QR Code vs. Barcode: Which is Better for Manufacturing?

Update:  September 15, 2023
QR Code vs. Barcode: Which is Better for Manufacturing?

The QR code vs barcode comparison is tough since each offers different benefits and has its pros and cons. It’s hard to say which one’s better since the answer depends on your needs. 

However, there is one thing these codes have in common: They play a crucial role in the manufacturing process. 

They are assigned to product items on the production line to track and monitor their progress from production to distribution.

Read more to understand how both identification systems work and determine the better choice for your business.

What is a QR code?

Quick response code

QR codes have emerged as a dynamic tool revolutionizing the manufacturing industry. These intricate square patterns appear everywhere, from product packaging to promotional materials. 

One can use a free QR code generator to create a QR code and a smartphone to scan it. What’s great about a QR code is you can scan it vertically and horizontally, providing greater flexibility.

They were first invented in 1994 by a team of engineers led by Masahiro Hara of Denso Wave, a Japanese automotive subsidiary of Toyota Motors. They aimed to replace the lapses barcodes make.

Unlike traditional 2D barcodes that can only hold a limited amount of numeric data, QR codes can store a wealth of data in various forms: alphanumeric, binary, and even Kanji characters. 

This versatility makes them invaluable for manufacturers looking to encode vast amounts of information into a compact symbol.

In the manufacturing industry, where precision and efficiency are paramount, QR codes pave the way for a new optimization era. 

Their ability to encode vast amounts of information, ease of use, and compatibility with smartphones make them indispensable tools for manufacturers striving for excellence.

What is a barcode?


Barcodes consist of parallel lines of varying thickness and spacing, carefully designed to be machine-readable. 

By employing distinct bar widths and spaces, barcodes translate data into a language scanners can swiftly decipher, enabling seamless information retrieval.

Barcodes come in various types, each tailored for specific applications. The most common type is the Universal Product Code (UPC) for retail products. 

Other popular variants include Code 39, Code 128, and QR codes, each with unique characteristics and uses.

QR code vs Barcode: Which is better for production line manufacturing?

When revolutionizing the manufacturing industry, QR codes emerge as the game-changer. 

Their advanced capabilities and unmatched versatility outshine traditional barcodes in every aspect. 

Here are seven significant comparisons that manufacturing and commercial industries can agree on:

1. Data capacity

When it comes to data capacity, QR codes can hold more data than barcodes.

Linear barcodes can only store up to 30 characters each. With a single line of stripes, barcodes can only provide basic information such as product numbers and locations. 

On the other hand, QR codes can hold up to 7,089 numeric characters or 4,269 alphanumeric characters, enabling them to store significantly more information. 

Users can also scan them vertically and horizontally, allowing businesses to include more details about product conditions, manufacturing dates, repair history, and more. 

2. Accessibility 

Regarding scanning speed and accessibility between a QR code vs barcode, QR codes exceed barcodes by a long shot. 

These versatile codes deliver a seamless and lightning-fast scanning experience, making them the top choice for the production line. 

Thanks to their advanced design and pattern, QR codes can be read and processed in a fraction of a second. 

It means that employees on the production line can swiftly scan QR codes, minimizing delays and maximizing productivity.

3. Error correction 

One of the remarkable advantages of QR codes is their built-in error correction capability. This method is called the Reed-Solomon error correction. 

Due to their unique design, QR codes can withstand significant damage or distortion and still be scannable.

It ensures the data can be retrieved successfully, even if a QR code is partially obscured or slightly damaged.

Meanwhile, barcodes are more susceptible to scanning errors in case of damage.

4. Print and online 

Maximizing QR codes in manufacturing offers two distinct approaches: printing QR codes directly on items or using them on digital media.

QR codes provide accessible information in print and online formats, ensuring easy retrieval and interaction for users.

On the other hand, barcodes are limited solely to print, restricting their data capabilities to physical mediums only.

Integrate manufacturing software with QR TIGER QR code API

Take advantage of QR codes for your manufacturing operations. Incorporate the QR TIGER QR Code API into your software and systems to achieve unprecedented efficiency. 

Explore the benefits of integrating your manufacturing software with our reliable QR code generator and how it can elevate your production processes:

1. Real-time tracking and traceability

With QR TIGER QR Code API integration, you can easily update and trace your products in real time throughout the manufacturing cycle.

Monitor every step—from raw material procurement to the final product—to ensure transparency and accountability at each stage.

Seamlessly retrieve or update data about production progress, quality control, and distribution so you can easily make more informed decisions.

2. Error-free inventory management

Say goodbye to manual inventory management woes by harnessing the power of QR TIGER.

By encoding essential information in QR codes, you can automate inventory updates and minimize the risk of human error.

You can now ensure accurate inventory data for efficient resource planning by effortlessly tracking stock levels, locations, and movement.

3. Simplified workflows

Integrating the QR code generator API streamlines manufacturing workflows and eliminates time-consuming manual tasks.

Generate customized QR codes on the fly to label products, equipment, or workstations to enable swift identification and easy access to relevant information.

Simplify data entry and reduce paperwork with automated scanning and data capture, freeing up valuable time for your workforce.

4. Enhanced quality control

The QR TIGER QR Code API integration empowers you to implement strict quality control measures effortlessly.

Embed QR codes on products to track quality checkpoints, record inspections, and capture test results in real time.

It lets you quickly identify anomalies or deviations, allowing immediate corrective actions and ensuring consistent product quality.

5. Seamless collaboration and reporting

Use the most advanced QR code generator to create QR codes that contain task-specific instructions to establish clear communication between departments and minimize miscommunication.

The QR TIGER API also has reporting capabilities for generating comprehensive performance reports, which can aid data-driven decision-making and foster continuous improvement.

QR codes for manufacturing: The ultimate identification solution

The QR code vs barcode for manufacturing debate now has a clear winner.

With their advanced capabilities and unparalleled versatility, QR codes outshine traditional barcodes in every aspect. They offer many advantages that can boost manufacturing processes. 

And with the most advanced QR code generator QR TIGER, you can harness the full potential of QR codes. It boasts advanced QR code solutions and features like customization and accurate tracking.

The software also allows seamless integration into your work systems so you can enjoy streamlined, more efficient operations. On top of that, it’s ISO 27001-certified and GDPR-compliant.

Visit QR TIGER to experience the difference. Check out our affordable subscription plans and sign up today.

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