Traceability is the ability to trace an asset and all the processes it goes through, from the acquisition of raw materials to production and consumption.
In other words, traceability allows us to have control at all times "when and where a product was manufactured, what stages or places it went through in the distribution process and finally who consumed it".
WHY RFID TRACEABILITY
Due to improved product quality and increased safety awareness in recent years, traceability has become increasingly important among manufacturers and has been incorporated into almost every field we can imagine, notably in sectors such as the automotive, electronics, food and pharmaceutical industries.
If a quality problem occurs, the manufacturer must be able to take quick effective action. A slow or ineffective response from the manufacturer will create a sense of mistrust among consumers or business partners, which may even endanger the existence of the company.
In addition, as laws have been implemented to protect the consumers, the number of companies that must be able to withdraw their products quickly due to problems has been growing year after year.
All these together makes RFID traceability a necessity for many companies.
TYPES OF TRACEABILITY
Of course, there are countless ways to track an asset, but here we are going to focus on the two systems or categories most used by the industry worldwide: traceability in the production chain and internal traceability.
TRACEABILITY IN THE PRODUCTION CHAIN
Traceability in the production chain allows us to track and control products from the acquisition of raw materials and parts, through assembly or production and ending in distribution or sale. Manufacturers may have a record or history of a particular item, such as: “Know where their products have been delivered” while customers and consumers may know where the products they hold in their hands come from.
This allows manufacturers greater precision in their production and the ability to recall a particular product line when problems or faults are known.
Consumers, on the other hand, can also use it as a reference point for selecting highly reliable products, and can draw on the history of their item from conception if necessary.
Internal traceability is the control of the movement of parts/products within a specific limited area in the entire supply chain such as a company or manufacturing plant.
The management and use of the manufacturing history and the results of the inspection of these parts by the plant can also be considered as internal traceability.
HOW CAN I ACHIEVE AN EFFICIENT RFID TRACEABILITY FOR MY COMPANY?
As mentioned above, if you wish and if necessary, traceability can be carried out manually. However, the dedication and time spent in having a person exclusively in charge of traceability makes it an inefficient and incredibly costly option, in addition to the increase in tracking errors caused by the human factor.
For this reason, we recommend the installation of specialized industrial traceability systems using radio frequency identification devices such as RFID readers.
There are many options and configurations for each type of chain, to know which is best suited to your particular case, contact a professional to advise you and indicate the steps to follow for your traceability system.
RFID tags are a fundamental component of any internal traceability system. They use radio frequency to transmit the information contained in them to a reader to identify an asset.
Radio frequency identification is a technology that allows us to identify almost any object wirelessly using data transmitted through radio waves. It knows the components that make up an RFID system.