Serialized Bar Coding Equipment
Packaging providers have been offering serialized bar code capabilities for more than 10 years. This became possible when PC processing speeds became fast enough to drive unique numbers to printers at line speeds and verify them on-line after printing codes. Initially, these processes were applied as labels to boxed software in the electronics industry, and, as the basic technology became available, then were applied by packaging machinery. Because the codes are driven by computers, these packaging systems are not tied to any specific coding scheme. With the appropriate software, they can facilitate updates to any code system the user desires.
Successful initial applications have been primarily for internal company use in tracking new product roll-out (typically 2-D UV codes to avoid regulatory issues), lab samples, and clinical supplies. However, should a firm want to apply serialized bar codes to commercial product, the technology is robust and well developed.
Examples of companies currently providing serializing bar code printers that can be used with packaging equipment can be found in the expanded version of this article at www.pmpnews.com.