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Validation Points & Digimarc Barcode Print Quality Control

10 April 2021 904 Views

Recent versions of Digimarc Verify - Desktop feature Validation Points (details below). To request updated software with Validation Points, please click here.

Validation Points are intended to catch common plate reuse; color separations and corresponding printing plates that feature Digimarc Barcode and cannot be shared across different jobs, because each plate carries Digimarc Barcode data. Sharing plates would be the equivalent of printing conflicting 1D barcodes on the same package. This is a critical quality control issue.

How to work with Validation Points

The data in Digimarc Barcode must be checked and validated just as it does with visible barcodes.

To perform a Quality Control (QC) check on a package or label with Digimarc Barcode, download the Digimarc Verify mobile app from the App Store or Google Play, or visit www.digimarc.com/verify.

Digital files with Digimarc Barcode include an Enhancement Report, which has information about Digimarc Barcode and provides a map of Validation Points (example below), or areas which should be scanned with the Digimarc Verify app. Each icon represents an ink or separation carrying Digimarc Barcode as well as a validation point to scan. Each Validation Point represents the area with the highest detected strength for that separation. The Validation Points Map will indicate where the print QC technician should point the phone camera to QC the print sample.

Pictured above is a sample image from the Enhancement Report, which shows Validation Points on a print sample. Multiple enhanced separations could be checked with the same Validation Point, as indicated by the special icon in the above example, represented by the black icon with the cyan, magenta and yellow marks.

Using Digimarc Verify

During the make-ready stage, scan the existing 1D barcode and then each Validation Point on the flat print sample—not the converted package—to check that the 1D barcode data matches the data in Digimarc Barcode; this will confirm the data consistency on the entire job, including the plates or cylinders used to produce the job. After the first successful match, tap the circle on the screen to activate Signal Sight, a feature which provides a visual presentation of areas of the package or label where Digimarc Barcode should be detected, and continue to scan the other Validation Points on the print sample. Some Validation Points may be too weak to detect with Digimarc Verify.

If there are mismatches between the data in the 1D barcode and Digimarc Barcode, a red circle will appear. This indicates that either the elements within the digital file carry an incorrect Digimarc Barcode, or common plates have been used and an incorrect GTIN is in the package. In this instance, do not continue with the print job; stop and contact your file provider/premedia provider immediately to troubleshoot.

Once these verification steps have been completed, the app offers the option to email a report for your documentation purposes. It is best practice for internal processes to save this report with your other quality control documentation related to the job.

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