Traceability, Brand Protection, and Process Control

Microchips on circuit board

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Manufacturers of certain electronic items, such as medical devices, must have systems in place to provide a trail of information that follows each item through the supply chain. To ensure product safety and efficient recalls, producers must be able to quickly identify and locate potentially faulty items in the supply chain that could pose a hazard to consumers.

To achieve this, many companies are implementing 2D barcodes, vision systems, and image-based ID readers as key components in a simple yet robust traceability system. Data Matrix has been adopted as standard in many applications because it allows the storage of more information such as manufacturer, product ID, lot number, expiry, and even a unique serial number on virtually any finished good.

Brand protection

Serial number aggregation for supply chain security and product authentication at the point of sale can help prevent counterfeiting, diversion and sale of product through unauthorized channels.

These applications generally seek item-level serialization on every package and Data Matrix has been adopted as standard.

In addition to improving material handling and logistics efficiency and flexibility, product quality and yield, and package safety and integrity, machine vision can also be implemented on the processing side to reduce scrap, improve productivity, and quality control, as well as enhance brand image.

For example, vision systems can sort items by color or shape. It can detect defects, verify proper assembly, count reeled components, and provide guidance for robotic pick and place or palletizing operations to achieve improved manufacturing and packaging flexibility.

Process control and supply chain management

The better and more precise the traceability system, the faster you can identify and resolve problems. Traceability:
  • Improves management of work in process
  • Reduces inventory
  • Optimizes availability and use of production tools
  • Minimizes distribution of non-conforming products
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