Impact Of Bar Code Print Quality On The Performance Of High-speed Sortation Systems


This study analyzed the effect of low-quality bar code symbols on the automated high-speed sortation process typically used in large warehouses of high-volume manufacturing and distribution companies. The results were then used to generate recommendations that could be followed to increase the reliability of reading the symbol on the first attempt. Upon printing, the quality of bar code symbols was deliberately varied, then subjected to a physical simulation of the automated sortation process. Independent variables included Symbol Contrast, X Dimension, Bar Growth, Aspect Ratio, Symbol Orientation, Quiet Zones, and Conveyor Line Speed. The dependent variable was the bar code symbol's read rate. Results showed that the bar code symbol read rate was significantly affected by such print quality factors as X Dimension, Bar Growth, and Symbol Contrast. As part of the study, a predictive model was developed that accurately predicts the likelihood of a symbol's read rate upon its printing.


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Automated Sortation; Bar Codes; Distribution; Material Handling; Parcel Shipping; Print Quality

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


File Type





© 2023 Elsevier, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jan 2003