Primary Coding for every Product
Primary coding is more than just barcodes; it is any coding on the layer of packaging that comes in direct contact with the product, from retail barcodes to date codes, batch codes and 2-dimensional codes. With an extensive range of coding and marking equipment, Matthews can help you print one or all of them onto your products.
Primary barcodes, or product barcodes, are used at retail point of sale. They are often referred to as GTIN (Global Trade Item Number) barcodes. There are four types of primary barcode: GTIN-13, GTIN-8, GTIN-12 and GTIN-14. The most commonly used is GTIN-13, which can contain static product information as well as variable measure weight or price information.
Primary barcodes are generally included within the artwork used for the retail packaging and printed in that process. However sometimes they need to be applied on to the retail packaging, or directly on to the product in the case of many industrial products. Whatever your unique requirement, Matthews can provide the right coding or labelling solution.
Two-dimensional codes include QR codes and Datamatrix codes. For brands, the biggest benefit of 2D codes is the ability to provide extra information to consumers without using up valuable packaging space. They can also be used to prompt an immediate action by consumers, such as competition entry.
Date coding is essential for consumer safety. The Australian Food Standards Code states that packaged foods with a shelf-life of under two years must have a use-by date on the primary packaging and a best-before date in most other instances.
Use-by date: The day and/or month by which the product must be consumed
Best-before date: Indicator of when the product will begin to degrade from its optimal quality
These codes are also important for the healthcare industry and must be included on medical, pharmaceutical and cosmetics goods.
A batch number or lot number is critical for traceability. All packages with the same batch number are considered to be the same in all respects. If the consumer, retailer or manufacturer identifies a problem with a product, the batch code allows the product to be traced back to a specific batch. Products with the same batch code can then be recalled or withdrawn from the supply chain.
Need more information on how to apply primary codes onto your products? Speak to our experts at Matthews.