Universal Product Code

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Related to UPCS: UPSC

Universal Product Code:

see barcodebarcode,
computer coding system that uses a printed pattern of lines and bars to identify such things as products, mail and packages, and customer accounts; the term also is used for similar coding systems that do not use bar-based patterns.
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universal product code

[¦yü·nə¦vər·səl ′präd·əkt ‚kōd]
(computer science)
A 10-digit bar code on the outside of a package for electronic scanning at supermarket checkout counters; each digit is represented by the ratio of the widths of adjacent stripes and white areas.
The corresponding combinations of binary digits into which the scanned bars are converted for computer processing that provides continuously updated inventory data and printout of the register tape at the checkout counter.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


(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)
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References in periodicals archive ?
I used the website to schedule another UPC, this time in a round-dial Cessna 172.
Since there are courses with the same UPCS (or with values very close to each other), we wanted to refine the situation and add an absolutely qualitative metric, named Quality index, which combines properly Enrichment and Interest.
Simon Kelehan, head of television at UPC Ireland, said: "Christmas Day is traditionally a day for watching TV but it would seem from the findings that it can often lead to squabbles over the remote with two thirds of people saying they don't get to watch what they want on Christmas Day.
The UPCs are in charge of maintaining group dynamics, and serve as a direct line of communication for participants regarding personal needs and social problems.
With the potential of 106 UPCs, it takes organization and tracking to support the UPCs and to showcase their accomplishments.
These so-called "target information values" typically include part numbers, units of measure, release dates, UPCs, hazardous-material codes, weights, descriptions, tariff codes, pricing, and so forth.
The Companion wireless communication system installed at Jefferson Hospital uses low power radio frequencies (RF) in the 1.9GHz Unlicensed Personal Communication Services (UPCS) spectrum which is dedicated to in-building voice only communication.
Three and a half by twenty meter pallet-like Universal Part Carriers (UPCs) - each loaded with an aluminum billet - are delivered to the machine automatically by transporter.
The equipment was further modified by adding a Norwood Jaguar thermal printer to the front end of the machine to print variable product information, including logos, UPCs, and code dates on the Curwood preprinted film.
For example, one may aggregate 20 UPCs into one brand, creating a new data-set with 1/20 the number of observations.
(An initial model of the Private Eye used an LED array from a laser printer and a scanner like those which read UPCs from packages at the grocery store.) The present model has relatively few parts: a column of LEDs, a magnifying lens, a spring-mounted resonating mirror, a magnetic counterweight and some integrated circuits (Figure 2).