UPC stands for Universal Product Code. UPC-A is used for marking products which are sold at retail in USA. UPC barcode is primarily used in the retail industry as a POS (point of sales) barcode symbology. UPC is used in the United States and Canada in the retail industry to uniquely identify product and it`s manufacturer so that cash register systems can automatically look up the related data.
Since UPCA barcode used for labeling retail products, it is one of the most widely used and recognized barcode in all of the linear barcode symbologies. UPCA is 12 digit code: the first six digits represent the number system character and the manufacturer of the labeled item, the next five digits are unique product identifier and the 12th digit is check character, that is based on the previous 11 digits of data.A typical UPCA barcode has center guard bars in the center of the symbol which are longer than the other bars. This divides the symbol into a right and left half. This division allows the symbol to scan in any orientation.
Structures of UPC-A barcode:
UPC-A barcode has the following structure:
Start guard bars, always with a pattern bar+space+bar.
Left halve, six digits encoded using the encoding schema A or B.
Center guard bars with a pattern space+bar+space+bar+space.
Right halve, six digits encoded using the encoding schema C.
Stop guard bars, always with a pattern bar+space+bar.
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Areas of Application:
UPCA barcode used in every consumer goods in your local supermarket as well as books, magazines and newspapers.
An UPC-A number consists of four areas:
The number System
The manufacturer code
The product code
The check digit
Normally the number system digit is printed to the left of the barcode and the check digit to the right. The manufacturer and product codes are printed just below the barcode and separated by the guard bar.