GS1 DataMatrix is a 2D (two-dimensional) symbol specified for use by the GS1 System. GS1 DataMatrix barcodes may be printed as a square or rectangular symbol made up of independent modules arranged within a perimeter ("L" shaped) finder pattern. The symbology holds large amounts of data in a relatively small space as compared to traditional linear barcodes, and is therefore becoming increasingly popular for a wide range of applications including aerospace, pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturing.
Examples of the GS1 DataMatrix
How is it used?
GS1 DataMatrix barcodes are used on trade items that have limited space for product marking such as healthcare items not intended to pass through retail point-of-sale (POS) and for parts that need to be tracked in a manufacturing process. This barcode allows users to encode a variety of information.
GS1 DataMatrix holds large amounts of data in a relatively small space as compared to traditional linear barcodes. Example information that are normally stored in a DataMatrix are expiry date, manufacturing date, batch or lot number and serial number.
It is important to note that camera based scanners (2D imagers) are required to read and decode GS1 DataMatrix symbols.
What are the benefits of using this type of barcode?
GS1 DataMatrix barcodes offer much higher information density when compared to traditional 1D barcodes, enabling the placement of a large amount of information in a very small area.
In addition to their relatively small size, GS1 DataMatrix symbols utilize sophisticated error correction algorithms to compensate for lost or missing data, extraneous marks, or code damage. This means that print quality and contrast are much less critical than with traditional linear or stacked barcodes. With error correction, GS1 DataMatrix barcodes can reconstruct up to 20% of damaged characters, while traditional barcodes have no error correction capability.
GS1 DataMatrix symbols are suitable for nearly all printing processes from offset to thermal transfer, and even direct marking by ink-jet or laser. The symbol offers readability even with low contrast, and is readable in a 360 degree orientation.