QR Codes for Industry

Scan QR CodeThese days QR Codes seem to be everywhere. Mainly in consumer applications where they are used to make static items such as advertisements more dynamic by linking to web pages.

Our view has always been that these QR Codes are fine for this kind of thing but for us, the more industrial types, the best code to use is the Datamatrix.

Having said that, several clients have recently asked me about printing QR Codes onto the labels for their very industrial products.

The reason behind this is to make those products interactive and allow them to provide the user with some useful information. (see my recent presentation on giving assets a digital voice).

Why use the QR rather than Datamatrix code? Mainly because the barcode is intended to be read with a smartphone and while just about every barcode app will happily read QR Codes, not everyone will read Datamatrix.

It has been interesting to learn the kinds of content the clients want to link the QR Codes to. For some, it will be to connect to a database so that field service technicians have access to the service history of the part. Others want to connect to webpages that give usage instructions or MSDS information. Still others are looking to use QR Codes because their marketing people seem to think it is trendy.

Whatever the reason, I think making products more interactive is a great idea. Could this idea help your customers or your service guys?

Update – 08/16/2012

The latest printer model from our friends at Zebra Technologies has a great example of using QR Codes to help their customers.

Inside the cover of the new ZT200 Series printer, is a nicely printed QR Code. Scanning this, takes the user to an online help page with a lot of good information. The page is optimized for mobile too – thanks for that Zebra!

Zebra ZT200 Series online help




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