The barcode is printed using laserjet, inkjet or thermal technologies and is applied to the products and their packaging. The black-and-white bar combination represents variable text characters that follow a preset algorithm for that barcode. A barcode scanner reads this black and white bar pattern and translates it into a test line that your retail POS system can understand. Learn how to interpret the barcode if the first digit is a 3. Medications, pharmaceuticals, and occasional beauty products usually have barcodes starting with 3. The process of converting a drug code into a barcode can lead to ambiguity, so you may not always be able to check this with a list of drug codes.

Each digit from zero to nine corresponds to a specific pattern of bars. UPCs are barcode symbols that manufacturers use to electronically identify their products. With the codes, those products can be digitally scanned and tracked.

When you’re done, the store computer connects the data points to that unique 12-digit UPC barcode or 13-digit EAN barcode number. It was decided that the two halves of the label should have a different set of numeric characters. The character set that Laurer derived from the Delta C patent used seven steps, or printable units, in which two bars and two spaces would be printed. This yielded twenty combinations of characters, but there were two pairs that, when read by Delta C lines, produced the same code for the pair. In late 1969, IBM commissioned George Laurer at Research Triangle Park in North Carolina to determine how to make a scanner and a supermarket label.

The first 6-10 digits of a 12-digit barcode identify the company that manufactures or sells the product. This code is assigned and sold on request by a non-profit organization, GS1. As mentioned above, UPCs are “universal product codes” that are acceptable worldwide.

Since the UPC was only 12 digits, it normally did not pose any problems for POS systems abroad. All the national organizations of the EAN and the UCC came together to form GS1. One of the first initiatives was to establish the Sunrise Date 2005 that informed U.S. companies of the need to have their systems read 14 digits. The basis of the GTIN identification system works with unique company identifiers assigned to each company. GS1 Global is a standards body that oversees numbering and product identification guidelines. There are local GS1 offices in more than 104 countries whose main function is to license GS1 business prefixes to companies in their country.

The final mark is generated by GS1 based gs1 barcode on the other numbers in the sequence.

Then you can be sure that you have guaranteed the integrity of your product. The main difference between a UPC-A and a UPC-E is the size of the barcode. The seventh digit is a check digit that is calculated using the first 6 digits of the code. Therefore, UPC-E can be decompressed to a standard 12-digit UPC-A number.