What is traceability?

Traceability is the ability to trace something. A traceability system refers to the entire system that keeps track of all steps and movements of the product throughout the manufacturing process using accurate measurements. The same or a different traceability system can be used to track final products using barcodes, RFID tags or other tracking methods. Therefore, traceability gives both manufacturers and customers the ability to verify the makeup, history, location or application of a product using recorded information about the product and manufacturing process.

Why is a traceability system important?

Traceability ensures accuracy during manufacturing, helps optimize processes and maximize productivity. It allows electronic, paperless, and efficient functioning. It allows different kinds of reporting and data exchanges, making it an essential tool for quality and waste control. Ensuring accuracy in critical data, as well as in maintaining records, allows for legal and legislative compliance.

Traceability is very important in certain industries like the automotive or food industries because this is what makes an automotive part or a food item recall possible. Therefore, a good traceability system is critical to consumer safety.

What are the main features of a traceability system?

Each traceability system is different depending on the sector it is used in, but all systems will have the following basic features:

-Hardware interface for actual measurements, this can be an electronic weighing scale or scanner for barcodes

-The software interface for electronic tracking of the data gathered by hardware components

-Reporting features for optimization and control

In the waste industry, the hardware interface could take the form of an electronic weighing scale, which measures the amount of waste produced, collected, and processed. Weighing scale calibration will play a significant role here. The data is then stored in the traceability system using software tools. Different reports can be run on the data, thereby helping to control the amount of waste produced, collected and processed.

Why is measurement and calibration critical in a traceability system?

To trace an item, it is important to identify and/or quantify that item first.

In the food industry, measurement of ingredients is essential to the recipe and final product. With large-scale production, it is impossible to manually measure ingredients. Therefore, an electronic weighing scale is necessary to measure ingredients, final products and so on. And of course, a scale that is not accurate is of no use! Calibrating an electronic weighing scale to a traceable standard determines the instrument’s precision and accuracy. Both electronic weighing scale measurement and weighing scale calibration are critical aspects of this traceability system.

What are the specific benefits of traceability systems?

In the food industry like bakeries, a traceability system aids in accurate weight measurements of ingredients, products, supply, and deliveries

In the manufacturing business, a traceability system is used for process control, recipe and formulation management, and continuous improvements

In the logistics business, traceability helps weigh products and aids in the transportation and tracking of goods along the distribution line

Cash handling organizations that use a traceability system ensure that counting, weighing and ATM cassette management is efficient, secure and traceable

In the animal food manufacturing industry, ingredients such as meat and cereal are recorded and traced, and ability to distinguish between items using features like “source of origin” or “GMO” is enabled. Full ingredient mass balance ensures that products meet specifications.- In personal care systems, traceability ensures ingredients are accurately measured and traced without any costly giveaway. Full ingredient mass balance for management and auditing purposes is supported. These measurements improve efficiency and control waste.

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