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What do you think of our “paperless” society so far? Way to go prognosticators, got your jet packs all tangled up on that one.

Though SolidWorks’ DimXpert is really cool and I know some companies are adopting it, most companies are still creating and printing drawings.

If you can’t talk management into adopting the new, cool technologies, think you could talk them into using 1949 technology – the barcode?

They are actually very easy to use – they can be added by using nothing more than a special TrueType font on your drawing -many can be downloaded for free.

Add your note to your drawing, change the font to barcode and….

BarCode…now a barcode reader can read your note! (As long as you don’t use the new “Fit Text” property. Character spacing is important.)

What can you do with it you ask? Add this barcode to your drawing sheet format, link it to a custom file property – perhaps file name, PDM unique id, part number, etc. and your barcode will update as the properties update.

Now everyone down stream can quickly access information about your drawings.

There are a lot of inexpensive bar USB code readers that behave just like a computer keyboard. (They even use keyboard drivers.) When the reader sees the barcode, it simply inputs the value into your computer as if it came from your keyboard.

Simplest example, imagine the barcode is the file name, the user opens up a search window puts the cursor in the file name field, scans the barcode and the search starts…no typing!

I’ve written simple applications that simply watched for keyboard input, when it saw the barcode the routine searched for the file in the database and marked that file as arrived at that work station.

Think of all the locations barcodes could be used. Stockrooms, purchasing, manufacturing, shipping…just a very quick way for your users to input data into your system.

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