Product traceability consists of following a part and its components throughout its entire life cycle.
This requires the implementation of a system capable of gathering and managing information relating to the different stages of production and distribution.
But why is it so important to track products throughout their lifespan? What are the objectives sought through this approach?
Here are the main challenges of industrial traceability.
Data traceability is a key process for optimizing production in an industrial environment and ensuring precise internal and external quality monitoring throughout the product lifespan.
In particular, it allows you to obtain valuable data such as:
|Example of traceability in the automotive industry
In many industries, particularly in the automotive sector, this part marking for traceability purposes is generally linked to standards and regulations.
It can be applied to all or some of the parts, from the front bumper to the exhaust system. It is useful for their entire lifespan, especially when it comes to parts with a potential impact on human safety, and even at the very end, when recycling is required.
When the parts are identified, it is possible to easily replace them, carry out a mass recall on vehicles with a defective part, or facilitate their repair.
Finally, the traceability process also makes it possible to identify certain materials to be recovered or certain pollutants to be treated.
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In a context of globalization which remains the norm today, industrial companies need to remain competitive, and therefore to constantly improve their production processes with appropriate tools. Which calls for manufacturers to be able to:
So many constraints that force companies to organize themselves to monitor their production and ensure its pace.
As a result, industrial traceability and product marking makes it possible to ensure a certain fluidity in the production process, and to act effectively in the event of a problem with a product. But concretely, what are its different objectives?
Thanks to a unique serial number encoded in barcode or a 2D code, products marked at the end of production can be identified and tracked after they leave the plant. Part marking allows, depending on the needs:
The serial number must then be recorded in the customer's information system, with the batch reference and its manufacturing date. The goal: to be able to recall all of the parts concerned if necessary and protect the end consumer.
Part marking and tracking solutions make it possible to carry out automatic checks during production.
Being able to identify parts during a manufacturing process serves, in particular, to check that the components presented correspond to the process in the event of assembly. Automatic control which makes it possible to limit human errors, and therefore reduction in production.
By tracking your products, you can also implement a total quality system. In this case, it involves product marking all the parts from the first stage of production, and re-reading the marking at each operation until the end of the manufacturing process.
The part can then be associated with each machine on which it has passed.
This allows you to know exactly which batches of parts are defective in the event of a problem. Through this, you can request the return of only the parts produced on a given machine, without needing to recall all the products manufactured and sent to consumers during the period concerned.
You can also optimize production processes, thanks to the information provided on scrap eliminated during production, which can allow you to trace it back to the responsible machine. This preventive action is much more effective than a costly recall.
In the product marking and traceability process, the ability of the marking machine to communicate well and integrate into the data flow is essential. It must be able to communicate with the ERP software, the line controller and other machines to receive and report data.
Do you want to discuss a product marking project?