Even if you haven’t noticed, it’s more likely than not you’ve seen at least one QR code in the past week. Whether it be on a product at the grocery store or a local business billboard, simply put; they’re everywhere.
What is a QR Code?
These magic squares are used to store electronic information which is then accessible via scanning. QR (or Quick Response) codes were originally developed for use for auto manufacturers in Japan. Since then they have spread to industries and applications across the globe.
They are easily recognizable with their distinct square shape, and black and white pattern made up of small square pixels. In comparison to the traditional UPC line barcode style found on supermarket shelves, these codes are able to store a ton of more data.
In an industrial setting, the codes are typically scanned using a specialized scanning gun. This then transmits information into a computer system and provides or processes the data as it is programmed to do.
However, QR code access is not limited to just these scanners. Most mobile phones made today come equipped with scanning capability using the camera or smartphone app.
These hardware and software advancements have made these codes incredibly versatile as everyone is holding a scanner in their pocket at all times. This means workers out in the field can scan them without having to bring a bulky scanning device.
Since early use in the auto industry, QR codes have been used for everything from industrial tracking to consumer products and advertisements.
For example, a company may put a code on their product packaging, which links to a YouTube video demonstration of the product being used.
Many retail stores and fast food chains have begun using a digital QR code as an alternative to traditional loyalty cards.
Even airlines have transitioned to using the codes as boarding passes for flights.
Simply put: the possibilities for these codes are limitless, and they aren’t going away anytime soon.
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What are Metal QR Code Tags Used For?
While consumer applications might be a bit flashier, QR code tags have become absolutely vital for certain industrial applications
Managing a modern warehouse is a daunting task. Commerce has become global, orders are instant, and delivery of goods and services is expected just as quickly.
As the supply chain has advanced, so has the technology behind it. Almost every warehouse today utilizes some form of scanning to effectively monitor inventory.
By using warehouse labels with QR codes, all it takes is a quick scan for information to be transferred into the inventory system. This makes planning and organizing inventory levels significantly easier.
Scanning is much more effective than manually inputting data. This not only speeds up times but improves efficiency overall. In addition it eliminates a great deal of user error.
How do big organizations effectively manage all of their assets? Two words: asset tracking.
Asset tracking involves using QR code asset tags and labels to provide the right data to the right people. Organizations ranging from manufacturing firms to oil refineries and the military all utilize asset tracking.
These tags give decision-makers important information to help improve production, as well as get the most out of their fixed assets. This includes improving efficiency, prevention of errors, monitoring location, as well as tracking the life cycle of assets.
With the advancement of blockchain technology, QR codes are becoming increasingly useful.
In addition, asset tags serve as an excellent way to prevent theft. Plus, if theft does occur, the entire record of that asset will be back traceable.
Since industrial QR codes tags have so many uses, they have been integrated into a wide range of verticals.
A few examples include:
Process Options for QR Code Nameplates
QR codes have a unique design that can’t simply be produced in any medium. There are a few options to choose from for custom identification.
Photo anodization (MetalPhoto) is one of the best solutions which can implement barcodes for industrial use. This process leaves a black design embedded underneath a protective layer of anodized aluminum. This means the code (and any accompanying design) will not easily wear away.
This process can handle barcodes, QR codes, data matrix codes, or any imagery.
Another viable option for metal nameplates, screen printed tags provide a topical ink onto a durable metal substrate. This solution is not made to withstand prolonged wear and tear, but is suitable for a stationary sign plate or similar application.
Many warehouses need identification codes they can place on a wide range of inventory, and don’t necessarily need them to last for a long period of time.
This is where custom labels and decals find their niche. While they are less durable than metal tags, they are perfectly suited for inventory management and similar applications.
In addition to scanning codes, they can also feature full color designs, logos, and more.
No two organizations are the same, and no two problems are the same. Organizations everyday find new ways to utilize QR codes to solve their own unique problems.
The only real limit to custom QR tags is your own creativity. They are a tool to be used in any way you and your company see fit. At their core, they allow for the storage and sharing of information. Which problems you solve with them is entirely up to you.