We typically use Interleaved 2 of 5 bar codes on our wings bands because we can fit 6 numbers on the size 3 bands and they scan well with just about all scanners. Anyone can purchase a linear bar code scanner from anywhere to scan the tags. The main issue with the bar code scanners is this…..the scanner must be configured to read the Interleaved 2 of 5 (I-2 of 5) bar codes on the tags. The scanners will not read the tags out of the box; they must be configured prior to reading the tags. This has happened to some of our customers and can be frustrating when the tags won’t read. This is why we recommend purchasing scanners from NB&T so we can configure it …..and it will work with the tags. NB&T sells scanners at our cost. If you already have a scanner or get one off the internet, we can still help with getting the scanner configured via email instructions.

We use other linear bar codes such as Code 39 and Code 128 on other product lines and just about all scanners will read these bar codes right out of the box…. thus there is no scanner configuration required.


We also offer 2 dimensional bar codes (versus linear bar code). These are the Data Matrix and the QR Code. The data matrix can be shrunk down very, very small and can have a lot of numbers in the code.

Here is information on our bar coded 1005-1 tags

Here is information on industrial tags using 2D codes: Data Matrix QR Codes

The QR Codes were developed as a marketing tool to take viewers directly to websites for more information. You have probably seen QR codes all over the place.
Data Matrix can also be used as a website link but it can also hold data or sequential numbers. The Data Matrix code is scalable, works with very low contrast and is very robust. The QR code is not as scalable or robust as the Data Matrix code.

Either way, these 2-D bar codes will not scan with a traditional bar code scanner. You must scan these using an “Imager”. An imager is actually a camera with built-in lighting and algorithms that decode the 2D images. If you have a somewhat normal sized 2-D code like on one of our larger tags, there is a good chance you can scan the 2D code using a free imaging application that is loaded onto smart phones. Smart phones will only work to a certain point. Once the code is too small or has poor contrast the only way to read the code is to use a DPM imager which is made for decoding very small codes. If you are using a DPM imager, data matrix codes do not need a great deal of contrast to decode like the linear bar codes require. Therefore, the Data Matrix codes will work on just about anything using a DPM imager to decode them.