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Monthly Archive: February 2017

Barcoding: A Brief History, How They Work, Their Types & Uses

www.labelzone.co.uk

History of the Barcode

The barcode was invented, almost by accident, by Norman Joseph Woodland in 1948.
Bernard Silver, a fellow Drexel Institute graduate student with Woodland, overheard a conversation between a supermarket executive and an engineer on whether product information could be captured automatically at a checkout. Silver was interested and mentioned the problem to Woodland.
While on a beach in Florida, Woodland drew dots and dashes in the sand, similar to the shapes of Morse code. After pulling the dots and dashes downwards with his fingers, he came up with a concept of the first ever linear barcode.
In October 1949, they applied for a patent which was received in October 1952 covering both linear and bulls-eye designs.
Long story short: Woodland got employed by IBM, sold the patent to Philco, who then sold it to RCA before the patent expired in 1969.
In 1971 IBM started work on developing what is now UPC (Universal Product Code), beating their competition, RCA.

The first item scanned in public was a packet of chewing gum in an Ohio supermarket in 1974.

Woodland died from Alzheimer’s on the 9th of December 2012, at the age of 91.


Today

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How To: Brother HSe Heat Shrink Tubing Calculator

Brother’s heat shrink tubing has been around for over a year now, but has caused a little confusion about the sizes that are available, and for what size cable they’ll fit.
Here I shall briefly go over the sizes and how to work out which one you will need for what size cable. This guide isn’t limited to just Brother’s heat shrink tubing; it can be used to help decide on the correct size for Dymo, Brady, and LabelStation tubing too.

If you’re confused on cable sizing or are using the US measurements, it might be worth having a look at our cable sizing chart.

What you see is what you get

Let’s have a look at the HSe-221. It has a shrink ratio of 2:1 which means it will half in size. It’s rated at a size of 8.8mm, but what does that actually mean?

When flat, the tubing is 8.8mm in width. To work out the diameter of the tube when round, you need to times it by two and that will give you the circumference. Then divide that number by pi.

Width of tubing while flat: 8.8mm
Circumference of tubing while round: 8.8 x 2 = 17.6mm
Diameter of tubing while round: 17.6 ÷ pi = 5.6mm
Diameter at a 2:1 shrink ratio after shrinking: 5.6 ÷ 2 = 2.8mm

So if you have a HSe-221 cassette, this tubing will be suitable for a cables with a cross-section of 2.8mm to 5.6mm.
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LabelStation BarTender Video Tutorial of the Month

This month’s most popular video tutorial for BarTender shows how to change the label sensing options with explanations for each one.

  1. Go to “File” and “Print” and click “Document Properties”
  2. Go to the “Stock” tab and under “Media Settings” change the “Type” to one of the following:
    • “Use Current Printer Setting”
      Continue using the setting that’s in the printer’s memory
    • “Labels With Gaps”
      Labels or tags with gaps between them that the printer can read
    • “Labels With Marks”
      Labels or tags with black marks or holes that the printer can read
    • “Continuous”
      No black marks or gaps on a continuous reel
  3. If you select gaps or marks you will need to set the gap or mark size
  4. Click “OK”
  5. Click “Close” to accept the new settings without printing or “Print” to accept the new settings and print

Click here to play the video

Click here for more LabelStation BarTender videos.

Label Rolls to Ribbon Calculator

If you’re lucky enough to be using direct thermal labels, you won’t need this, but if you’re using more robust thermal transfer labels, you might find this page useful.

It can be struggle to work out how many rolls of ribbons you’re going to need for a batch of label rolls. Even we struggle to work it out, and we end up doubting ourselves with the answer we get.

Struggle no more

I’ve made a useful calculator to help you find out how many rolls of ribbon you’re going to need for your rolls of labels/tags.

As you can see from the form below, you can enter the details to get an answer quickly and easily. Follow these steps:

  1. If you’re using a continuous roll, check the “Continuous roll” checkbox.
  2. Enter the size of the labels (or the length of the continuous roll).
  3. Adjust the size of the gaps between the labels (if applicable).
  4. Enter the number of labels per roll, and the number of rolls (if applicable).
  5. Most of our ribbons are 300m long, but some Zebra, Brady and other ribbons can be longer or shorter, so change that where required.
  6. You’ll get a number that is rounded up to ensure you have enough ribbon to print on all your labels.*

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