Snowflakes replace barcodes in process-control applications
A new form of electronic coding is now being applied to packaging applications in the pharmaceutical industry. Instead of the series of lines used to produce barcodes, the Snowflake code from Electronic Automation (Hull, England) consists of a two-dimensional array of dots that stores more than 100 digits in a 5 ¥ 5-mm area, reducing the labeling area required to code products.
David Humphries, managing director of Electronic Automation, claims that, due to built-in error correction, Snowflake code can be reliably read in any direction. In this image, 20 digits are represented as numbers, snowflake, and barcode representations. Snowflake code has already been applied to pharmaceutical products from Bristol Myers Squibb (right).