Universal Product Code

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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 ?
-- "Not so fast," trade groups representing thousands of retailers say about a plan to scrap the Universal Product Code bar code system on coupons.
1D, or linear, barcodes are the familiar arrangement of black and white lines and spaces used to create the Universal Product Code (UPC).
The real money in oral care space management is not found with current universal product code (UPC) rankings and market share, because oral care is characterized by constant upgrading of innovations and solutions.
It may be because they were the early adapters of POS and universal product code systems in the first place.
In these cases where it is not necessary to distinguish between individual items of a product, commercial marks such as the EAN.UCC Global Trade Identification Number (GTIN) (i.e., Universal Product Code (UPC)), ANSI T1.220 COMMON LANGUAGE[R] Equipment Identification (CLEI) for telecommunications equipment, and the Health Industry Business Communications Council (HIBCC) code for non-pharmaceutical health-care products can be used.
In one way or another, these programs are designed to choose a recipe from hundreds that are available or read the instructions embedded in the Universal Product Code and cook the food automatically.
<strong>UPC</strong> (universal product code): 890180001221
* InfoLync Category Topline templates are a suite of charts and graphics that provide up-to-date trend analysis and insight into a business at the category, brand and Universal Product Code levels.
For each day, a variety of data will be obtained from the electronic POS system at each store, including the Universal Product Code (UPC) of the product, a description of the product and the quantity and prices of products sold.The results should enable supermarket designers to make informed decisions as to which type of display cases to use.
"When they scan a universal product code (UPC) number, they get instant confirmation," says Richter.
The current wave of productivity-enhancing technologies began with the introduction of the universal product code and bar code scanning in 1974.
Seeking to learn what foods the typical household has on hand and the nutritional value of those items Rutgers University completed a comprehensive "pantry audit" of 100 New Jersey households.A key element of the study was Gladson Interactive's database, which connects a product's Universal Product Code (UPC) with information on the product's nutritional composition contained on the package label for over 300,000 items, said Gladson and Rutgers in a release about the research.Lisle, Ill.-based Gladson Interactive is a leading provider of category management services to consumer goods manufacturers, retailers, wholesalers and brokers.

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