White Paper: Automotive Traceability: A Driving Force For Part LabelingSource: Data Systems International, Inc.
Traceability is the ability to ascertain the history, location, and use of an item by means of recorded identification and documentation throughout the various steps in a process chain. In the automotive industry, traceability refers to the capacity for identifying specific information about a part and its origin so that data can be associated to a specific vehicle or range of vehicles. Several trace data elements including part number, source manufacturer, manufacture plant and date, lot number, and serial number can be used to keep track of unique parts. These data elements are often combined into a barcode placed on the part so that its identification information can be readily gathered and documented as parts are installed on a vehicle.