Most revolutionary inventions come from years of grueling research and hours in a lab, but not the bar code. N. Joseph Woodland was sitting on a beach drawing lines in the sand with his finger.
Woodland left a historic legacy in his wake when he passed away on December 8, 2012 at the age of 91. His death came 65 years he ran his finger through the sand and saw lines of varying widths that might have a use other than for his own amusement.
The invention of the bar code is one of the most important and powerful inventions of the 20th century; by changing the way businesses operate worldwide.
Bar codes are everywhere, whether you see them when you buy a box of cereal at the grocery store or a pair of jeans at a department store.
Now, Delta Controls, one of the largest independent manufacturers of building automation controllers, has started using bar codes to track their inventory and make their operations run more efficiently.
For a company, keeping track of inventory can take a lot of time and effort. Delta Controls, one of the largest independent manufacturers of building automation controllers, is utilizing Woodland's invention to improve efficiency.
All about the story
Alan Waddell, the director of manufacturing at Delta Controls, leads Drive for Innovation editor, Brian Fuller, through the development of the company's bar code system.
Developing these bar codes requires a long, drawn-out process to ensure their bar codes work. If any errors are found, the process engineer steps in and stops the production in order to find out what caused the errors in the bar codes.
"The bar code tells us a story. It tells us a story with data entry, but also for customer service," Waddell said.
The story that the bar code tells allows Delta Controls to track their inventory at every stop it takes.
This article was originally published on Drive for Innovation.