UCC / EAN-128, UCC-128, EAN-128

DATA: Alpha-Numeric+ LENGTH: Variable CHECK: Required

UCC-128 and EAN-128 are terms which mean UCC / EAN-128.

Free help or advice is available by email to;

help@Code128.com or help@EAN-128.com or help@UCC-128.com


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UCC / EAN-128 is not actually a separate bar code symbology. The UCC / EAN-128 bar code is a Code 128 bar code with a specific structure.

UCC/EAN-128 bar codes are printed using a Code 128 bar codes.

UCC/EAN-128 bar codes start with the FNC1 control character, so UCC / EAN-128 bar codes can be distinguished from other uses of Code 128.

Our JIT series of software products automatically inserts the necessary FNC1 control character at the start of UCC / EAN-128 bar codes. 

FNC1 is also used to separate fields in UCC / EAN-128 bar codes. To insert the field separator FNC1 in your bar codes, use the % (percentage) character in your message and specify optional format 1.


Application Identifiers (AI's) 

UCC / EAN-128 uses Application Identifiers (AI's) to break bar code messages in to fixed or variable length fields. Each field has a meaning according to the AI used.

Example: If you want to represent a 'Batch or Lot Number' of 'K-93872', and a 'Sell By Date' of '31st December 1999' in a single UCC / EAN-128 message, we use the table below to find the AI's for 'Batch or Lot Number' and 'Sell By Date'.

UCC / EAN-128 Application Identifiers (AI's) formats

.. means variable length

AI Content Format
10 Batch or Lot Number n2+an..20
15 Sell By Date (YYMMDD) n2+n6
  List of more AI's  

a

alphabetic characters

n

numeric characters

an

alpha-numeric characters

a3

3 alphabetic characters, fixed length

n3

3 numeric characters, fixed length

an3

3 alpha-numeric characters, fixed length

a..3

up to 3 alphabetic characters

n..3

up to 3 numeric characters

an..3

up to 3 alpha-numeric

For 'Batch or Lot Number' the AI is 10 and the format is a variable length up to 20 alpha-numeric characters and for Sell By Date the AI is 15.

(15) 991231 (10) K-93872 

Note: The characters () around the AI are only printed in the human readable text - these characters are never encode in the data.

This is the data to be encoded;

1599123110K-93872

If the variable length field is not the last field then FNC1 must be inserted to mark the end of the field. The methods that software uses to insert FNC1 varies. This would be the data to be encoded;

10K-93872<FNC1>15991231

<FNC1> shows the position of the FNC1 in the bar coded data. FNC1 is not an ASCII character. The JIT series of software products can automatically insert FNC1 by encoding;

10K-93872%15991231

 

In the Basic programming language, the data can be constructed like this;

"10" + "K-93872" + "%" + "15" + "991231"

or the more general case, using variable names;

"10" + BATCH_NUMBER$ + "%" + "15" + SELL_BY_DATE$

The JIT series of software products can also automatically insert FNC1 by encoding;

10K-93872<GS>15991231

The <GS> character (ASCII decimal 29) is the preferred method.

 

In the Basic programming language, the data can be constructed like this;

"10" + "K-93872" + CHR(29) + "15" + "991231"

or the more general case, using variable names;

"10" + BATCH_NUMBER$ + CHR(29) + "15" + SELL_BY_DATE$

FNC1

FNC1 has another very important function. When a variable length field is followed by another field and the variable length field is not filled to the maximum length, FNC1 must be inserted to indicate the end of the variable length field. If the variable length field is the last field FNC1 is not required.

IMPORTANT: Software that can print Code 128, may not be able to print UCC / EAN-128 if the software has no method for printing FNC1 characters.

In your software you should select UCC / EAN-128 (or UCC-128 or EAN-128) if it is available.

The JIT series of software products can print UCC / EAN-128 (UCC-128 and EAN-128).

IMPORTANT: Modern bar code readers / scanners should correctly read and interpret UCC / EAN-128 bar codes.

When FNC1 is used as a field separator some older readers may not correctly insert <GS> (ASCII decimal 29) in the returned text.

See your bar code reader manual for details of setup options.

When calculating UCC / EAN-128 bar codes the JIT series of software products can also insert FNC1 as a field separator. To do this, use the % (percentage) character in your message and specify optional format 1. In the latest versions character <GS> (ASCII decimal 29) can be used instead of % to also insert FNC1.

When calculating UCC / EAN-128 bar codes the JIT series of software products automatically adds the necessary check character.


Variable length fields

If a  UCC / EAN-128 bar code contains only one variable length field, if the variable length field is moved to the end of the data then FNC1 would not be required.

See FNC1 section above.


See: Code 128

 


Copyright 2000 CIA (BAR CODES) UK. All rights reserved. Reproduction prohibited.