A perfect code needs more than just a font.


25th of October, 2010 Bookmark and Share
Guaranteeing a perfect code and perfect code-read time after time makes this more that just a font - more an essential tool in maximising line efficiency.

It is of paramount importance for the date, batch or lot code to be reproduced as clearly as possible on any pharmaceutical packaging.
When printing human readable codes checking will normally be carried out with some kind of automatic identification system that compares the characters to a known character set.

These systems rely on there being no ambiguity as regards the form and shape of each character. Traditionally, the styles of type used for the coding of pharmaceutical packaging has been derived from the printers' typefaces designed solely for their aesthetic qualities. However, for high volume production and using several different application processes these are no longer appropriate as they show a lack of clarity of some characters.

When it comes to the characters certain measures can be taken to improve the distinction between them. Such precautions usually ensure that a code is perfectly readable to the human eye, but may not go far enough to fully satisfy the requirements of an OCV or OCR system. For this reason, fonts specifically aimed at being machine readable were designed and, one such font is OCR-B.

Having identified that using the OCR-B font would improve code readability, the font needs to be produced by the coder. Here a few technologies score particularly highly because of their quality of print: Hot Foil, Thermal Transfer and, more recently, Thermal Inkjet.
In all cases attention needs to be paid to both the set up of the coder and to the selection of the appropriate grade consumable to ensure that a clear crisp code is made.

Guaranteeing a perfect code and perfect code-read time after time makes this more that just a font - more an essential tool in maximising line efficiency.
Chris Baker
Rotech’s coding and marking products and services for the packaging industry are second to none. Our business revolves around three core technologies • hot foil • thermal transfer • thermal inkjet and associated offline overprinting systems. With these technologies you can print on any substrate, from foil, film, carton, sleeves, packets and pouches to tubes, cables, timber and labels made of paper, plastic or vinyl. For all our printers we stock an extensive range of printing consumables and spares for a wide range of machines from Rotech and other manufacturers, ready for same-day despatch to your door. In everything we do the customer comes first. This is reflected in our support services, ranging from in-depth consultancy to provide solutions tailored to you particular needs, to on-site training in coding and printing technologies and machine maintenance and servicing.