Why is traceability important in manufacturing ?

What is traceability in manufacturing ?

Traceability is an important factor in manufacturing that ensures better productivity of quality goods. Traceability as the name implies, is a system that tracks each and every item, parts and raw materials right from the entry till packing of items. This process greatly helps a manufacturer to keep an eye with the production line and get intimation of any smaller issue. By preventing small errors or correcting it at the start, this greatly eliminates bigger problems.

Traceability has become the most important part to consider and it is being welcomed by many organizations in recent days. By implementing systems with higher levels of tracking capabilities gives stronger control of their production process.

Importance of traceability in manufacturing

How to trace a product ?

To create traceability of each product and parts, you will have to assign discrete marks or individual component level marks limed serial numbers during the production process. To ensure a proper and consistent traceability, a direct part marking is the only way. Laser and pin marking are common ways used in creating permanent and readable marks on materials. Barcodes and scanners are also used to easily track the products and keep record of real time data.

Two types of traceability in manufacturing

Product Tracking : Product tracking allows you to track the path of a specific product through the supply chain. The products are regularly monitored for inventory and logistical purposes. This type is helpful in avoiding any supply chain issues and errors in production.

Product Tracing : Product tracing allows you to identify the origin of a product/item within the supply chain. This is greatly helpful in identifying the errors in any particular batch and not wasting all the products. The company can improve their operations with these facts. 

How important is traceability in manufacturing

After all that hard work and handling complex processes when it is finally time to see the results, one defective product could damage the entire recognition and create a bad impression on your brand. If there is no traceability in your system then it is difficult to recall where it went wrong. The traceability helps to find the root cause of any problem.

Every manufacturer must make this system a mandatory need as it improves quality and efficiency of the product by all its real time visibility of their operations. For example, if a product is reaching the end line in production with a defect, then it is necessary to have clear data on the whole production process. One should identify the error at which stage it occurred and responsible to which person or department. The machines are also to be checked for maintenance if the issue is caused by the machines.

Above all the reason why traceability is important to your company is that your competitor has one. If your competitor is serving the best in the industry and you are still trying to find out the issues then it is a total disaster. Hence it is now or never a situation for industries to adapt latest technologies helpful for their survival.

Benefits of traceability

  1. Root cause analysis – Traceability helps you to access the complete product information from end to end. It gives you an in-depth analysis of the production line to check the root cause of the problem. For example a defect can arise due to faulty machine, untrained employee or missing of quality checks. Hence knowing about the root cause paves way to prevent it from bigger issues. 
  2. Continuous improvement – The result of root cause analysis directly promotes continuous improvement in your production flow. There will be a consistent identification of the defects, planning and implementing new methodologies for future productions.
  3. Value stream mapping – It refers to the process of understanding the existing process and redesigning it for a more efficient production. It creates opportunities for new strategies and business plans.
  4. Quality control – By having a tight control over each stage of the process, it automatically ensures in producing better quality products to the customers.
  5. Operational efficiency – The manufacturing process is characterized by the amount of waste generated. With an efficient traceability system, the organization optimizes their process which directly reduces the waste materials to a greater extent. 
  6. Customer satisfaction – Business is all about delivering quality products/services to the customers and creating a value in one’s life. with good traceability, higher quality goods earn customer satisfaction.
  7. Cost savings – By reducing waste generation, rework process and optimiz
    ed resources helps you save money in the long run.

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