Did you know that barcode label technology has been around for nearly 60 years? Amazingly, a patent was filed in 1949 by two inventors for a system targeting “article classification … through the medium of identifying patterns”. Their concept incorporated thick and thin lines (like today’s standard codes) but arranged in concentric circles like a bulls-eye. It didn’t take long for the familiar rectanglar bar-code labels to develop and by 1970 the grocery industry had standardized the Universal Product Code (UPC). The two inventors would be amazed that 60 years later we are using a very similar design to their original concept!
Diecut blank labels can be made of many materials, including matte litho, thermal transfer paper, or direct thermal paper. They are delivered as die-cut blanks on rolls. The customer then prints variable data (often on their manufacturing line) such as Lot Code, Expiration Date, or Tracking Numbers; often a combination of variable copy (product name, shipping address or information) and a barcode. The bar code label can be used for tracking, inventory control, and many other applications.
ABS-LABELS can provide you with pre-printed labels containing variable data, eliminating the need to variable print blank labels. Consecutive bar codes and corresponding human-readable copy can be printed with a “starting code” and an “ending code”, or using random or pre-determined cells from a spreadsheet or data file. Asset labels are an example of a variable label that can be generated using a spreadsheet of known copy and numbers.
Digital printing has changed the world of variable imaging. With our new HP Indigo WS4500 digital label press, ABS-LABELS can vary the photos or artwork on a single print job. Imagine a roll of custom labels featuring an athletic team where each label was a different player! Let your imagination run wild! Our digital press uses no printing plates, so it is not limited to static artwork or information.