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Barcode Structural Pre-Compensation Optimization

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Barcode print payload density is significantly improved when the effects of the print-scan (PS) cycle are anticipated in the barcode elements before printing. The PS cycle generally causes dot gain, and thus the black portions of the barcodes expand relative to the white portions. Structural pre-compensation (StructPC) anticipates this effect by removing black pixels from the boundaries of the black elements (modules and calibrating sections) of the barcodes. In this paper, we varied the amount of StructPC from 0 to 6 pixels for 2D DataMatrix barcodes that were printed at 600 dpi. Module sizes were varied from 10 to 30 mils (6 to 18 pixels at print resolution), using ECC 200 (∼30% errorcorrecting code). Test sets were printed on four types of printers. Each printer set underwent 2 additional PS cycles. We evaluated the optimal StructPC for each printer type after the combined 1, 2 and 3 PS cycles. We used the same substrate (office paper) throughout. Our findings support the implementation of StructPC for 2D barcodes. For every printer, the smallest readable barcode size was obtained with StructPC applied. StructPC results were printer-dependent: optimally 2 pixels for the dry electrophotographic printer, and optimally 2-5 pixels for thermal inkjet printers.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2009

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  • For more than 25 years, NIP has been the leading forum for discussion of advances and new directions in non-impact and digital printing technologies. A comprehensive, industry-wide conference, this meeting includes all aspects of the hardware, materials, software, images, and applications associated with digital printing systems, including drop-on-demand ink jet, wide format ink jet, desktop and continuous ink jet, toner-based electrophotographic printers, production digital printing systems, and thermal printing systems, as well as the engineering capability, optimization, and science involved in these fields.

    Since 2005, NIP has been held in conjunction with the Digital Fabrication Conference.
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