Create and print GS1 DataMatrix barcodes

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December 06, 2016 Beatrice Thouveny

Overcoming technical challenges to create and print GS1 DataMatrix barcodes 

GS1 DataMatrix barcodes must precisely conform to GS1 and ISO standards

Recently, we consulted with 2 barcode software companies overseas – and downloaded an advanced barcode software program – as part of our troubleshooting efforts to overcome complex technical hurdles to create and print GS1 DataMatrix barcodes. We thought this would be a great case study to share!


Overcoming technical challenges to create and print GS1 DataMatrix barcodes

 

GS1 DataMatrix barcodes must precisely conform to GS1 and ISO standards

Recently, we consulted with 2 barcode software companies overseas – and downloaded an advanced barcode software program – as part of our troubleshooting efforts to overcome complex technical hurdles to create and print GS1 DataMatrix barcodes. We thought this would be a great case study to share!

Initial steps to create and print GS1 DataMatrix barcodes on a medical device

In this particular case, our customer was a medical neuro-technology company. We needed to barcode their medical device, which aids in assessing traumatic brain injury.

GS1 DataMatrix barcodes must precisely conform to GS1 and ISO standards in order to receive GS1 verification and approval. A typical starting point is generating a prototype barcode, knowing it may not be precise but will be “in the ballpark.”

The GS1 verification process rejected the prototype for these reasons:

  1. There’s an invisible code – called the FNC1 code – that should appear in the first position of the barcode. This code was missing. 
  2. The X-dimension (size of the little squares that make up the DataMatrix code) was too large by 0.0014 inch (add X.00000X mm).
  3. The modulation aspect (contrast and clarity) needed to be improved to meet the ISO standard.

Troubleshooting technical hurdles to resolve the issues

  1. Regarding the invisible FNC1 Code: Because we could not see this code, we were unable to check for it. We consulted with the barcode software company located overseas, and they advised us to install an additional software program offered by another overseas company. We acquired the software, and we can now verify the presence of the invisible FNC1 code in our DataMatrix code.
  2. Regarding the X-dimension: While resizing barcodes to better fit the printing area is a common practice for other barcodes, resizing is not appropriate for DataMatrix barcodes. Any small adjustment can cause the X-dimension to grow beyond the GS1 specified tolerances. We imported the new DataMatrix barcodes and did not resize the barcode.
  3. Regarding the modulation (contrast and clarity): The modulation issue is related to the whiteness and reflectance of the white areas within the barcode. The testing software captures the barcode optically and needs a very white backdrop with a very black barcode. To print the GS1 DataMatrix prototype, we used 2 screen-printing passes in white. We increased this to 3 screen-printing passes in white, since a denser white background would resolve the issue.

Gs1 labels medical.jpg

Look to NFI as experts to create and print GS1 DataMatrix barcodes – and all other types of barcodes – to meet current compliance standards

We often receive inquiries from companies around the world. They are technically limited with other label printing companies that don’t have the ability to create and print GS1 DataMatrix barcodes that precisely meet GS1 and ISO standards. This is why they call NFI to assist them with their technical challenges, and this is one reason we’ve been the leader for more than 40 years.   We pride ourselves in overcoming the inevitable technical challenges to research, interpret, and meet compliance standards.

NFI is able to manage all forms of 2D codes such as UID, UDI, GS1, QR, and Code 128 GS1. We offer a high level of customer service and expert advice to create and print barcodes and determine the best path to meet current verification standards. 

 


 

Business Services, Medical