DotCode and DataMatrix Codes in Tobacco Industry
In the tobacco industry, barcodes are used to mark tobacco product packages such as cigarettes and e-cigarettes. Barcodes provide multiple benefits to tobacco manufacturers as they:
- Entail crucial information such as the pack contents, the date, and the lot details.
- Ensure proper tracking and tracing throughout the supply chain
- Provide more safety by determining the authenticity and adhering to regulatory compliance.
Out of all barcode types, DotCodes and DataMatrix codes are the most suitable for the tobacco industry, where thousands of products need to be barcoded and scanned while moving on fast conveyors.
Why DotCode and DataMatrix are Ideal for the Tobacco Industry
The tobacco industry requires high-speed, and high-efficient production environments where minimizing errors and eliminating barcode decoding challenges are critical. The DotCode is ideal for high-speed industrial laser and inkjet marking because it is:
- A 2-dimensional barcode symbology that consists of disconnected dots instead of continuous lines that requires less time for printing and lesser error-prone than printing bars, which makes it ideal for high-efficiency production environments that require high-speed product marking solutions.
- Developed to be used with high-speed industrial printers, where printing accuracy may vary and cannot be assured.
- Applied on packagings at a speed of more than 1,000 codes per second for on-pack serialization to allow tracking of tobacco products through global supply chains.
- It can be read from any orientation using a camera scanner or a specialist 2D barcode reader.
- Uses the Reed-Solomon algorithm for error correction that allows the code to be read even when it’s incomplete or damaged due to printing errors or other factors.
DataMatrix codes are high-density 2-dimensional barcodes that can encode a large amount of data with minimal space utilization, which makes them perfect for labeling small items such as cigarettes and e-cigarettes. These barcodes can be decoded even if a significant amount of code is damaged as they have very high fault tolerance.
How Barcodes are Used in the Tobacco Industry
1. Single Pack Tracking on Conveyors
In a tobacco manufacturing plant, multiple boxes of cigarettes and e-cigarettes arrive on a conveyor belt that needs to be sorted into different lanes to further get shipped based on their barcodes. The barcode scanner decodes the data in every barcode and prompts to send the package for shipping. Accurately reading these barcodes is imperative for tracing and tracking each product.
2. Carton Tracking
Once the cigarette cartons are sent from the tobacco manufacturers, they are loaded manually to reach the picking line conveyor belts, get packaged into different cases, and stacked for delivery. These picking lines are high-volume environments that rely on accuracy and speed for cost savings. The tracking and tracing of the products happen by scanning the DataMatrix codes that are laser-printed on the cartons. Scanning these barcodes requires a robust barcode reader, as manually doing so is time-consuming and error-prone.
3. Counting of Cartons in a Case
On average, a cigarette case contains 10 packs or 200 cigarettes, and a master case may have 50 cases or 10,000 cigarettes. These cartons are aggregated by manual operators or packers into different cases to be sent to specific customers. The cartons may be orderly arranged or randomly placed. It becomes critical for tobacco distributors to read these barcodes to verify whether the contents are complete or not. Thereafter, they have to generate a serialized code that needs to be placed on the outside of the shipping case. There is no scope for error or misreading as it could lead to manual checkups.
Challenges with Reading DotCode and DataMatrix Codes
While there are multiple uses of DotCode and DataMatrix Codes in the tobacco industry, manufacturers struggle with accurately reading these codes on the fast-moving conveyor belts. At the time of shipping, dozens of the cartons and master cases need to be aggregated as per specific orders. A slow barcode scanner will only make the process longer and more tedious. Misreads and inefficiencies further lead to manual intervention, which is even more time-taking and expensive.
Dynamsoft Barcode Reader is a reliable and fast barcode scanner SDK. It can scan more than 500+ barcodes in a minute with the ability to read dozens at once.
2.Poorly Printed Codes and Glare
The DotCode and DataMatrix codes are usually placed at the side of the cigarette boxes and contain 30 to 50 digits. For effective scanning, these codes must be read at close angles. And that is not the only issue, as poorly printed barcodes may also give an ordinary barcode reader a tough time. Other possible challenges include damaged, torn, or incomplete DotCode and DataMatrix codes that most barcode scanners fail to read.
When most barcode readers fail to read poorly printed, angled, tiny, incomplete, or wrinkled barcodes or the ones with glare, Dynamsoft Barcode Reader SDK can handle all such scenarios. It offers customization of scanning parameters that help significantly improve barcode decoding rate and accuracy. So, you don’t have to invest in manual reviews.
This video shows how Dynamsoft Barcode Reader tackles tough barcodes in challenging situations.
3. Multiple Code Reading in One Scan
Scanning multiple barcodes on cigarette cartons in a master case is a tough job for an ordinary barcode scanner. Also, manually doing the same task will take a lot of time and may lead to errors.
Dynamsoft Barcode Reader is capable of reading dozens of barcodes at once with great accuracy. Hence, you don’t have to spend much time doing so.
Get Started with Dynamsoft Barcode Reader SDK
Dynamsoft Barcode Reader SDK lets you integrate high-speed and robust DotCode and DataMatrix code scanning functionality in your web, desktop, or mobile application using just a few lines of code.
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