Traceability so far and Digital Solution

Traceability so far and Digital Solution

Traceability so far and Digital Solution

PREAMBLE – With general awareness of the Quality and Process Control Systems in the Industry across the value chain and the insights drawn from the Product Recall Data we can now take a look at the Limitations to come to a stage to lay down the Specifications’ Requirements for the solution.

The SIAM recall data provided with the insights and overview of the scope for the solution. We observe that recalls have occurred due to the

  1. OEM/Tier I assembly or  manufacturing process deviations (esp. Black Box processes)
  2. Tier II /III component processes not as per the expectation.
  3. Special processes and 4M and Power changes that are significant contributors
  4. New Technology learning curve specifically long term validation and training

Limitations in the System which should be fully addressed in the digital traceability solution are:

  1. Quality results (product characteristics) are checked, recorded and available across the chain; however critical process parameters required to be maintained for the achievement of these are not recorded and linked.
  2. Traceability is not maintained across the value chain through and through; gets broken
  3. ERP does not record or link process parameters. Not having the Same ERP across the value chain is a challenge for Data flow/link.
  4. Multiple values in records; manual record; these mean truth is suspect and/or mutable
  5. IoT devices recognized for providing solutions of reliability are not fully exploited for a complete solution.
  6. Lack of clarity on Industry 4.0 initiatives for Quality and Process Improvements, Reliability.
  7. Relevant Data not linked across the value chain

The industry has fairly robust processes and quality standards; however, there are some weak links or gaps. The solution concentrates on coverage of gaps, usage of smart IoT methods, linking across the entire chain, and immutability.


SOLUTION OVERVIEW – The solution is planned to be built by interfacing with Machine consols/PLC s/IoTs/Image recordings for the critical- identified process parameters. Interlinking the data across ERP transaction stages and value chain using blockchain technology for the data ledger.

Infrastructure Requirements can be –

  1. ERP implemented for Bill-of-Material (BOM), Purchase Order (PO), Goods Receipt (GR), Production Work Order (WO), Goods Issue (GI) for Assembly & Dispatch, Invoice
  2. Key Parameters -recording provision at the Machine. PLC, IoT Devices, Computer graph, and/or Image. Interface to be made available.
  3. Batch/Serial number marking on the product, as required.

These can be defined completely at the Initial phase and Requirements gathering phase.

Industry professionals can contact us for a Face to Face net meeting at this stage.


A Digital Traceability Solution

The Usage of Blockchain and Industry 4.0 readiness norms in the solution was a key decision. To have minimum changes for the user, the solution sits over the existing ERP (multiple ERP integrations are planned – configured for 2 types of ERPs  so far)

During the solution building phase and subsequent deployment phase in the Industry, we have arrived at an implementation methodology fairly standardized for the main processes of the Industry.

SOLUTION OUTLINE –  The solution is built by interfacing with Machine consols/PLC s/IoTs/Image recordings and interlinking the data across ERP transaction stages using blockchain technology for the data ledgers. The System Architecture is cloud based, hence with high-availability & security.  The pricing module is OPEX driven, proportional to the parameters selected for the processes to be traced and interfaces needed in the system. The initial setup and implementation costs and timelines are reasonable.

The Initial Data collection phase focuses on the vulnerability of the processes to select parameters that are to be certainly decided by the organization. The interfaces and ERP would then be understood to start the work which should be completed in about eight weeks.

Traceability which is a big bugbear for the industry is then within its control to eye the export and domestic market with confidence!


Author details –

Alka Pande.

Automotive Industry Solutions Advisor at Sapours

40+ years in Engineering , Development and Quality functions in Tier 1 organizations in the Auto Industry. Last 5 years contributed for setting the framework for skilling in ASDC.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *