The Universal Product Code (UPC) is a symbol commonly found on the packaging of consumer goods and grocery items. It uses barcode technology that enables a product number to be represented in a format that machines can understand and increases both the speed and accuracy of the checkout process. The concept of using machine-readable symbols for more efficient purchasing dates back to at least the 1940s, but limited technology prevented the idea from gaining acceptance until the 1970s. Since then, the UPC has expanded from its roots in the grocery industry to many industries and has even become a cultural symbol.
Bar code technology, of which the UPC was an early application, allows the numerical code of a product to be represented by special symbols that are easily recognizable by automatic scanners. Under the UPC system, a product or item number is encoded as a series of vertical bars with different widths and spaces. These bars are scanned by a machine at checkout, and a computer or point-of-sale terminal compares the product number against a database containing the prices of all possible items in a store. This database can be updated at any time, allowing a store to change the price of an item without changing the barcode.
Some very specific rules were established to govern the structure of a universal product code, which is generally 12 digits long. Manufacturers must request a six-digit company prefix, which becomes the first six numbers of any universal product code assigned to that company’s products. Another five digits are used to identify a specific product or package, and a final number, known as the check digit, can be used to detect any errors that may have occurred during the scan. The first number in a company prefix also specifies the type of product being scanned: 0,1,6 and 7 for general merchandise, 2 for variable weight items such as products, 3 for pharmaceuticals, 4 for purposes only in the store, and 5 for coupons
Automated scanning using machine-readable symbols had been proposed as early as the 1940s, but the primitive technology of the time thwarted attempts to commercialize the idea. However, by the 1970s, optical scanning technology had improved enough that grocery stores were interested in the idea. IBM® in response to a request from a grocery industry consortium for automated scanning proposals demonstrated a system that encoded numbers on a series of vertical bars, and in 1974 the universal product code on a packet of Wrigley gum became the first product in history to be scanned and purchased using technology. After a slow rollout in supermarkets during the 1970s and 1980s,
The porthole barcode
The modern barcode, as we now see it on food and everyday household items, resembled a series of concentric circles of different widths. Conceived by Bernard Silver, a graduate student at the Drexel Institute of Technology, the barcode was designed for use on items at Food Fair, a chain of stores. The Food Fair president wanted some method to be developed to better keep track of the store’s inventory, and when Silver heard about it, he set out to invent a solution for the popular food chain.
Together with Normal Woodland, a graduate student at Drexel, they collaborated on the project and finally had their new invention patented and ready for use in 1949. Once the barcodes were attached to each food, a scanner was used at the counter output Read the information contained in each barcode. Each barcode had a different pattern, and that pattern would be unique to a particular item in the store, even if there were more than one of those items. The old barcode had four white lines affixed to a dark background, but more lines could be added over time to increase the number of item ratings. This was important as it allowed for the use of more variations and line patterns over time as new products were invented and produced.
Woodland originally wanted to use a special type of ink that would glow in UV light, but the system had two drawbacks: one, it was expensive to print the codes, and second, it faded over time. Something more permanent was required for the barcode if it was attached to a product and left on a store shelf over time. The concept of the barcode itself was in need of a modification in the printing area, and Woodland spent some time improving his new invention, using the money he made on the stock market. While he was improving his new idea, Morse code inspired him to create this barcode. Morse code uses dots and dashes, which Woodland converted into thick and thin lines in the barcode. Once your invention was perfected, He filed a patent with Silver and called it “Classification Apparatus and Method.” Now that the barcode lines could be manipulated to create item classifications, it was ready to be used in stores around the world. The patent was issued in 1952 and used binary code that could be easily read by a scanner and easily translated into any language for inventory purposes.
The modern barcode
Like Woodland and Silver’s invention, today’s the barcode has a series of lines in different patterns accompanied by binary numbers below them. These barcodes are generally rectangular in shape. Unfortunately, neither Woodland nor Silver made their wealth on the barcode, having sold their patent to Philco, who later sold it to RCA in 1952, shortly after receiving the patent documents. The two men did not receive a substantial amount, but the invention is invaluable as the barcode is used in every nation in the world where goods are sold. All that was needed was a faster machine to scan items containing the barcode, and that was made possible by the technology available in the 1960s.
The first modern scanning system
The first modern scanning system was installed by RCA in a Kroger grocery store in 1972 after the industry held a nationwide conference, stating that barcoding was the wave of the future, allowing products to be scanned in a way that fast and efficient. At that time, David Collins, who created a railroad car tracking system, invented other means of collecting product data. Used with Sylvania, the reflective colors in the form of stripes became their variation of the barcode. (6) What was really groundbreaking with their system, however, was the eventual use of a laser beam that could read the barcode. Handheld scanners in grocery stores, departments and other stores use this same technology that evolved over time from the early days of Woodland and Silver. The barcode concept is invaluable, but like many modern inventions, we had to wait for the technology to catch up to work properly. All that was really left of the barcode was how many lines and digits would be used.
Uniform Product Code
George Laurer was a consultant for IBM before establishing the 12-digit barcode that is now used on store products. In 1971, company management asked Laurer if they could design an optical code that would be innovative for the grocery industry, stay in use, and eventually be adopted by other merchandise-producing companies. Laurer also created a symbol to accompany the barcode, and after three submitted proposals, the UPC barcode was born. Laurer also played an important role in developing scanning equipment that would read each UPC symbol every time an item was purchased at the checkout counter. In the UPC barcode, the first 6 numbers start with a 0 followed by the manufacturer’s number, which is 5 numbers. The last 6 numbers identify the item to which the barcode is attached. The first product to carry Laurer’s barcode was a packet of Wrigley gum sold at a Marsh supermarket in Troy, Ohio.
The UCC Council
The UCC, or Uniform Code Council, was first organized as the Uniform Grocery Product Code Council in the late 1960s by supermarket chains looking for an easy solution to faster checkout procedures. With the new invention of the Woodland and Silver barcodes, the equipment had to be invented to read the barcode, and the owners of the supermarket chain wanted to be able to save time and money by allowing the checkout counter to be as short as possible for employees and consumers. . Finally, by changing its name to the Uniform Product Code Council in 1974, this nonprofit organization helped establish a uniform code that could be applied to any product that could be used for resale. In 1984,
Communication standards that allowed the exchange of data from the information in the code read by the scanners to easily transmit between the computers for the reordering of the merchandise.
EAN / UPC barcode
With a growing global market, one of the main business priorities was to establish a series of standards that would improve supply demands in any type of service or chain of stores anywhere in the world. An important standard is the EAN / UPC barcode that enables companies to operate more efficiently. Approximately 5 billion of these barcodes are read by scanners around the world every day, allowing services and chain stores to track what inventory has been sold and needs to be ordered. With global sourcing dominating the market, the UPC Bar Code can be found on any product manufactured in one country and then shipped to another country to be sold without having to add any additional product identification information.
A 2D barcode is a two-dimensional graphic that stores information both horizontally and vertically. Unlike traditional UPC barcodes, 2D code can store up to 7,089 characters and can access data quickly. The first 2D barcode was created by Intermec Corporation in 1988 and was named Code 49. (12) The most commonly seen 2D barcode was developed by Denso-Wave in 1994, a Japanese company. This 2D code is also known as a QR code or quick response code. Because it has been placed in the public domain, a QR code can be easily generated on the Internet through a site such as qrcode.kaywa.com or www.barcode.com.
However, 2D barcodes can be placed on much more than just products for sale. Some website owners put one on their site and since the 2D code can be easily generated on the internet, all the website owner needs to do is place the HTML encoding link inside the web document so that the graphic is visible for everyone who visits the site. site. Many companies also use the 2D code on shipping labels, as well as on advertising pages and posters. Today, 2D barcodes appear to be the wave of the future with their ability to hold more character data than the average UPC barcode. This square-shaped graphic code may seem very far from the first bull’s-eye code,