Linear barcodes have found wide acceptance in all sectors of industry as machine‐readable part identifiers, but their low data density limits practical data capacity to some 20 characters. Two‐dimensional codes, however, have a much higher data density, and can contain significant volumes of data in compact symbols that can be printed or marked directly on to small parts. When used as portable data files 2‐D encoding provides both flexibility and prospects for applications unachievable with linear barcode data carriers. This paper discusses 2‐D codes and the potential for their applications in automated manufacturing.
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