Introduction to Bar Code Technology and Applications

I.     Course Prefix/Number: MFG 162

       Course Name: Introduction to Bar Code Technology and Applications

       Credits: 3 (2 lecture; 2 lab)

II.    Prerequisite


III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course covers bar code identification concepts, fundamentals of bar code types, and how emerging Electronic Product Code (EPC) standards are influencing adoption. Students will gain a practical understanding of bar code types, applications, reader capabilities, and their value in supplying management with real-time data for making good businesses decisions. Applications include how to implement bar code data entry and printing systems for inventory control, warehouse sorting and palletizing operations, and work in process part tracking.

IV.   Learning Objectives

1. Understand introductory supply chain logistics and its place in the modern market place.
2. Distinguish the roles played by database systems, middleware systems and electronic identification data collection devices.
3. Understand the terminology, hardware and software of a Bar Code system.
4. Gain experience in Bar Code techniques used in inventory warehouse management.
5. Gain experience in automation applications of bar code reading and data transfer
6. Using bar codes for quality control to meet FDA requirements in a food application
7. Gain experience in warehouse sorting and palletizing systems based on bar code labeling

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics

A. Basic Bar Code concepts and terminology
    a. Bar Code structure
    b. Bar Code types
    c. Determining the best bar code type for each application

B. Practical applications for Bar Codes
    a. Business reasons for Bar Code adoption
    b. Supply chain, asset management and access control use cases
    c. Printing Bad Code Tags
    d. Using bar code tags to meet FDA regulations for quality control
    e. Using bar code tags for tracking Mfg dates and line locations for pharmaceutical apps
    f. Use of bar codes for warehouse package sorting and paletizing
    g. The role of Bar Code tags for inventory tracking and warehouse management
    h. EPCglobal basics
    i. GDSN and GTIN’s - tie in with EPCglobal

C. The role of Bar Code middleware in implementations
    a. Physical and logical reader abstraction
    b. Filtering and collection concepts
    c. Enterprise integration

D. Supply chain concepts & fundamentals:
    a. Supply chain logistics
        A. Manufacturing, distribution and 3rd Party Logistic (3PL) firm
    b. Current Automatic Identification Data Collection (AIDC) methods
    c. Software systems - WMS, ERP, SCM, MPS, MRP, DRP, SAP and logistics applications

E. Internet communication between trading partners

F. EDI and extranets

G. Lab activities
    a. Terminology basics
    b. EPCglobal understanding
    c. Supply chain concepts
    d. Middleware understanding

VII.  Methods of Instruction

Methods of presentation can include lectures, class discussions, individual and group assignments and laboratory assignments.
Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

Reading of handouts is required as a reference to the materials and the techniques under study. Completion of classroom and laboratory assignments is necessary to provide support for the classroom discussions.

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

Course handouts, various web and library references, recommended/required text and RFID tags.

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

Methods of evaluation can include homework, quizzes, exams, laboratory assignments and individual and group projects.

XI.   Other Course Information

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at