Recently Dasco was challenged with a unique 2D barcode application. A hospital lab needed three lines (32-characters) of variable data printed onto vial labels so that the vials could be scanned throughout the protocol process to reduce errors and increase accuracy.

Sincea QR code holds far more data per square inch than a linear barcode, that's where Dasco began exploring for a solution.

Dasco Solutions Consultant Kevin Lacek had no trouble printing a QR code using a 300-dpi cab A4+ thermal transfer printer. However the Code CR2611 barcode scanner wasn't able to read the QR code when it was applied to a curved vial shape. The barcode scanner required a flat surface to recognize the QR code. The scanner was able to read a linear barcode on a curved surface, but a linear barcode wasn't able to contain 32-characters of information that the QR code was able to hold.

The only flat surface on the vial was the 3/8" vial top. Kevin wondered, "Could a three line, 32-character QR code print and scan on such a small space?"

Again the cab A4+ printed the tiny QR code with no trouble, but the barcode scanner still wasn't able to scan the barcode.

Kevin wondered, "Was there too much data for the small footprint? Did we need to try a Data Matrix format?"

Just then Kevin had a light bulb moment. He adjusted the cab A4+ print temperature and speed, and he reprinted the QR code. This lightened the impression density and sharpened the QR code.

Walla! The QR code was scanable! And when placing the barcode scanner in a stand, it consistently read the QR code every time.

Video: 32-character 2d scanable barcode vial top label


Common reasons why 2D barcodes won't scan:

  • Too much data squeezed into a small-sized QR code
  • Positioning a QR code on a curved surface
  • Fuzzy barcode impression
  • Barcode scanner not positioned at the right distance from the 2D barcode

Call Dasco toll free at 1-877-855-2235, and we will help you find the best label solution for your application or visit