Traceability can be defined as the ability and opportunity to review the product flow throughout the manufacturing and supply chain. The word Traceability combines Trace and Ability, which means the opportunity to track something. Therefore, traceability is a solution that enables safe and responsible manufacturing.
Losing the visibility to the material´s or product´s origin can cause production disturbances in manufacturing, costs for the producer, and even serious hazards for the end users. For example, one of the biggest European steel manufacturers has estimated that the cost of losing traceability during manufacturing process can be one million euros per hour.
Having a good traceability system helps the manufacturer to improve quality, reduce costs, optimize processes and ultimately to improve the time-to-customer throughout the supply chain. The most common reason for losing the traceability are nonfunctional marking systems and non-permanent markings. Or even the lack of any marking system.
When considering the factors that are influencing to the capability to ensure full traceability, the physical and mechanical solution for marking the parts and products comes into serious consideration. Current marking systems such as ink-jet, engraving, painting, electrochemical etching and even laser markers have several drawbacks such as cost, process speed, maintenance and marking quality that do not comply with current standards. Also, their integrability is weak.
Also, long marking times shouldn’t result as a production bottleneck. To keep up with today´s production pace while still ensuring the full traceability we need to pack more information into a limited space on a limited time.
The two-dimensional codes (2D codes) like data matrix, can hold tens to hundreds of times more information than a traditional bar code. 2D codes are also more secure, when ensuring the full traceability is critical and the code must be readable no matter what. For example, a data matrix can be read even when 30% damaged or when the contrast between the surface and the marking is as low as 20%.
Do you want to know more about securing full traceability? Read our case studies and download a white paper about how to use 2D codes for traceability.
One of the often-questioned question is that what is laser marker´s capability to mark on the fly. Marking on the fly is a process, where a component is marked
Wavin is a Dutch manufacturer of plastic pipes, mainly for drainage and water supply purposes. Their Swedish unit manufactures PE 80 (polyethylene) pipes and the end customer requires permanent
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