It is now several years ago that the VDDI has finalized its pilot project on barcode systems with the clear proposal for the EHIBC system.
On 25 May 1993, VDDI organized a European Seminar in Brussels, to which FIDE (the European Dental Industry) and EHIBCC as organizers invited all member associations of FIDE but also EDDE, the European Dental Dealers Association. The about 50 participants from all over Europe were convinced that the EHIBC is the best suitable system for the dental branch. VDDI also took into account the American recommendation on the HIBC system.
The FIDE Executive Committee supported the introduction - but, in spite of that - the real breakthrough did not come.
Several companies nevertheless used the HIBC for internal organization but the dealers restrained from implementing even any kind of barcode because at that time there was no legal pressure as we have it now with the Medical Devices Directive, MDD. In spite of that, about 50 companies introduced EHIBC.
But now has to be coped with new requirements: The MDD requires tracking and traceability, post market surveillance and a reporting system. Every time the manufacturer has to identify his special product from - in particular cases - the raw material, via his manufacturing phase, the distribution chain until his dealer. Also the dealers will be confronted with nearly the same obligations on the basis of the national law.
In the meantime there was - of course - a development of all existing barcodes for all purposes and the most important thing is that the interesting barcodes and barcode systems are standardized with CEN and most of them also with ISO. EHIBC belongs to the most important and standardized barcode systems.
In February 1996 VDDI again asked the question:
Which barcode system fulfils all the legal and our internal requirements and is flexible enough to cope with all existing features? Shortly: Which barcode system suites best?
On the evening of that meeting, where also dealers were invited, again the clear decision (nearly unanimously): VDDI will stay with the EHIBC system.
What are the advantages, also compared with the new UCC/GS1?
The Special Advantages of EHIBC
- The EHIBC is part of the FACT standard as CEN EN 1571 and the American ANSI standard and is going to ISO standardization in 1997.
- EHIBC can use all alpha-numeric and special characters.
- The data can be described in individual scales.
- The length of the data is variable.
- Nearly all legal requirements for labels can be fulfilled. A two-dimensional extension suites also the special requirements of small packages.
- The manufacturer can use his own article number as usual.
- It is only possible within EHIBC that also other standardized manufacturer - and/or article numbers can be integrated.
- The necessary hard- and software is state of the art and available.
With this as background a working group in VDDI has developed two brochures to promote the EHIBC also European-wide:
- the printed 'overview', which be will circulated to all it may concern, is available in English and German,
- a long version with some technical information, the 'Concept', for the time being, exists only in German. A translation into English is envisaged.
The VDDI proposes to all FIDE member associations to support the EHIBC barcode system for recommendation to their member companies.
Barcode Guideliness by FIDE
by Dierk Bellwinkel, VDDI