Variable Printing & Barcoding


Variable data and barcode labeling applications include brand security and protection, personalization, game pieces and variable coding for security, pharmaceutical and industrial markets. There are many applications for variable data printing, but the most common use in the label industry is variable barcodes for tracking inventory.

Dig into valuable information about variable printing, barcodes, databases, and materials by downloading the white paper below, written by Tony Heinl, President.

Variable Printing and Barcoding White Paper ONLINE FORMAT

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Repacorp’s variable printing capabilities include:

Short Runs of Variable Printing & Barcoding

With digital printing, 4-color process short runs with black variable data can be economically produced. At Repacorp, we offer as few as 100 labels with black variable printing and barcoding. There are no plate charges, and our laser cutting capacities eliminate the cost of expensive tooling.

High Volume Runs of Variable Printing & Barcoding

Large high volume orders of 50,000+ labels are printed at high speeds on our 13″ wide flexographic press and our 20″ wide flexographic press. 600 x 600 dpi digital variable inkjet presses are attached to the flexographic presses. A 4″ x 6″ label runs 3 across on the 13″ wide press, 4 across on the 20″ press, and runs 150-200 feet per minute. The black variable data does not only have to be barcodes or text, it supports a range of linear, 2D barcodes (including QR codes), numbers, graphics, logos and personalized data. Our equipment has software that verifies that the barcode will scan, and it makes sure there are no duplicate numbers. We can produce barcodes as small as 1/2″ x 1/2″, and as large as 20″ wide and with unlimited length.

Variable RFID Barcode Labels

Repacorp’s proprietary printing process allows us to produce RFID enabled labels with accuracy, improved quality, and increased capacity with low rejection rates. We can print variable barcodes, insert the RFID inlay, encode the RFID chip, and verify that the barcode matches the RFID chip data–all in one pass. Our customers use variable RFID barcode labels to track assets, in their supply chain, or to create omnichannel customer experiences (a multichannel approach to sales that provides the customer with a seamless shopping experience).

Personalization & Hyper-Personalization

Repacorp’s HP presses and software offer personalization and hyper-personalization capabilities; 4-color process variable printing to make each label, shrink sleeve or flexible package unique. This type of variable data printing is usually used in advertising and marketing campaigns to personalize products and for games that engage the consumer. An example of personalization variable printing is the Coke® campaign. Armed with a database of popular names, Coke printed a different name on each can. If you found a can with your name on it, you had a “personalized’ Coke.

Service Bureau

Repacorp’s Service Bureau prints static or variable data on a variety of thermal transfer and direct thermal facestocks. We provide 100% barcode verification, ensuring no missing or duplicate numbers.


Barcodes vs RFID


In the beginning there was paper, pencils and filing cabinets. In June of 1974, the first barcode was scanned, introducing a new way to identify and track items. In the 1980s, RFID technology became fully implemented and applied to transportation systems, tracking, and business applications.


A barcode is an optical machine-readable symbol that quickly and accurately captures information. When read with a scanner, barcodes identify information such as the manufacturer, product category, location, size, and so on. A scanner reads the vertical bars and the white spaces between the bars. Different combinations of bars and spaces represent different characters. Barcodes are commonly utilized for tracking and inventory control.

Advantages of Barcodes:

1. Barcodes are fast, and reliable. Instead of the time consuming and labor intensive act of manually entering data, barcodes quickly scan information into a system. The data scans accurately, eliminating human error.

2. Barcodes reduce employee training. With barcodes, employees do not have to be familiar with the entire inventory or pricing procedures, and learning to scan a barcode only takes minutes.

3. Barcodes are a mature proven technology that is inexpensive and user-friendly.

4. Barcodes make it possible to precisely track inventory. Due to the precise tracking, inventory levels can be reduced, lowering overhead.

5. Barcode labels are inexpensive to design and print. The labels can be customized with a variety of materials, varnishes, adhesives and constructions depending on the application.

6. Barcodes are versatile, as they can be used for various data collection, including pricing or inventory information. Barcodes can track not only the products themselves, but also outgoing shipments and even assets.

7. Since information from a barcode is scanned directly into the central computer, barcode information is ready almost instantaneously, making rapid decisions possible.


RFID technology automates tracking, allowing multiple items to be read at once without the labor intensive scanning of a barcode. RFID supports reading with no line-of-sight or item-by-item scanning, eliminating human error. The data collected from the RFID chip can be updated in real time.

Advantages of RFID tags:

1. Multiple tags can be scanned at once.

2. Stationary readers are automated, not needing labor to operate.

3. RFID provides “just-in-time” information to quickly make business decisions.

4. Barcodes need to be scanned one by one, but with RFID, thousands of tags can be read in seconds, reducing operational time and labor.

5. RFID technology can be integrated with manufacturing and supply chain technologies to create in-time ordering/stocking and creating an omni-channel experience for the consumer.

6. RFID has read/write capabilities. RFID tags can be read and modified, and they can store more data than barcodes.

7. A barcode can be printed onto a RFID tag, giving you both technologies.


Download AT A GLANCE graphic comparison of Barcodes vs RFID.