Simple solutions are often favorable, especially in complex situations. Just ask the busy barista how she feels about making an upside-down caramel macchiato versus serving up a black coffee. Sure, the macchiato may be more fun to drink, but it’s going to slow her down and there are more opportunities for mistakes. The black coffee makes her customer happier quicker, with basically no room for error.
InfoSight’s OptiCode® system uses a simple 1D barcode that is the pipe & tube manufacturer’s black coffee. It is a durable, spacing based barcode that is readable after damage because of its simplicity. The barcode contains a Piece Identification Number (PIN) that links back to a database. All relevant information is contained in the database. Data Matrix barcodes, are more like the macchiato, in that they contain a lot of information within the barcode, but are not as reliable when subjected to damage. To combat this, they often include error correction codes so the message can be read when some cells are damaged, and they are usually printed repeatedly along the OD of a pipe.
It is important to identify tube and pipes with barcodes that withstand damage because of the processes they endure after being formed. With the OptiCode® system, tube and pipe products can be marked immediately after being cut and have that identification carry with them throughout the rest of the process. The barcode can be read after being subjected to conveyors, clamping, and straightening. Pipes and tubes will also bang against each other as they are stacked; they’ll be spun, creating friction wherever the OD is touching something, whether it’s a roller or another pipe. All of this creates opportunities for damage to the barcode. The OptiCode® barcode is still readable after almost any type of damage, provided any part of each bar remains. With a readable barcode, a plant can track pipes and tubes through their process. Check out this video that demonstrates the damage an OptiCode® barcode can sustain and still be readable.
A North American pipe manufacturer recently updated their process from marking all pipes in a batch with the same batch number to marking each pipe with an individual identification number. Previously at other locations, this customer used 2D style barcodes because they can carry a lot of information. However, these codes were easily damaged and were often unreadable. At InfoSight’s recommendation, they decided to adopt the OptiCode® system at this location, and they are now experiencing over 95% successful read rate. The engineer said he would recommend he OptiCode® system because, “It’s simple. It’s durable. It works.”
InfoSight understands the importance of tracking products within an operation, and the specific traceability challenges faced by pipe and tube manufacturers. As the demand for pipe and tube products increases, manufacturers will be busier than ever. Like the busy barista, they need a simple solution with no room for errors. OptiCode® is simply the best traceability solution for pipe and tube manufacturers.