Traceability refers to the ability to follow the movement of a product through the production, processing, manufacturing, and distribution stages of its life cycle. Traceability is important for ensuring the contents, quality, safety, and sustainability of a product are being met at every stage of its production and sale. The two primary factors of effective of effective traceability are centralized record keeping and dependable identification/coding.
Chain traceability refers to the history of raw materials and parts along the supply chain of a products from its manufacturing, distribution, and sale can be traced both forward and backward. It allows manufacturers to monitor where their products are delivered through forward tracing, and also allows retailers and consumers to gain a better understanding of where their products came from by backward tracing. Consumers benefit from chain traceability by being able to use backward tracing to ensure they purchase reliable products without the need to worry about mislabelling, and manufacturers benefit from the ability to perform supply chain investigations and recall products when issues occur.
Internal traceability refers to the movements of parts or products within a specific part of a supply chain such as a manufacturing or food processing plant. When companies use internal traceability they label each product, or batch of products, with a unique identifier and information related to a manufacturers internal processes such as inspection results, dimensions, and work details. Companies also use internal traceability to keep track of any reusable parts or tools involved in their internal processes. Internal traceability helps give companies insight towards improving the efficiency, safety, and quality of their production processes.
ISO 8402 (now updated to ISO 9001:2015) defines traceability as 'the ability to trace the history, application or location of an entity by means of recorded identifications'. Organizations implementing traceability in their procedures and systems are able to access several characteristics of their product and service history such as:
- Any inspection notes associated with each product or service
- Where components of products or services originated from
- Time spent at workstations related to each product or service
- Destinations of all products and services
- Location of products or services at all stages of their life cycles
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Traceability - an overview | ScienceDirect Topics
What is Traceability? | Traceability Solutions | KEYENCE America