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The defect size-to-W ratio can be calculated to evaluate the potential for the observed bar code defects to generate bar code misreads.
Increasing bar code widths should theoretically reduce the risk of misreads due to printer defects by decreasing the defect-to-W ratio.
However, we demonstrate that linear bar codes are not failsafe and that misreads can occur because of printing defects, lack of adequate error detection in bar code symbology algorithms, and/or opto-mechanical acquisition systems.
Sources of observed bar code misread errors and solutions to reduce their occurrence are presented.