Barcode Quality

We have been printing labels and found out that some of the printed barcodes have a poor quality grade. Are there tips on improving the code128 quality?

  1. what do you mean exactly?
  2. do you print them on paper? If yes, what resolution you use(dpi)?

We have requirements from a vendor to supply barcodes that scan using a quality grader resulting in a grade of an A or B. We have had to seriously evaluate our solution because this specific label grades as a D or an F. When we use another barcode vendor, they meet the requirements but we have thousands of labels and converting them would be a chore. We have changed all settings that we can think of that could influence the quality including the barwidth plus trying to intercept the graphics object through the API and the label still prints the barcode resulting in a poor quality scan. We also have problems printing extremely small barcodes with L&L. We are on version 13 and currently evaluating if the newer versions improved the quality. I believe this is designed for a 300 dpi and we test the label with a laser printer and actually print on a label printer in production.

Well first of all, try to set the LL resolution to a higher value (LL_OPTION_METRICS etc), but I’m not sure whether this will improve printing as I guess LL increases the resolution for barcodes itself - but worth a try.

Then you might reduce the black level of the barcodes by gradually increasing LL_OPTION_BLACKNESS_SCM as the printers do paint a bit “more” black than they should.

And, usually the best hint, if possible: if the barcode always has a constant number of characters (i.e. resulting in a constant bar count), you should calculate the width of the barcode such as the bar widths are a multiple of the printer DPI width.