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Know the equipment limitations: EAN

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Seeking a coding and marking solution? - Then be aware of equipment limitations. Jamie Wade reports for Packaging.

When using thermal transfer labeling to apply bar codes, advises EAN Australia (soon to be GS1 Australia) general manager of service delivery at Richard Jones, users need to be aware of the limitations of the equipment they’re using and the maintenance requirements of that equipment.

“At EAN Australia, what we often see in our verification area, are bar codes that fail to meet the print quality standards due to damage to print heads caused by a lack of maintenance,” Richard told Packaging.

“When considering printing bar codes using inkjet printers, it is important to be aware of the limitations of this technology. Whilst showroom samples will consistently pass print quality tests, we have discovered that this is not the case for samples produced in a full production environment.”

While there haven’t been any major developments in bar code technology, more than ever, says Richard, there are flexible solutions available to support more varied production methods in shorter runs.

“Alternatives such as thermal transfer labeling and print-and-apply labeling solutions are now more in demand than they’re ever been,” he said.

“As a standards body, what EAN Australia would like to see are software interfaces that don’t allow users to print outside the EAN•UCC standards that enable the global supply chain.”

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