Information encoding with binary codes

The main purpose of encoding data is to store, transport, and automatically read data at the highest possible speed and reliability. The automatic readability of codes is the basic prerequisite for smooth transport and storage operation.

For example, the message of an automatically readable destination address is displayed in numbers. However, these figures are usually not decimals (clear), because the various ten digits of the decimal system cannot easily be expressed and also reliably read by technical means.

The binary code

The easiest way is in data processing when you only have to distinguish between two states. In the form that is readable by humans, these states are referred to as “0” and “1”. These two characters are called binary characters. Codes consisting of binary characters, i.e. only two different characters, are called binary codes.

A type of binary code commonly used in intralogistics is the Binary Coded Decimals (BCD) code, also known as dual code. The most common BCD code is the 8-4-2-1 code, which has its name from the value of a four-digit dual number. The name of a binary digit is also called bit (bit is the contraction of “Binary Digit”). The 8-4-2-1 code is a 4-bit code. In a 1-bit code there are exactly 21 code words, in an n-bit code there are exactly 2n code words. For the encryption of 52 targets, a 6-bit code with 26 = 64 possible targets is necessary, in which 12 code words are not used or are available as a further reserve.

For more information about binary code, see The Barcode.

Image Source: © Benjamin Haas –

Also available in Deutsch (German)