Barcode labels that provide regulatory information on product tracking and identification, such as order, delivery and transport details, are an essential feature of our product tracking and management systems; they provide for the scanning of incoming and outgoing products and quality control across all phases of manufacture and distribution providing full supply chain visibility when used in conjunction with all stakeholders
It is particularly important to be able to track products all the way from supplier to outlet in case it becomes necessary to recall them. In the past, there have been repeated cases of recall actions in crisis situations in which it was apparent that more targeted cross-company tracking and return procedures should have been implemented. Existing means of identification and communication are used for recall actions in order to find defective products quickly so that they can be removed from circulation, thus preventing their use and limiting any possible damage that may be caused.
If a tracking system that takes into account the entire supply chain, there is a benefit to all stakeholders in that product recalls (if required) are managed more effectively:
Product tracking is facilitated by barcode labels that conform to the requirements of GS1-128.
The GS1 standard is now recognised worldwide as the standard for product identification. Because it is based on a numerical system, unique codes can be generated for each and every situation. The GS1 system essentially employs three number and code elements; the global location number (GLN), the European article number (EAN) and the serial shipping container code (SSCC).
The 13-character GLN code can be used to identify any legal, physical and functional location of the supplier. The GLN code has a standardised format; its structure is such that any location worldwide can be uniquely and distinctly identified.
The 13-character EAN code and barcode are used for cross-organisational identification of articles and products of any origin (consumer and trading units). The EAN code provides information for the purposes of identification only - it is not relevant to article classification or description. Today, some 250,000 businesses employ the GS1 system that is maintained by an international network of 59 official code issuers representing 65 countries. The European article number (EAN) and the corresponding barcode system together with the UPC codes used in the USA are now in use throughout the world.
The SSCC was developed in order to provide for the identification of individual transport containers. This facilitates the supply, distribution and receipt of items packed in non-standardised containers. As a pure identification code, the SSCC, like the EAN, provides certain information. In contrast with the EAN that is assigned to a specific item, the SSCC provides no information on the corresponding article. The 18-character SSCC is at the core of the GS1 system.
Using the international GS1-128 concept, it is possible to encode information on 40 different aspects in a barcode. Hence, a barcode can provide information relevant to:
Length, including blank areas, may not exceed 165 mm. In addition to the data designator, there may be no more than 48 user data characters. A GS1-128 barcode symbol may consist of no more than 35 symbol characters, including all extension symbols and the check digit character. There is otherwise the risk that the information multiplication factor may become too large in the case of cross-organisational distribution. The quality of barcode labels is also an important factor.