Traceability in automotive industry: micro-sized data matrixes to car parts of galvanized steel

The ability to track and trace products is fundamental to sound supply chain management. Cajo Technologies offers solutions for traceability through the whole supply chain, from metal forming to the end product. One successful reference story is of a European subcontracting company in the automotive industry, specializing in sheet metal and manufacturing car body parts. These parts are plated with a thin hot-zinc coating, the thickness of the coating ranging from 10 up to 100 µm (.0004-.004 in).

The company acquires zinc for the coating from Boliden, one of our biggest customers in metal production industry. The zinc comes as bars marked with a serial number by a Cajo Technologies laser, that is integrated into a robotic system (see reference case Boliden – Inkjet replaced by integrable Cajo Tailor™ laser marking system).

The manufacturing and production data follow both the zinc and other metal materials through the process chain and all the way to the end customer. All this data is converted into a 2D code (data matrix) and marked on the actual part. Barcode readers then decode the data throughout the part’s lifecycle and reliably transfer the information into an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software system ensuring full traceability for each part of a finished vehicle. The data is used in production output calculations, inventory control, revenue forecasting, warranty, repair, service and support solutions, and other business operations.

Cajo´s laser marking system solution for continuous data matrix marking is the Cajo Tailor™ fiber laser (20W) integrated in the production line, able to mark a dark 10mm x 10mm (.39 x 39 in) 2D code to the small-size car parts within 2 seconds.

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