6 Replies Latest reply on Aug 12, 2016 9:08 AM by Manuel Caicedo-Rivera

    Barcode 128 formats and Code 39 Size Changing

    Nathaniel Nesler

      Hello Support,

       

         We have noticed that the barcode bar width in the BY tags multiplier is changing from time to time.  For instance a barcode value of just the letter a in say code 128 for a BY value of say 4 is not staying the same size in width. Is there some setting or tag that can be sent to a Zebra printer that will change the width of the bars in the BY magnification?  Can this program happen do to a particular calibration.  This matters because people have to certify barcode widths for label standards and if they change it cause real problems like charge backs etc.  

       

      ^XA

      ^LH0,0^LRN

       

      ^FO100,403

      ^BY4^BCN,300,Y,N

      ^FDA^FS

       

      ^XZ

       

      Cheers,

      Nathaniel Nesler

        • Re: Barcode 128 formats and Code 39 Size Changing
          Robin West

          Hi Nathaniel,

          When you say the width is changing from time to time, do you mean:

          Do you send the same code to the same printer over and over and the printed width changes? 

          Do you send the same code to different printers and the output is different? 

          How big of a difference in width are you seeing? 

           

          The BY command is the primary way to change the bar width.  Also different printers may be setup to use different Code 128 subsets, you may want to add the subset you want to use to your code to ensure it prints the same every time on every printer. 

          ^XA

          ^LH0,0^LRN

          ^FO100,403

          ^BY4^BCN,300,Y,N

          ^FD>:A^FS

          ^XZ

           

          Robin West

            • Re: Barcode 128 formats and Code 39 Size Changing
              Nathaniel Nesler

              Hey Robin,

               

              Do you send the same code to the same printer over and over and the printed width changes?  Yes but this is happening over time, which makes me think that maybe other labels are being sent to the printer that might somehow be changing this width.  I am not suggesting that if you send the same single character in the barcode over and over again without a re-calibration or other labels being printed on the printer that it will change.  When we send it over and over again with nothing else sent to the printer it has been consistent in its width.  So my thought is that the width of the barcode is somehow getting changed in the printer but for the life of me I have no idea how after looking over 1400+ pages of documentation in the Zebra manual.  So I am not really sure how it is happening but I know it is happening.

              Do you send the same code to different printers and the output is different?  Yes.  We are also having the same exact same zpl file with the same barcode BY tag etc with the same dpi, same data in the barcode, etc print different barcode widths for the exact same barcode.  Well of course it is all the same it is the same zpl file being printed on 2 printers with different results for the barcode bar widths.

              How big of a difference in width are you seeing?  Sometimes as much as double or triple the magnification value of the BY tag meaning a 9 becomes a 3.

               

              Cheers,

              Nathaniel Nesler

                • Re: Barcode 128 formats and Code 39 Size Changing
                  Nathaniel Nesler

                  Hey Robin,

                   

                       Here is a visual example of the same ZPL same printing changing barcode widths due to calibration.  We are seeing the same thing after some other labels are run on the printer and then the barcode widths change for the other labels being printed afterwards just like in the picture. 

                   

                  barcode_widths_changing.png

                  Note the ZPL has not changed between printing the label on the left to the right.  It is the exact same label ZPL II code.  Same printer too.  This happened after the printer was calibrated.  We are seeing this happening with labels printing and then the barcode widths suddenly change for the same ZPL II label.

                   

                  Has there been any insight into this issue?

                   

                  Cheers,

                  Nathaniel Nesler

                    • Re: Barcode 128 formats and Code 39 Size Changing
                      Nathaniel Nesler

                      Hey Robin,

                       

                           One other point of concern with this is that since these barcode bar widths are changing based on calibration or other label commands on previously processed labels, if I write an algorithm formula for determining the centroid / origin position for positioning, scaling, and rotating but the barcodes bar widths are dynamically changing then my formula will break because I will have no input that I can work off of for even doing a computation to correct the positioning.  This means that the barcodes in ZPL are mathematically unstable for their position along with their scale if the position is something other than the normal rotation position.  As it is now with the centroid / origin I give ZPL the position 5,5 lets say and ZPL does 2,8 instead and then there is some scaling and now 5,5 is now 8,4 or say we rotate it and scale it and the position of 5,5 now be becomes 16,2.  So I can write a formula to correct that mathematics but I can not write a formula for 5,5 at a certain position, scale, and rotation comes out of ZPL as lets say 3,7 but later on after calibration it becomes 16,28 and then after another label prints from something it then becomes -2,1.  Since this will be totally random there is no mathematical formula I can write that will provide an accurate position.  This is a really big problem.  Now as it is, a barcode can be changing size and then move its position on a label into some text or a picture, or a box, etc and then become totally un-scannable.

                       

                      Is there a command in ZPL that will stabilize barcode widths to where they only are the standard size from the printer of the ^BY commands with respect to DPI?  Because as it stands now that is not the case as I have shown in the picture in the previous post.

                       

                      Cheers,

                      Nathaniel Nesler