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Barcode Education » MaxiCode
MaxiCode is a fixed size matrix style symbology which is made up of offset rows of hexagonal modules arranged around a unique bulls-eye finder pattern; the overall dimensions of the symbol are approximately 1.11 x 1.054 inches. Each element measures 0.035 x 0.041 inches. Each MaxiCode symbol has 884 hexagonal modules arranged in 33 rows with each row containing up to 30 modules.

The symbol is composed of a central bulls-eye locator and offset rows of hexagonal elements;
The design of the MaxiCode symbology was chosen because it is well suited to high speed, orientation independent scanning. Although the capacity of a MaxiCode symbol is not as high as other matrix style bar code symbologies, it was primarily designed to encode address data which rarely requires more than about 80 characters.

MaxiCode symbols actually encode two separate messages - a Primary message and a Secondary message.

The Primary message normally encodes a postal code, a 3 digit country code and a 3 digit class of service number.

The Secondary message normally encodes address data and any other required information.

Created by United Parcel Service in 1992, the MaxiCode symbol was designed for quick automated scanning of packages on high-speed conveyor lines (special cameras can read a MaxiCode on a carton travelling at up to 500 feet per minute). A 2-D scanner is required; MaxiCode cannot be read using an ordinary linear barcode scanner.

Using MaxiCode
An important use of MaxiCode is for marking packages, pallets, etc. In this application MaxiCode can be a portable data file that travels with the package. It provides for the availability of critical information at any point that the shipment is handled.

MaxiCode was designed to be incorporated into existing manifest shipping systems. Its compact size (about 1" square) means that using MaxiCode on labels may require little or no label redesign. Ultimately, MaxiCode could be used to replace lower density symbols such as bar codes. This would reduce the amount of label stock needed, or provide space for additional information to be placed on the label.

One of MaxiCode's key features is that it can be located and read at high speeds in a large field of view. This means that MaxiCode should be considered for integration into automated materials handling systems.

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