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Understand barcode quality.
The MERLIN® program compares recognized printing characteristics to conduct barcode quality analysis. These characteristics include height, width, pitch, spacing, bars per inch, rotation, skew, placement, and clearance. They are evaluated to ensure compliance with USPS® requirements and standards.

• If the sample receives a score of 90 percent or higher, the mailing qualifies for automation rates
• If the results fall between 80-89 percent, a partial automation discount is awarded
• Mailings with results of 79 percent of less do not qualify for automation rates

Eight reports are related to barcodes:
POSTNET™ Barcode Readability Report
describes summary information about the POSTNET barcodes in the mailing sample, and provides specific mailpiece POSTNET barcode discrepancies.
Download sample report (RTF)

Expanded Barcode Readability Report
displays up to four binary barcode images of the mailpieces for each error type listed in the report legend.
Download sample report in (RTF)

Aggregated Barcode Error Report
lists mailpieces with barcode errors, barcode quality errors, and warnings.
Download sample report in (RTF)

Barcode Readability Report Legend
Legend includes the MERLIN Barcode Reports that have been modified to show the counts for three categories:
• Unrecognized Barcode
• Recognized but not Analyzed Barcode
• Incorrect Check Digit

These categories appear in the legend of the POSTNET and
PLANET Barcode Readability Reports.
Download sample report (RTF)

POSTNET Barcode Readability Report Adjustment Worksheet
provides information about the acceptability of barcode entries in a mailing. It also calculates the postage adjustment required based on problems with barcode readability.
Download sample report (RTF)

POSTNET Barcode Exceptions Report
divides all barcode errors into four categories:
• Barcode Location Failure
• Barcode Quality Failure
• Recognized but not Analyzed Barcode
• Unrecognized Barcode

The overwrite capabilities of this report only apply to the categories of: Barcode Location Failure, Recognized but not Analyzed Barcode, and Unrecognized Barcode. Individual mail items cannot be overwritten; however, no items listed under Barcode Quality Failure can be overwritten.
Download sample report (RTF)

POSTNET String Digit Report
contains a line item for each error category. Although there are four types of error categories, there may be more than four error listings. This report will list each sequential digit string and identical digit string individually.
Download sample report in (RTF)

PLANET Barcode Readability
describes summary information about the PLANET barcodes in a mailing run, and specific mailpiece PLANET barcode discrepancies.
Download sample report (RTF)

  Related Services & Links
Barcode Error Reference Guide
Barcoding Standards for Letters and Flats
Barcoding Standards for Parcels
Guidelines for Optimizing Readability of Flat-Size Mail
Designing Letter and Reply Mail
Recommendations for Designing Flat-Size Mail
Domestic Mail Manual