The objective of this section is to provide the structural requirements for the material bar code pallet labels. A label is deemed acceptable as long as it falls within the guidelines allowed by this requirement. A plant should not request a change to the label as long as the sample provided meets the range of the parameters specified.
Human Readable Section (Top Section)
The human readable portion of the label is divided into segments.
- The human readable print for Item, and all bar coded data elements should be at least 3/8" (10mm) in height. It is recommended to use all capital letters.
- The titles for each data element printed in human readable format such as Item, content, expiration date, IRMS/GCAS#, etc. should be at least 1/8" (3mm) in height. It is also recommended to use all capital letters for this.
Specific Data Elements:
Specific data content requirements for the top portion of the label are outlined below (click on the image to enlarge):
- SUPPLIER IDENTIFICATION: The first segment of data is the supplier name along with the supplier location. Location is generally the city followed by the state or country name.
- PRODUCTION DATA: The second section is reserved for supplier production data. The data for MRMS #, Production Date #, and Pallet/Box/Jumbo # are required for European plant startup and will be required until notified to stop. This data is not required unless requested by the site.
- ITEM: This is the description of the material being provided on the pallet load. The correct description will be provided by P&G to the supplier prior to making shipments.
- CONTENTS: Optional depending on the preference of the supplier. This would be its EAN Product Code for the item. The data field is 14 characters and is fixed in length.
- EXPIRATION DATE: Optional depending on the requirements of P&G. This is a 6 digit numerical only field that identifies the date after which the material should no longer be used. The convention for this date is as follows: YYMMDD where YY are the last 2 digits of the year, MM is the month, and DD is the day.
- IRMS/GCAS #: The IRMS/GCAS # (Individual Raw Material Specification (IRMS), also called the GCAS or PCEM Code) will be issued by Procter & Gamble. Although normally 8 characters in length, this field is considered alpha/ numeric and variable in length.
- QUANTITY: Quantity is the number of individuals/pallet (meters, kilograms, etc.) as referred to when paying the bill. The only known exception to this is baled Kraft which should be expressed in number of bales in a shipment (See Section 4 Placement Standards for more explanation).
- If a whole number is used the quantity can be a maximum of 8 characters (not including the data identifier). If decimal places are used quantity can be a maximum of 11 characters (not including the data identifier). With a decimal point, the format is XXXXXXX.XXX, with up to 7 numeric characters being to the left of the decimal point and up to three numeric characters being to the right of the decimal point. Leading zeros should not be used to fill the data field.
- The application identifier used will Application Identifier (37).
- The human readable quantity information must include the units of measure being used. The units of measure is not included in the bar coded information.
- LOT NUMBER: The Lot # is determined by the supplier. Lots must be homogenous as possible. Any process start/stop or raw material change by the supplier should be a new lot number. We prefer truck lots and lot numbers that don't include multiple truck loads. Pallets should also contain materials from a single lot and multiple lot pallets should be avoided. This may vary by supplier due to your process. Lot numbers must be unique. No lot number may contain two different material code numbers.
- Lot numbers can be a maximum of 14 characters; this does not include the data identifier or the start/stop characters. The first 4 characters will be assigned by Procter & Gamble through your site bar code contact. This is known as the VENDOR ID. The remaining ten characters are supplier determined. The first and last of these remaining 10 characters must consist only of letters and numbers, (no spaces, hyphens, periods, etc.). Punctuation marks (commas, hyphens, periods) and other characters can be placed in positions 6 through 13.
- PALLET TYPE: This is specificed by P&G and is a 4 character alpha/numeric variable field. The possible options are:
If pallet type is not specified by the P&G site default to NONE. Please note these pallet types should be encoded using capital letters.
- Purchase Order does not need to appear on the bar code label provided it is on the bill or lading or shipping documentation. At no time should the same material code number be shipped under more than one purchase order on the same shipment.
- Additional human readable elements may be added if needed for supplier's internal tracking systems (i.e. a supplier product #) or to cover unique product needs. This information should be incorporated into the label format using EAN.UCC standards.
Bar Code Section (Middle Section)
The following shows an example of the concatenated bar code information. Because concatenated bar codes are being used with application identifiers, the information can be in any order.
Bar code example (click on the image to enlarge):
- Concatenated bar code for IRMS/GCAS# and QUANTITY
- Human readable showing the IRMS/GCAS # and Quantity and the application identifier for each
- Concatenated bar code for LOT NUMBER and PALLET TYPE
- Human readable showing the LOT NUMBER and PALLET TYPE and the application identifier for each
- Concatenated bar code for SUPPLIER EAN NUMBER (Optional at the preference of supplier) and EXPIRATION DATE (Optional depending on whether it is required for the material – P&G to specify)
- Human readable showing the ITEM and EXPIRATION DATE and the application identifier for each.
- Bar coded information shall use USS-128 symbology. Printing tolerances will follow USS-128(Uniform Symbol Specifications) standards. All alpha bar coded data shall utilize capital letters.
- All bar codes must have a minimum printing height of ¾" (19mm). Larger (i.e. 1"(25mm) to 1-1/2"(38mm)) are easier to scan and should be produced if possible.
- Each bar code must include start/stop characters. These additional characters are not to be printed in the human-readable (non-bar coded) sequence. These characters are identified and not transmitted by the bar code reader.
- Each bar code should have minimum leading and trailing zones of 0.40"(10mm). Note: quiet zones of 0.50"(13mm) is desirable for long range scanning.
- All the UCC/EAN-128 bar codes should be printed with a narrow bar width between 25 mils(0.6mm) and 40 mils(1mm). Widths closer to the upper end of this range will print a better quality bar code.
- None of the bar codes can exceed exceed 6.5”(165mm) in length.
- The following data fields will be bar coded: Contents(Optional depending on supplier preference), Expiration Date (Optional depending on P&G requirements), IRMS/GCAS #, Quantity, Lot Number, and License Plate Number (SSCC).
The bar coded data on the P&G label will use application identifiers to identify each segment of data. The following table describes the application identifiers, data segment and its fields size.
Application Identifiers Table
Pallet Load Id
Supplier EAN Number
Optional Supplier EAN Number provided by the supplier
Vendor Code (4 characters - alpha/numeric) followed by supplier assigned lot number (10 characters - alpha/numeric, variable)
Optional Expiration Date depending on requirements of the product. If required, will be specified by P&G.
Quantity (Used with whole and decimal point number quantities)
Provided by supplier (numeric characters). Maximum of 11 characters including a decimal point. 8 digits can be to the left of the decimal point and 3 digits can be to the right of the decimal point.
Possible types designated by P&G
Assigned by P&G
Additional bar coded information can be provided on labels. The data identifiers to be used for this data must be provided to P&G in advance of shipping the materials to P&G. The data identifiers must be EAN.UCC standard identifiers.