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What Can QR Codes Do For Manufacturing?

QR Code Scan Image for ManufacturingLearning how to use QR (Quick Reader) codes in manufacturing has been a low priority because many deem them as having a more ‘retail’ or ‘consumer’ application. But QR codes can be extremely effective in not only your print marketing communications (trade show signs and banners, print ads, etc.) but also in manufacturing, supply chain processes and project management. They are easy to create and are capable of carrying much more information than barcodes. For example, you can use them throughout your building to connect employees to your intranet and give them updated information about things such as a manufacturing process, HR policy, training video and much more. In fact, QR codes were originally used in 1994 in the automotive industry to track car parts in Japan through the manufacturing process!


So what is a QR Code?

A QR Code is a 2-dimensional, typically black & white square image that can be scanned with a smartphone’s QR Code Reader to direct the phone’s web browser to a web page. Recent innovations in QR Codes include printing the code in different shapes and colors, but in the simple form they are black and white and square.


How do I read a QR Code?

First, you must have a smartphone, tablet or type of barcode reading device that has a camera, can download an application and direct the user to a webpage. In the “App Store” of the device, find an application that can ‘read’ the QR Code (see a list of examples below). Once installed, open the application and point the frame of the application over the QR Code in front of you. Technically, your device is using your camera to take a picture of the image and lead you to a web page. That webpage should have expanded information or even a video about the product, service or message in front of you.


Popular products to use include:

QR Barcode Scanner

QuickMark Barcode Scanner

QR Code Reader / Scanner

Scan, Inc.


Though this quick video is consumer focused, it gives you a good idea of how to use your application to scan a QR code… 


Creating a QR Code is another topic, one I will cover in the future.

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