Barcode Creation

For basic, background understanding of barcodes, please read - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barcode

In order to produce the following equipment is required:

- Label maker w/ software capable of producing 1D barcodes - PC with USB for hosting maker and software

Currently the Brother PT-3000 is used, as it can produce concurrent barcodes in series, precut to a given length. The software is provided with the labelmaker, P-Touch Editor. If the software is not installed on your PC, contact your Point of Contact in CSCF to have the software and necessary printer driver installed. The latest version can be obtained from the Brother website, using the serial number under the unit as proof of purchase.

The default tape used is a 24mm black on white background, TZ-S251, from Brother. A 12mm tape of similar style can be used if reduced-height labels are required. See the software manual for how to adjust the tape height.

The files have been already created for barcoding production, under eDocs/admin/CompSCI1.lbl There are others kept there, DOM.lbl (for any equipment requiring DO###### barcodes) and tape labels for a robot in DC 3556 - See Ronaldo Garcia relating to these labels.

Start the P-Touch Editor program under Windows: Start - Programs - P-Touch - P-Touch Editor.

Select File, Open, and the above eDocs location for the file.

You will then see a barcode with a numeric value. Right click on the label and select Properties. The first tab you see is Input. Here, you can change the numeric sequence to the desired value. When printing out a series of labels, you only need to create one label. You can use the Print feature to have print sequenced labels.

The other tabs, Protocol, Setup, Position, Expanded are for configuring the style of barcode you want.

CSCF uses 'Code 128' or 'EAN128' - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Code_128. These are basically the same symbology with minor changes. Any scanner you use or acquire in the future will be able to read these.

This was selected over Code39 (after barcode CS003499) as previous scanners and the current bluetooth wireless scanner had a hard time reading dense barcodes based on that symbology. The Editor lists it as EAN128.

The Setup should be set as follows:

- # of Characters: Auto - No Margins (checkbox unselected) - Show Characters - Just (means justified)

The Position can be altered by moving the image using the mouse, as well as width and height. The Rotation Angle should be left to 0 deg. The Expanded tab allows you to add the modified barcode type to the P-Touch library, although it's not necessary to reference it as the file used only contains the barcode.

Once the desired numeric value has been given, select File and Print. You will be shown a dialog window of options with the printer:

- Auto-cut: checked (the label maker has its own ability to cut labels) - Mirror Printing: not required.

Copies: set as 1, unless you are planning to add more than one label of the sae type onto the equipment. Numbering: Should be checked - this is how the label maker creates a sequential number of labels, and the Count: refers to how many labels you desire to be sequenced.

Do not check the Reset to Original Values box, you want to retain the next unused value.

Ensure that the label maker is turned on, connected to the PC and the correct tape is in the maker. If printing with a low amount of spool left, you will receive thick bars obliterating the desired information - you have to replace the tape with a new cartridge.

Once done, save the file back to its location.

Topic revision: r2 - 2013-02-11 - DrewPilcher
 
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