In today’s global marketplace, companies are fighting to retain their position while pushing to increase their market credibility. Demands are high for each manufacturer and distributor to ensure their goods and products achieve certain high standards in compliance with agency demands. Satisfying certain accountability constraints requires part and/or product traceability. Part traceability results when manufacturers provide each component they produce with a marking. This marking allows the manufacturer and any other involved entity to track the part by providing specific information.
Common Tracking Methods
When considering providing clear and precise information on each part to make it traceable, companies can select from a variety of methods. They can choose
- Printed barcode labels or nameplates: One of the oldest methods in use
- Pin stamping and dot peen marking: This uses a carbine pin to engrave deep, text or symbols
- Inkjet printer systems: This deposits small drops of ink onto the marking surface
- Laser marking: This employs focused lasers to permanently etch information precisely onto the material
Of the various methods capable of providing accurate, durable and permanent part traceability, laser marking ranks highest.
Advantages of Part Traceability
By marking each part, companies put into place a system that allows them to reap certain advantages.
- Production Control: Traceability allows manufacturers to monitor and control the production process while avoiding certain errors.
- Assigns Responsibility: Marking components ensure any faults, mistakes or errors will be assigned to the right offending producer
- Saves Money: Unique markings aid in identifying part defects before customer delivery. This reduces to reduce in-process costs while decreasing the substantial costs of a recall
- Adaptability: Traceability provides unique markings capable of addressing the specific needs of different components, producers and customers
Overall, by employing a part traceability system, manufacturers have more control of, and greater say in ensuring quality products reach their customers. This, in turn, makes them more competitive in a cutthroat market.