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Related to UPC-A: Universal Product Code, UPC code


(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.”
References in periodicals archive ?
Adopted by the industry to replace the UPC-A code in 2007, the GS1 Databar is expected to let manufacturers develop more robust coupon offers, including coupon values in any amount up to $999.
Retailers and suppliers have six months to completely eliminate the use of the UPC-A code, but retailers were required to adapt their systems to scan the GS1 Databar on January 1.
If they cannot, they will have to manually validate and enter the value for coupons that no longer have the UPC-A symbol.
The new IGP and QMS emulations will support existing applications using popular bar codes, such as: POSTNET, Code 39, EAN 13, EAN 8, UPC-A, UPC-E, interleaved 2 of 5, and Code 128.
Bar code command capabilities include POSTNET, Code 39, EAN 8, EAN 13, UPC-A, UPC-E, interleaved 2 of 5, and Code 128.
Can recognize barcodes at any angle horizontally or vertically, and supports the following standards: Codabar, Code 39 and Code 128, EAN 13, Interleaved 2 of 5, and UPC-A and UPC-E.
0 now includes support for the most popular barcode symbologies: UPC-A, UPC-E, Code 39, Postnet, EAN-8, EAN-13, Code 128, Codabar, Code 93, Interleaved 2/5 and MSI.