, 13 digits in length, has grooved.
UPC-A code: Product barcode, mainly used in the United States and Canada, supports 0-9 numbers, 12 digits in length, has grooves.
Code-128 code: Universal barcode, supports numbers, letters and symbols, variable length, no grooves.
QR-Code: Two-dimensional barcode, supports multiple character sets and encoding formats, variable length, and has positioning marks.
Why are there many types of barcodes?
There are many types of barcodes because they have different uses and characteristics.
For example, a UPC [Universal Product Code] is a barcode used to label retail products and can be found on nearly every item sold and in grocery stores in the United States.
CODE 39 is a barcode that can encode numbers, letters and some special characters. It is commonly used in manufacturing, military and medical fields.
ITF [Interleaved Two-Five Code] is a barcode that can only encode an even number of digits. It is commonly used in the logistics and transportation fields.
NW-7 [also known as CODABAR] is a barcode that can encode numbers and four start/end characters. It is commonly used in libraries, express delivery and banks.
Code-128 is a barcode that can encode all 128 ASCII characters. It is commonly used in areas such as package tracking, e-commerce and warehouse management.
What is the historical origin of barcodes?
In 1966, the National Association of Food Chains (NAFC) adopted bar codes as product identification standards.
In 1970, IBM developed the Universal Product Code (UPC), which is still widely used today.
In 1974, the first product with a UPC barcode: a pack of Wrigley's gum was scanned in an Ohio supermarket.
In 1981, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) approved Code39 as the first alphanumeric barcode standard.
In 1994, Japan's Denso Wave Company invented QR-Code, a two-dimensional barcode that can store more information.
Barcode application examples
Barcode Apps for Food Tracking: Apps that record the nutritional content, calories, protein and other information of the food you eat by scanning the barcode on the food label. These apps can help you record your eating habits, Manage your health goals, or understand where your food comes from.
Transportation and logistics: Used for ordering and distribution codes, product warehousing management, logistics control systems, ticket sequence numbers in international aviation systems. Barcodes are used in ordering and distribution in the logistics and transportation industry. They can be used to string Line Shipping Container Codes (SSCCs) are encoded to identify and track containers and pallets in the supply chain. They can also encode other information such as best before dates and lot numbers.
Internal supply chain: internal management of the enterprise, production process, logistics control system, ordering and distribution codes. Barcodes can store various information, such as item number, batch, quantity, weight, date, etc. This information can Used for tracking, sorting, inventory, quality control, etc., to improve the efficiency and accuracy of the company's internal supply chain management.
Logistics tracking: Barcodes are widely used in logistics tracking. It can be used to identify goods, orders, prices, inventory and other information. By affixing barcodes on packaging or shipping boxes, it is possible to achieve warehouse entry and exit. Automatic identification and recording of distribution, inventory and other logistics information to improve the accuracy and efficiency of logistics management.
Production line process: Barcodes can be used for factory production line process management to improve production efficiency and quality. Barcodes can identify product numbers, batches, specifications, quantities, dates and other information to facilitate traceability during the production process. Inspection, statistics and other operations. Barcodes can also be integrated with other systems, such as ERP, MES, WMS, etc., to achieve automatic collection and transmission of data.
Some common barcode application areas
Ticket Verification: Cinemas, event venues, travel tickets and more use barcode scanners to verify tickets and the admission process.
Food Tracking: Some apps allow you to track the food you eat via barcodes.
Inventory Management: In retail stores and other places where inventory needs to be tracked, barcodes help record the quantity and location of items.
Convenient checkout: In supermarkets, shops and restaurants, barcodes can quickly calculate the price and total of goods.
Games: Some games use barcodes as interactive or creative elements, such as scanning different barcodes to generate characters or items.
Benefits of using barcodes
Speed: Barcodes can scan items in a store or track inventory in a warehouse faster, thus greatly improving the productivity of store and warehouse personnel. Barcode systems can ship and receive goods faster to reasonably way to store and locate items.
Accuracy: Barcodes reduce human error when entering or recording information, with an error rate of approximately 1 in 3 million, and enable real-time information access and automated data collection anytime, anywhere.
Cost Effectiveness: Barcodes are cheap to produce and print, and can save money by increasing efficiency and reducing losses. Barcoding systems allow organizations to accurately record the quantity of product left, its location and when reorders are needed, which This avoids waste and reduces the amount of money tied up in excess inventory, thereby improving cost efficiency.
Inventory Control: Barcodes help organizations track the quantity, location and status of goods throughout their life cycle, improve the efficiency of moving goods in and out of warehouses, and make ordering decisions based on more accurate inventory information.
Easy to use: Reduce employee training time because using the barcode system is easy and less error-prone. You only need to scan the barcode label attached to an item to access its database through the barcode system and obtain information related to the item. information.
Application of barcodes in inventory management
Goods Receipt: By scanning the barcode on received goods, the quantity, type and quality of goods can be quickly and accurately recorded and matched with purchase orders.
Shipping: By scanning the barcode on outgoing goods, the quantity, destination and status of the goods can be quickly and accurately recorded and matched with sales orders.
Moving warehouse: By scanning the barcodes on the goods and warehouse locations, the movement and storage of goods can be quickly and accurately recorded, and inventory information updated.
Inventory: By scanning the barcodes on goods in the warehouse, you can quickly and accurately check the actual quantity of goods and the system quantity, and find and resolve discrepancies.
Equipment Management: By scanning the barcode on the equipment or tool, you can quickly and accurately record the use, repair and return of the equipment or tool, and prevent loss or damage.
What is the difference between EAN-13 barcode and UPC-A barcode?
The EAN-13 barcode has one more country/region code than the UPC-A barcode. In fact, the UPC-A barcode can be regarded as a special case of the EAN-13 barcode, which is the EAN-13 barcode with the first digit set to 0.
The EAN-13 barcode is developed by the International Article Numbering Center and is universally accepted. The code length is 13 digits, and the first two digits represent the country or region code.
UPC-A barcode is produced by the United States Uniform Code Committee and is mainly used in the United States and Canada. The code length is 12 digits, and the first digit indicates the numeric system code.
EAN-13 barcode and UPC-A barcode have the same structure and verification method, and similar appearance.
EAN-13 barcode is a superset of UPC-A barcode and can be compatible with UPC-A barcode.
If I have a UPC code, do I still need to apply for an EAN?
No need. Both UPC and EAN can identify goods. Although the former originated in the United States, it is part of the global GS1 system, so if you register UPC under the GS1 organization, it can be used globally. If you need to print a 13-digit EAN barcode, you can add the number 0 in front of the UPC code.
UPC-A barcodes can be converted to EAN-13 barcodes by prepending 0. For example, the UPC-A barcode  corresponds to the EAN-13 barcode . Doing this ensures Compatibility with UPC-A barcodes.
About Code-128 barcode
Code-128 barcode was developed by COMPUTER IDENTICS in 1981. It is a variable-length, continuous alphanumeric barcode.
Code-128 barcode consists of a blank area, a start mark, a data area, a check character and a terminator. It has three subsets, namely A, B and C, which can represent different character sets. It can also be used to achieve multi-level encoding through the selection of starting characters, code set characters, and conversion characters.
It can encode all 128 ASCII characters, including numbers, letters, symbols and control characters, so it can represent all characters on the computer keyboard.
It can achieve high-density and efficient data representation through multi-level encoding, and can be used for automatic identification in any management system.
It is compatible with the EAN/UCC system and is used to represent the information of the storage and transportation unit or logistics unit of the commodity. In this case, it is called GS1-128.
Code-128 barcode standard was developed by Computer Identics Corporation [USA] in 1981. It can represent all 128 ASCII code characters and is suitable for convenient application on computers. The purpose of formulating this standard is to Improve barcode encoding efficiency and reliability.
Code128 is a high-density barcode. It uses three versions of character sets [A, B, C] and the selection of starting characters, code set characters, and conversion characters, according to different data Type and length, choose the most appropriate encoding method. This can reduce the length of the barcode and improve encoding efficiency. In addition, Code128 also uses check characters and terminators, which can increase the reliability of the barcode and prevent misreading or missed reading.
Code-128 barcode is widely used in internal management of enterprises, production processes, and logistics control systems. It has many application scenarios, mainly in industries such as transportation, logistics, clothing, food, pharmaceuticals, and medical equipment.
About EAN-13 barcode
EAN-13 is the abbreviation of European Article Number, a barcode protocol and standard used in supermarkets and other retail industries.
EAN-13 is established based on the UPC-A standard established by the United States. The EAN-13 barcode has one more country/region code than the UPC-A barcode in order to meet the needs of international applications. . The UPC-A barcode is a barcode symbol used to track goods in stores. It is only used in the United States and Canada. It was developed by the United States [Uniform Code Council] in 1973 and has been used since 1974. It It was the earliest barcode system used for product settlement in supermarkets.
EAN-13 consists of a prefix code, manufacturer identification code, product item code and check code, a total of 13 digits. Its encoding follows the principle of uniqueness and can ensure that it is not repeated worldwide.
EAN International, referred to as EAN, is a non-profit international organization founded in 1977 and headquartered in Brussels, Belgium. Its purpose is to formulate and improve globally unified commodities The barcode system provides value-added services to optimize enterprise supply chain management. Its member organizations are located around the world.
EAN-13 barcodes are mainly used in supermarkets and other retail industries.
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