When a product quality issue occurs, corrective action must be taken immediately by the producer of the product. A slow or inadequate response from the retailer can generate a feeling of mistrust between customers or business partners and jeopardize the brand’s survival. In comparison, since consumer safety regulation has been introduced, the number of businesses needed to recall their goods immediately due to concerns has been rapidly increasing.
What is Product Part Traceability?
Traceability consists of two words, trace, and ability. Although its meaning varies considerably depending on industries such as automotive or aeronautical industry, FMCG, electrical & electronic, food and drug products(medical sector), and in almost all the manufacturing industry.
How can define traceability in the manufacturing industry?
Required information is registered(documented ), such as producers, vendors, and distributors’ details. To ensure that their history can be traced well, this knowledge is documented(traced) in all operations, from sourcing of raw materials and components that will be processed(i.e., machining), manufacturing, shipment, and sales.
Two Product Traceability Perceptions could be:
Chain Product traceability: Chain traceability ensures that product history can be tracked either forward or backward, from procured raw materials and the product on machining to delivery and sales.
Manufacturers can track where they have shipped their goods (= they can trace and tack forward their products), and companies and customers can consider “where their products have come from (= they can trace back).”
In the case of unforeseen product issues, this helps producers to benefit from more superficial cause investigation and product retractation(recall). Consumers should also use it as a benchmark without mislabeling when choosing highly reliable items and goods.
Internal product traceability
Internal traceability involves tracking the progress of the part/products in the supply chain, for example, a single business or factory, within a small region. For instance, an automotive housing assembly plant supplies and assembles engine components such as crank-shafts and gears.
Internal traceability can also be considered as the control and usage of the production history and quality inspection data of these products(gear or crank-shaft) by the factory.
Product Traceability in Manufacturing Processes and Part control
Details of production processes from procurement of raw materials and components to delivery of goods must be gathered and monitored. For traceability in the production processes, a serial number is allocated to each component or batch, which contains details such as job data, inspection reports, and measurements to be used for assembly in the subsequent process.
Serves to create manufacturing more productive and increase efficiencies Every gear is laser marked with a 2D data matrix code. Then every gear goes through the machining process at a particular temperature.
In the next stage, the gear’s quality is checked, and data is recorded with the help of the reader in the database. In this way, we can trace the date, time of machining, and at what temperature and pressure and the quality parameter of the gears. This will maintain the gear quality.
How to trace forward and backward?
In traceability, trace forward means to monitor the flow of goods using cumulative information, and trace it back refers to track information backward throughout history.
For traceability, to collect knowledge or understanding in each process, items are classified individually or in batch units. Because this information can be obtained and tracked forward and backward at any time, thus traceability is accomplished.
When a flaw is found in some parts, it is possible to classify goods containing the parts and where the products have been shipped to recover(recall) them precisely. This will help in recalling the exact defective products.
If an issue appears with the delivered goods, the related batch and procedure can easily be recognized by tracing the production record for immediate examination of the cause. Efficient in rapidly finding and resolving issues in production processes. Product Traceability is possible with a Laser Marking System, Dot Pin Systems, and RFID technology.
What is Dot Pin Marking System?
Dot Peen (or pin stamping) is a typical term that refers to an irreversible, direct part marking operation by using a carbide pin to imprint the marking substrate with data, logos, and 2D Data Matrix code or QR codes.
These marker systems carve data profoundly, creating a stable sign even in the toughest manufacturing environments. Dot pen markings may also be read while painting or galvanizing.
Thanks to their durability, they can be labeled on a wide variety of substrates from plastic to hardened tough steel up to 70Hrc.
Heatsign’s high and fast dot pin marker systems help build strong brand presence by brand logo marking, traceability code i.e serialization and unique code, anti-counterfeiting, and a wide variety of other important marking designs.
The advantages of pin markers usually involve:
- Corrosion-resistant permanent marks that can sustain difficult environmental conditions and weather
- High-speed function and marking operation
- Available in Electrical or pneumatic solutions
- Modular and compact designs
- Dot pin marked Identification on metals and a few hard plastics are easily achieved
- An efficiently most cost-effect and environmentally friendly solution
What is Dot Pin Marking & how it is important in Traceability?
The highly dynamic supply chain and regulatory environment have made traceability an integral part of the manufacturing and production industry.
The Dot pin marking system delivers deep, permanent, legible markers, guaranteeing that the data is traceable at any time of the product’s life cycle, no matter the circumstances.
Dot pin marking systems can be inserted and integrated directly into the factory automation networks, linking complete manufacturing operations with invaluable track and trace data.
This data provides us a valuable insight into what is happening in the manufacturing?—starting from the number of errors in the production a day and many more. Traceability encourages you to make the right decisions in real-time to increase production and reduce errors in the complete manufacturing system.
Owing to the strength and flexibility, the Dot pin marking technique is well designed for a variety of substrates, such as aluminum, any polymer plastic-like Nylon, CU, Stainless steel, Brass, powder-coated metals.
Dot pin marking’s capability to provide a deep marking that holds components marked from the cradles to the grave when it comes to seamless tracking and tracing in all circumstances. The perforations are readable even after painting, galvanizing, or paneling with quick and deep marks with the required head height.
Ideal for tubes, valves, flanges, and all that is used in residential or commercial manufacturing. Dot peen deep marking assures that the components are traceable besides extremely high temperature, freezing, and other such conditions in which the components are used.
Dot peening marks are created either by the engineered electrical system or pneumatic systems. In manufacturing and production, dot pinning is a famous way to create a permanent identity by marking a 2D data matrix and serial number and tracing the parameters against the uniques code throughout the component’s life cycle. This helps in creating a foolproof traceability solution for any product.
Low-stress pinning method
To keep the substrate last long, the dot pin is used to create marks and logos by applying low stress and strength. This type of pinning method is applied to woods and various substrates.
Scribing Dot pinning method
These dot pin Scribbing are mainly pneumatic technological machines. The tool (pin) moves across the X-Y axis by pressing downward and drags all over the components’ surface.
What is Laser Marking and How it is useful in Traceability?
At its most basic form, laser marking is a permanent method that involves applying a directed beam of light to a surface to leave a permanent mark. Laser marking covers a wide range of applications and is usually done with a fiber, pulsed, continuous wave, green, or UV laser system. Commonly used laser applications are Laser annealing, Foaming, etching, carbon migration, engraving, decoloration.
Various materials, including iron(SS), aluminum, brass, titanium, acrylic, polymer, ceramic, wood, plastic, and cardboard, laser marking can be automated and processed at high speeds, thus creating permanent traceability markings.
Data (such as serial numbers and component details), machine-readable information (such as barcodes, Unique ID codes, and 2D Data Matrix codes), and illustrations help identify parts and products.
What are the benefits of Laser marking is traceability?
Manufacturers may benefit from the laser marking process in various ways, including simple component identification and branding and full traceability to track and trace products from start to finish. With a laser marking system, you can make permanent, readable markings on your parts. The below are some of the outcomes of these high-quality marks:
- Less expenditure and downtime, resulting in increased service reliability and competitiveness.
- More transparency and accountability in the supply chain
- Efficiency and counterfeiting challenges reduce to a minimum, which saves money.
- Ensures Compliance with sector legislation
What is RFID technology for how it is useful in Tracing and tracking the products?
RFID is one of the radio frequency Identification devices, very convenient and flexible to use as per the requirement and conditions. One of the most extraordinary ways to do part traceability. RFID is available in many forms that are read-only or read/write. There is no need for any contact.
It versatile technology helps it to function in various environment. RFID technology allows in integrating a high and huge amount of extensive data. The RFID technological concept is very must similar to that of the barcode.
In the barcode method, a barcode sticker is codded with valuable data of the product and attached to it. In the case of an RFID reading system, the RFID device or sticker that can be a tag is attached to the product.
The barcoding system uses the optical signal and wave to transfer the information, and data RFID uses the RF signal to transmit info. These Radiofrequency waves transmit the data from the RFID tags to the antenna or the reader.
These tags and devices contain the complete data and history for the component to which it is attached, such as the parameters like temperature, time zone, and the operation it went through at what time.
If the RFID tag is attached to a box or a cartoon, it will tell you the number of items present in the box. And all the specifications of the identical component present in it. RFID offers real-time tracing and tracking of data from the time it has traveled from the supplier, the manufacturing, and customers.
The advanced RFID chips and tags are rewriteable. The wireless data communication technology is implemented on the product to know the real-world status of the product. We can understand the precise process and location or any data related to that particular part.
Why Direct Parts Marking (DPM)?
Why DPM is one of the best and only choices of the industry is because of several points. Permanent marking and identification code on the component with dot pin or laser marking technology is essential. The DPM can be readable in Alphanumeric characters, also known as Serialization.
DPM is also when marking a unique code that is DataMatrix code only readable with a scanner or vision system. The marking has to follow all the industrial standards and must be corrosion-resistant marking. This Unique remains with the part forever till it gets disposed of or recycled.
The part could go through harsh environmental conditions. The marking must retain its quality so that it can be traced and the history could be extracted. Even identifying the very small parts has a tiny 2D identification mark (2D Datamatrix code is scanned after decades to recall the history of the components).
Traceability in different industry
Different bar codes, metallic labels, and printed identifying tags were already added or added to aerospace components for decades to satisfy the criteria. However, since each manufacturer, airline, and retailer has built its traceability management solution, those vital parts have many bar codes and labels.
The SPEC 2000 compliance and standard, which includes part labeling and monitoring, aims to enhance product traceability and air protection while decreasing operational and maintenance costs.
To endorse SPEC 2000 direct part marking for part/product traceability, the 2-D data matrix code was adopted. DPM is used in commercial aircraft and aviation to permanently classify high-value components and those that are vulnerable to fraud or counterfeiting.
Direct part marking on medical devices must have the following characteristics: The laser/dot pin marking must be permanent, identifiable, and error-free. Laser Markings must be high in contrast and legible in all directions.
The marking must be resilient to oxidation and frequent sterilization processes. DPM must not impact the device’s actual operation and must keep passive. Laser marking and dot peening are the preferred choices for UDI’s & laser DPM on medical devices, as per the GS1 standard.
They are favored among all accessible marking techniques such as constant ink, jet marker, thermal ink, jet printing, and RFID. These markings should be as tiny as a pen nib (approximately 6.15 sq. mm), and other marking methods do not entirely fulfill UDI specifications.
Parts traceability is gaining new prominence in the automotive sector as laws such as the TREAD Act & ISO/TS 16949 and warranty concerns take center stage in the industry.
Automobile manufactures are trying to find a way to trace components as they pass through the supply chain, from the producer to production and distribution to the consumer. Product traceability gives an opportunity for more selective recalls, leads to improved customer protection, and reduced producer prices.
HeatSign is the manufacture of Dot pin and laser marking machine which marks Unique code for traceability. Our Laser marking/ dot peen marker follow industrial Laser markings (DPM) standard like ISO/IEC and GSI standards for medical devices.
We will help you in the integration of laser machines with software for serialization for high production with unique code over the components. Track and trace solutions for product traceability is an Ideal way to create your brand value. With no defects and exact recall of the components will lead to efficient production.