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Barcode Technology - UPC-E
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The Universal Product Code (UPC)
is a barcode symbology that is
widely used in the United
States, Canada, Europe,
Australia, New Zealand, and
other countries for tracking
trade items in stores.
UPC-E 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
UPC-E is 1D barcode.
UPC-E has 6 digits +
prefix"0" +1 check digit
= 8 digits.
The UPC E code is a short
version with 8 digits, always
starting with a zero. To allow
the use of UPC barcodes on
smaller packages, where a full
12-digit barcode may not fit, a
'zero-suppressedversion of UPC
was developed, called UPC-E, in
which the number system digit,
all trailing zeros in the
manufacturer code, and all
leading zeros in the product
code, are suppressed (omitted).
UPC-E is a variation of UPC-A
which allows for a more compact
barcode by eliminating "extra"
zeros. Since the resulting UPC-E
barcode is about half the size
as an UPC-A barcode, UPC-E is
generally used on products with
very small packaging where a
full UPC-A barcode couldn't
reasonably fit. UPC-E uses a
rather convoluted, but quite
effective, method of compressing
out unnecessary zeros. Keep in
mind that in UPC-A there are
five characters for the
manufacturer code and five
characters for the product code.
The trick is to reduce all 10
characters into just 6
This symbology differs from UPC-A
in that it only uses a 6-digit
code, does not use M (middle)
guard pattern, and the E (end)
guard pattern is formed as
i.e. UPC-E barcode follows the
pattern SDDDDDDE. The way in
which a 6-digit UPC-E relates to
a 12-digit UPC-A, is determined
by UPC-E numerical pattern and
UPC-E parity pattern. It can
only correspond to UPC-A number
system 0 or 1, the value of
which, along with the UPC-A
check digit, determines the UPC-E
parity pattern of the encoding.
With the manufacturer code
digits represented by X's, and
product code digits by N's. For
example, a UPC-E 654321 may
correspond to the UPC-A
065100004327 or 165100004324,
depending on the UPC-E parity
pattern of the encoded digits.
UPC-A consists of 12 numeric
digits that are uniquely
assigned to each trade item. It
is also called UPC 12 and is
similar to the EAN code. Along
with the related EAN barcode,
the UPC is the barcode mainly
used for scanning of trade items
at the point of sale, per GS1
specifications. UPC data
structures are a component of
GTINs and follow the global GS1
specification, which is based on
international standards. But
some retailers (clothing,
furniture) do not use the GS1
system (rather other barcode
symbologies or article number
systems). On the other hand,
some retailers use the EAN/UPC
barcode symbology, but without
using a GTIN (for products sold
in their own stores only).
CONVERTING A UPC-A CODE TO UPC-E
If the manufacturer code ends in
000, 100, or 200, the UPC-E code
consists of the first two
characters of the manufacturer
code, the last three characters
of the product code, followed by
the third character of the
manufacturer code. The product
code must be 00000 to 00999. If
the manufacturer code ends in 00
but does not qualify for #1
above, the UPC-E code consists
of the first three characters of
the manufacturer code, the last
two characters of the product
code, followed by the digit "3".
The product code must be 00000
to 00099. If the manufacturer
code ends in 0 but does not
quality for #1 or #2 above, the
UPC-E code consists of the first
four characters of the
manufacturer code, the last
character of the product code,
followed by the digit "4". The
product code must be 00000 to
00009. If the manufacturer code
does not end in zero, the UPC-E
code consists of the entire
manufacturer code and the last
digit of the product code. Note
that the last digit of the
product code must be in the
range of 5 through 9. The
product code must be 00005 to
Numbering of UPC-E :
(10 possible values per digit ^
6 digits) ?(2 possible parity
patterns per UPC-E number) =
Check digit calculation:
UPC-E doesn't have a check digit
encoded explicity, rather the
check digit is encoded in the
parity of the other six
characters. The check digit that
is encoded is the check digit
from the original UPC-A barcode.
Additionally, UPC-E may only be
used if the number system is 0
or 1. The characters encoded are
encoded with odd and even parity
from the left-hand columns of
the EAN-13 character formats in
the table previously provided.
The parity used for each
character depends on the number
system (0 or 1) and the check
digit from the original UPC-A
UPC in its most common usage
technically refers to UPC-A.
Other variants of the UPC exist:
UPC-B is a 12-digit version of
UPC with no check digit,
developed for the National Drug
Code (NDC) and National Health
Related Items Code.[failed
verification] It has 11 digits
plus a 1-digit product code, and
is not in common use.
UPC-C is a 12-digit code with a
product code and a check digit;
not in common use.
UPC-D is a variable length code
(12 digits or more) with the
12th digit being the check
digit. These versions are not in
UPC-E is a 6-digit code, that
has its equivalent in UPC-A
12-digit code with number system
0 or 1.
UPC-2 is a 2-digit supplement to
the UPC used to indicate the
edition of a magazine or
UPC-5 is a 5-digit supplement to
the UPC used to indicate
suggested retail price for
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
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.
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.
QR-Code was invented in 1994 by a team led by Masahiro Harada of the Japanese company Denso Wave, based on the barcode originally used to mark automobile parts. It is a two-dimensional matrix barcode that can achieve multiple uses.
QR-Code has the following advantages compared with one-dimensional barcodes:
QR-Code can store more information because it uses a two-dimensional square matrix instead of one-dimensional lines. One-dimensional barcodes can usually only store dozens of characters, while QR-Code can Stores thousands of characters.
QR-Code can represent more data types, such as numbers, letters, binary, Chinese characters, etc. One-dimensional barcodes can usually only represent numbers or letters.
QR-Code can be scanned and recognized faster because it has four positioning marks and can be scanned from any angle. One-dimensional barcodes usually need to be scanned from a specific direction.
QR-Code is more resistant to damage and interference because it has error correction capabilities that can recover partially lost or obscured data. One-dimensional barcodes generally do not have such capabilities.
The difference between two-dimensional barcodes and one-dimensional barcodes mainly lies in the encoding method and information capacity. Two-dimensional barcodes use a two-dimensional square matrix, which can store more information and represent more data types. One-dimensional barcodes use one-dimensional lines, can only store a small amount of information, and can only represent numbers or letters. There are other differences between two-dimensional barcodes and one-dimensional barcodes, such as scanning speed, error correction capabilities, compatibility, etc.
QR-Code is not the only two-dimensional barcode. According to the principle, two-dimensional barcodes can be divided into two categories: matrix and stacked. Common two-dimensional barcode types are: Data Matrix, MaxiCode, Aztec, QR -Code, PDF417, Vericode, Ultracode, Code 49, Code 16K, etc., they have different applications in different fields.
The two-dimensional barcode developed on the basis of the one-dimensional barcode has advantages that the one-dimensional barcode cannot compare with. As a portable data file, although it is still in its infancy, it is in the ever-improving market. Driven by the economy and rapidly developing information technology, coupled with the unique characteristics of 2D barcodes, the demand for the new technology of 2D barcodes in various countries is increasing day by day.
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.
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.
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