By Steve Banker
Being able to track a product, and the key components that it is made of, from manufacturing throughout the supply chain, and from product birth to product retirement, offers manufacturers many advantages. With DPM, manufacturers have the data necessary to improve product quality and production processes; improve supplier compliance to quality standards; and if the worst does happen, and a product recall must occur, that process becomes much easier and less expensive.
Traditional bar code labels do not support lifecycle tracking. They can fall off or become unreadable over time. In contrast, by directly marking a part with a laser, through chemical etching, or by stamping the part (called dot peening), the component can be traced through its entire lifespan.