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New Codes for Retail

WIPOTEC Australia Pty Ltd Stand: C094
New Codes for Retail
Major supermarkets are upgrading their checkout systems. Retail and producers are joining forces in focus groups to work on pilot projects. Their common objective: implementing 2D-codes on packaging by 2027. For most producers, this means a change in the packaging process. While they currently have a 1D-barcode pre-printed in the packaging design, they will need an additional 2D-code in the future. Since this code contains batch-specific information, it is applied in-line. In this process step, we today usually find printing systems that will not be able to provide the required resolution.

Advantages and requirements
This development is not based on a legal requirement,
although this assumption is comprehensible. Forwardthinking
producers are now planning ahead to be prepared
when their customers request the new marking.


New code – new technology?
The additional 2D-code contains batch-specific information,
so it cannot be printed with the packaging design.
This task can therefore only be performed at the
point in the production process where the batch number
and best-before date are printed up to now. Since
the codes are significantly more complex and require
a higher resolution, the challenge for the printing technology
increases. Manufacturers should therefore now
assess whether their existing equipment is suitable for
this application.


Print quality requirements
The standard of the retail industry for markings already
is very high. It even increases when it comes to codes
that are relevant for checkout and stock management.
Therefore, producers need to verify the print result to
ensure readability in stores and for consumers. This
task is performed by a high-resolution camera.


Systems over components
Operators are usually controlling printers independently
from the line. This principle is no longer appropriate,
when a camera is added for print verification.
Coordinating the individual components with each
takes an enormous amount of time during implementation
and in ongoing production.
For this reason, modular systems are employed in
which marking, verification, labeling, weighing and
even inspection tasks such as metal detection are fully
integrated, according to the specific requirements.
They coordinate all functions and allow the operator
to control them via one central user interface. Product
article setup and layout edits thus become
minimally error-prone and maximally user-friendly.

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