Effective January 1, 2008, NEB will be implementing an improved barcoding system that will enhance tracking of product within NEB, increase the accuracy of our shipping operations and also provide expanded product information for each shipped item.
The new barcode (see image below) is based on Code 128 symbology, and will consist of a six-digit catalog number (ex. R0101S), a seven digit lot number (ex., 0330711), a four-digit expiration date (ex., 0911), and a single digit used for internal tracking of our packaging operations within NEB. For the three prices of coded information (cat #, lot #, exp. date), the details are as follows:
- catalog # - the standard six-digit system will remain the same as what we currently use. At this point, the only standard catalog products we sell that do not follow this scheme are the products which we distribute from Finnzymes. For the immediate future, these products will not be barcoded. We are in discussions with Finnzymes about the best way for these products to be incorporated into the barcode plan.
- lot # - we will be revising our lot numbering system to include 7 digits; the first three will indicate the master lot, essentially the same as we have used previously for our lot numbering. We will no longer allow any lots to include letters (e.g., lot 26A). This will be followed by a four digit code referencing the assay or packaging date. Reporting the assay and packaging date allows greater traceability here at NEB. It also eliminates a problem that some of our cutstomers have reported when we provide a "Lot" that has variable expiration dates. Under this revised system, there will only be one expiration date for each lot, and we will also be able to identify exactly which component lots (buffers, BSA, kit items) are associated with each lot of product. The format will be 3 digits for master lot, 2 digits for the year, and 2 digits for the month.
- expiration date - this will be a four digit sequence, 2 digits for the year followed by 2 digits for the month; for example, 0911 would indicate an expiration date of November 2009.
Our goal is to begin using this expanded bar code on all products beginning January 1, 2008. Since it is impractical to replace all of our products at once, we will be phasing this newer barcode in over a short period as our natural stock rotations takes place.