Item identification and data acquisition through barcodes is critical to the function of automated operations, whether these involve ensuring that the correct components are used in the assembly of a smartphone or recording accurate patient data for samples in a laboratory. When poorly marked or damaged barcodes result in “no-reads” (or misreads), loss of data or incorrect data can have disastrous effects on product integrity and corporate reputation, not to mention potential legal implications and serious risks to consumer welfare.

Understanding the root cause of unreadable barcodes and appropriately using technology to prepare for or resolve these issues is simple to do and it can mean the difference between success and failure in automation. This white paper discusses the most common causes of unreadable barcodes and offer some likely solutions for these problems.