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2D Barcode being used in WMS

  • 13 May 2022
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I am wondering if anyone is currently using 2D barcode for the items within Acumatica?  I have a customer that is wanting to use 2D barcode labels and they are in the auto industry.  What is being used for the 2D format by customers that are using Acumatica distribution or manufacturing.

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Best answer by rosenjon 25 May 2022, 08:24

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I would recommend searching the Acumatica Market Place https://www.acumatica.com/acumatica-marketplace/

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Hello!  What printers are the customer using?  It is common to use ZPL format to print 2d barcodes.  ZPL format can be read by many printers but Zebra printers are where the language originated.  ZPL (Zebra Print Language).  One limitation is laser printers.  

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HI @rsternberg96. Yes, I our plan is to use 2D barcodes when we migrate to Acumatica, in order to easily transition from our legacy WMS to Acumatica WMS. The legacy WMS will have all labels in 1D format, and the new WMS (Acumatica) will have 2D barcodes. This allows the old system to continue to function with its legacy labels, and the new WMS labels will be only readable by our new barcode scanners, but the old labels will be readable by the barcode scanners for the new system and the old system. This prevents workers from trying to scan labels that belong to the new system with an old barcode scanner, for example.

We use Zebra printers. Our go to printer is the Zebra ZD420, which is a pretty portable desktop style Zebra label printer. It isn’t meant for super high volume use, but is good for medium volume use and small/portable enough to be placed easily around the warehouse in various locations. There are also versions of the ZD420 that can print thermal transfer labels, and come with a handy ribbon cartridge so you don’t have to get into “ribbon hell” like a lot of older thermal transfer style printers (*cough* SATO). Thermal transfer labels are better for outdoor use/applications that require long term storage. Direct thermal labels are cheaper, with the tradeoff that they don’t last as long and will be damaged/made unreadable by direct sunlight and heat.

Zebra label printers are capable of printing 2D barcodes out of the box. There are actually multiple types of “2D” barcodes….the most popular are QR codes (readable by your phone) and Datamatrix 2D barcodes (not readable by your phone, but readable by most commercial barcode scanners). Zebra can print either one.

The biggest issue with Zebra printers is that their programming language is pretty wonky. So unless you are a ZPL programmer, you will want to use a third party solution to program your barcode labels. I believe @Stéphane Bélanger is building a label printing solution that will work with Zebra/ZPL out of the box, so you might want to ping him.

Hope that helps. I have a lot of experience building solutions with Zebra printers, so happy to answer any questions you may have. Also note that many manufacturers support the ZPL standard, so you don’t necessarily have to buy Zebra stuff to get ZPL printing (but Zebra’s stuff does sometimes have some fancy programming add-ons only available with native Zebra products).

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