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(Universal Product Code) The standard barcode printed on retail merchandise. The UPC is read by scanning the barcode at checkout counters in supermarkets and retail stores. Handheld UPC scanners are used to inventory merchandise stocked on shelves.

Global Trade Item Number (GTIN)
The UPC falls under the Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) identification system, which is administered by the GS1 organization (see GS1). The common 12-digit UPC-A code includes a vendor number assigned by GS1 along with the vendor's product number and a check digit. GTIN categories include numeric barcodes with 8, 12, 13 and 14 digits and also support alphanumeric (ASCII) characters.

Unlike the EPC code in an RFID system, the UPC does not include a unique serial number and cannot be used for individual item tracking. See EPC and RFID.

UPC scanning systems were introduced in the early 1970s. In the mid-1980s, UPCs were added to shipping containers, and mandates from retailers such as Walmart and K-Mart caused them to be widely adopted. See barcode and barcode scanner.

UPC Codes Everywhere
One can hardly find a retail package without the numeric UPC barcode label.

UPC Examples
UPC barcodes are ubiquitous and mandatory on nearly every saleable item. For small packages, the compressed six-digit UPC-E code is equivalent to the 12-digit UPC-A. (Images courtesy of GS1 US, www.gs1us.org)


Abbr. for “Uniform Plumbing Code.”
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The UPC, in the last one year has grown from 12 to over 100 employees based on the high demand of professionals in the urban planning field as well as its supporting disciplines.
Plans are underway to add e-commerce capabilities to UPC so that users can quickly purchase parts.
This new version of UPC Studio Software redefines AC Power Testing by placing the tools necessary to control all aspects of an AC Power Test System in the test engineers' hands," said Mitchel Orr of Pacific Power Source, Inc.
Giant Rainbow Cake UPC 210725808991 -- Giant Mundel Bread UPC 201500305590
CHICAGO -- UPC Solar, a leading solar power development company, today announced an agreement to build solar crystalline PV systems for seven Santa Cruz City Schools totaling 950 kW of installed capacity.
UPC 0036800095 (Sold in independently-owned and operated Cub stores in Illinois) -- Dierbergs French Cut Green Bean, 15 oz.
The brands and UPC codes included in the Cooked Squash recall are: Birds Eye, UPC 014500005168; Stop & Shop, UPC 688267009723; Shaw, UPC 045674504829; Price Chopper, UPC 041735303462; Lafe, UPC 023545071755; Shurfine, UPC 015400830621; Hannaford, UPC 041268111459; Flavorite, UPC 041130542541; Market Basket, UPC 049705630402; Wegmans, UPC 077890800874; Giant, UPC 688267009723; Tops, UPC 688267009723; Safeway, UPC 021130090372; IGA, UPC 041270497640; Roundy's UPC 011150548304; Remarkable, UPC 755566308618; and Dominicks, UPC 038281906285.
With the full support of UGC, UPC's largest creditor and shareholder, and an ad hoc committee representing certain non-UGC holders ("Bondholder Committee") of its Senior Notes and Senior Discount Notes, UPC NV commenced a Chapter 11 proceeding in the United States and a Dutch moratorium proceeding in the Netherlands, in order to ensure an efficient and effective recapitalization.