“Every manufacturer should adopt traceability software because you can only understand that which you can measure”
Bill of Material (BoM) traceability has been around for a long time allowing vendors to quickly identify product that may have been affected from quality issues in their supply chain. However, it is far less common for manufacturers to implement similar levels of traceability on internal processes.
Having access to real-time production data can lead to significant performance and product quality improvements and ultimately reduce operating costs.
A particular challenge preventing widespread adoption has been the difficulty of linking different manufacturing lines together digitally, regardless of geography, compounded by the age of the equipment in use. This is often cited as a particular roadblock for adopting digital workflows, but the argument is outdated and inaccurate.
For one, the cost of recovering from a simple human error that allowed a faulty device to get to market is far more expensive than implementing autonomous digital quality control processes. And secondly, new technologies have greatly simplified the effort of implementation, including connecting to old and ageing hardware. Implementation costs have come down considerably.
Embracing digitisation is both an insurance policy for day-to-day operations AND a means of greatly reducing operating risk.
This article highlights many of the benefits of good traceability practice: