BAR CODES AND THEIR APPLICATIONS
Marian Visich, Jr.
SUNY at Stony Brook
In 1970, a grocery industry committee was formed to develop a standard
code that could be used to identify retail items. The objective was to develop a
symbol that could be read in either direction by an optical scanner to automate
check out transactions and inventory control. The effort concluded with the
selection of the Universal Product Code (UPC) symbol as the industrY standard
in April 1973.
Once the UPC proved to be a success in the grocery industry, bar codes
were introduced in many other industries as a fast and accurate method of
collecting information about products, documents or people. Today bar codes are
used in manufacturing plants, on shipping cartons, in hospitals and libraries and
on mail to automate the United States Postal System.
When bar codes were being introduced in the 1970's, over 50 different
bar codes were developed to satisfy the requirements of various industries, In
this monograph, the six most popular bar code symbologies are presented.
Bar code scanning systems are described and various bar code
applications are presented. Automation of supermarkets and the United States
Postal System is described in detail followed by a discussion of a wide range of
other applications—from manufacturing to the feeding of cows.
The math in this volume includes modular arithmetic and a simple error correcting