Barcode label definitions used for blood vial labels


Barcode label definitions used for blood vial labels

Affected Users:

LIMS Administrators, Blood Alcohol Analysts

Fielded Statements:

The current barcode definition label is too large for the blood vial, how can I adjust this?

When printing barcode labels for blood vials using Zebra TLP2844, some labels scan correctly while others do not. What is going on?

How do I create a barcode definition that will fit on a small label to be affixed to a blood vial?


After modifying a barcode definition in 2 different ways, the barcode label did not fit or was not being registered by the barcode scanner. Some barcode labels do not appear sharp and have white dots scattered on the label. LIMS admin would like to know if there is another barcode specification that could be used for labels printed for Blood Vials. The current barcode definition prints a label onto a 3.50" x 1.00" label. The 3.50" x 1.00" labels are too large for the blood vials.

Root Cause:

There are two roots to this issue. The first root involves the code being used to create the barcode definition itself. The second being the maximum dpi of the barcode printer being used to print the blood vial barcode labels.


Working together, a blood analyst and LIMS administrator determine that the current label stock is too large for the blood vials procured for their laboratory. The LIMS administrator obtains the correct label stock and proceeds with modifying the barcode definition that is being used by the LIMS Application. The lims administrator notices that after the definition is modified, the label prints successfully. However, when scanning random labels printed, some do not register. The LIMS administrator inspects the barcode label and notices very small white dots scattered throughout the barcode itself. Some Barcodes can be scanned while others cannot.


For more information regarding available options from Zebra, please visit the following link:

Another option is the Zebra 3842 Barcode Printer. Similar to the Zebra TLP2844, the core difference is that the TLP3842 has a maximum 300 DPI (dots per inch) instead of 203. More information can be found at the link below:

The most commonly used barcode printer used with LIMS-Plus is the Zebra TLP2844.

The Zebra TLP2844 barcode printer has a max dpi of 203. Due to the limitation, when the Zebra TLP2844 prints the label on 1.5" x 1" stock, the lines on the barcode are very close together and there may be portions of the label that are not sharp enough to be readable by barcode scanners such as the Metrologic Voyager MS9520. Since the lines are very close together, smearing can occur when there is a foreign object (i.e dirt, lint) on the labels themselves. Normal wear and tear of the Zebra Printer may also contribute to sharpness/contrast issues.


The following label definition (written for a Zebra printer) will fit the minimum information on the smallest KIMDURA label available, which is 1.5" x 1"

V00,20,N,"Case Identifier"
V01,15,N,"Submission Number"
V02,14,N,"Bar Code"
A5,30,0,2,1,1,N,"Subm #"


Using a barcode printer that has a higher max dpi (300) will correct the sharpness of the printed barcode label. This should correct the intermittent failures when scanning the printed label. Although the Zebra TL2844 meets the need for most pieces of evidence labels, lab should consider purchasing at least on specialilzed barcode printer for the smaller evidence items such as microscope slides and blood vials.


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