Introduction to Proprietary Symbols and a Secure Supply Chain | New & Notable | June 3, 2020
Proprietary symbols are a key component of overall anti-counterfeit and anti-diversion solutions, which secures the supply chain from offshore manufacturing all the way to customer receipt.
From Global Automation and Identification Group, this is New & Notable for Wednesday, June 3rd, 2020.
New & Notable is a weekly series covering the news, announcements, and product highlights of our solutions partners, as well as other companies with something new and interesting to share. Our focus is on vision, inspection, and automation solutions for the automotive, aerospace, electronics, medical, and consumer packaging industries.
For more than 50 years, there has been an effort to develop the best machine-readable symbol. To date, there are approximately 300 such symbols that include a multitude of traditional 1-dimension bar codes, multi-color 1-dimensional codes, widely-accepted 2-dimension codes that are capable of containing several thousand characters, and intricate multidimensional symbols.
Most of the hundreds of existing symbologies remain proprietary and require users to pay a license fee, or royalty, in order to implement them. These fees may apply to creating the marks, read (de-code) the marks, or both. Since these codes remain proprietary, their general acceptance, for many auto ID applications, has been severely limited. They also tend to be very application specific. As a result, many companies that design and manufacture marking equipment and reading solutions, with few exceptions, have chosen not to support these symbols.
The most widely used machine-readable codes are those that were, early on in their existence, released to the public domain. There is no charge for implementing them. A few of these codes, that we see on a daily basis, include Code 3of 9, I 2of5, Code 128, UPC, Data Matrix, QRCode, PDF417, and several others. These symbols are typically implemented in “open environments” where multiple users are expected to make use of the encoded data.
While the vast majority of Auto ID applications utilize codes that are in the public domain, as discussed, there are some unique applications where, due to issues such as enhanced data security, a proprietary symbol is not only justified but crucial. These are typically “closed environments,” as opposed to “open environments" as mentioned above. The application requirements may demand extremely high accuracy and are only used within a single enterprise. Many of these applications involve high price and/or highly sensitive products.
Proprietary symbols are a key component of overall anti-counterfeit and anti-diversion solutions, which secures the supply chain from offshore manufacturing all the way to customer receipt. To fight counterfeit and diversion as a brand, you first have to secure your production, starting with securing how you mark and read the marks on your products.
The economic damage from counterfeit products and diversion from authorized channels exceeds 1 trillion dollars per year. This damage includes loss of revenue for the brand owner, cost from fraudulent service and support, contamination and disruption of the supply chain, and others.
After more than 40 years of reviewing most of the proprietary symbols available and considering the applications on which they are focused, GlobalAutoID believes that iTRACE Technologies achieves the objectives of secure data acquisition and control better than any other source.
We are proud to have iTRACE as a solutions partner and recommend their unique solutions. More information on iTRACE Technologies can be found at GlobalAutoID.com/itrace.
GlobalAutoID is available to discuss with you our insights on a secure supply chain, auto ID, and other topics covered here. We can lend our decades of experience to help tackle any production or distribution technology challenge you may be facing. Learn more about how we can help at GlobalAutoID.com/consulting.
This has been New & Notable for June 3rd. Be sure to return next week for news and highlights from our solutions partners and other companies.
New & Notable is produced and presented by James D Kirk for Global Automation & Identification Group. Thank you for your time and attention, be well, and have a successful week.