Compliant Product Tracking
More and more companies operate in markets where compliance is mandatory, examples being Aerospace, medical devices and gas boilers. Although it appears to be a simple task to trace what parts are used on what individual item this becomes increasingly complex. The product may change in specification, the component parts may be procured from more than one supplier, an assembly instruction may change or a particular certification may appear.
Tracing just what was used where, and by whom is a time consuming activity which in its own right may cause compliance problems owing to incorrect data and human error. An additional issue is to have a record of where a particular component was supplied from, requiring detailed information from procurement systems. The extension of this is to know where and when completed products or sub assemblies are delivered to. This is frequently referred to as ‘one up, one down traceability’. Thus the task becomes complex and potentially costly.
Manufacturing companies respond to this in a variety of ways. Traceability systems stay in the background (other than producing batch component data) until a problem occurs. When something happens that requires access to traceability records then this should be easy and fast. It is on such occasions that manual paper, spreadsheet or even database records are tested, the result frequently being only partial traceability information and an unacceptable time delay in it being available. This results in bulk recall and expensive wholesale risk reducing actions.
EmsPT has seen substantial savings being made for ‘compliance’ industries through the use of automatic data acquisition from all points of production, including component supply and finished goods shipment. This data is processed continuously to produce detailed traceability of many characteristics (what, when, where, whom etc) which is easy to access and can swiftly be used to minimise the cost of non-compliance, potential recalls and other unwanted events.
If you are in a compliance industry would it help if the onerous traceability requirements were automated, producing detailed information, secure record keeping and fast reports on demand when a criticality occurs? Helping you to focus on production rather than devoting resources to your compliance regime. Can you really ensure the safety and quality of your products ?