Complete traceability of products, components and lots
Traceability is a requirement for the success and survival of discrete manufacturing in today’s market. As systems become more sophisticated and development times shorter, the manufacturing industry is being confronted with an acute increase in market expectations with respect to quality.
Companies are under constant pressure to increase productivity in order to survive against international competition. Successful management and long-term success in discrete manufacturing require companies to reduce production costs and to avoid expensive image-damaging recall campaigns.
Traceability is an important and fundamental part of all production processes. Real-time ME Systems enable real-time traceability and transparent production sequences.
provide transparency across all production processes
improve the quality of a company’s products
enable more precise planning
enable fault-free delivery
make production independent of human error
meet the growing demands of customers
fulfill OEM standards and regulations as well as legal requirements
enable individual-item based recall campaigns and therefore reduce the recall quantity
reduce product liability risk
determine the exact cause of error
prevent loss of image
“If an object is damaged through a faulty product, the manufacturer of that product is obliged to compensate for the damage incurred to the aggrieved party….” German Product Liability Act.
Product liability has been a fundamental topic in all sectors for a long time. The German Product Liability Act forces manufacturers of cars, electronic and household appliances to document product creation and product quality. In order to not be liable for damages, manufacturers and suppliers must be able to file complete evidence of fault-free production of all products as well as the fulfillment of all corresponding regulations (e.g. the use of lead-free products in electronic consumer goods).
In particular, traceability is being pushed increasingly by the OEMs within the automotive industry. All German premium manufacturers now have their own standards, which need to be fulfilled by their suppliers and which do not only apply to safety-related components in the vehicles.
German suppliers to the automotive industry who import vehicle parts to the USA are also subject to the American legal requirement, in force since 2000, to report defects on cars or car parts to the National Highway Traffic Security Agency. The so-called Tread Act regulates all recalls as well as liability and documentation for transportation.
There are also complex legal regulations and requirements for the medical technology sector. The FDA, the American regulatory body, stipulates detailed documentation of all production-relevant processes and standards so that in the case of a recall the medical product can be traced directly from the manufacturer to the customer.
Traceability is also an issue for quality norms and guidelines. A large number of norms and standards set by different associations include traceability in their compliance requirements (DIN ISO 9001:2001, TS16949:2002, etc.).