Product and process traceability
Tracing product and process to optimize production efficiency and eliminate waste, this is the goal of our software solution, precisely dedicated to the traceability of each piece produced: it is clearly a capacity of strategic importance.
Here are some examples of traceability, both of process and product.
The object identification takes place simultaneously with the creation of the label.
In this way every unit produced by internal serial is identified and associated with the customer serial. The final step is the storing of the single pallet contents on the ERP.
It all comes from the label generation, which occurs by selecting the Production Order (PO) from the database. The labels to be printed according to the list are then selected. Finally, the internal serial codes of the customer are automatically generated.
Therefore it is possible to know, at any moment, the position of the object along the entire production process.
The following image clearly shows the progression of each piece (identified by an ID number), between the various phases of the process, up to the pallet. Beside this, the interface allows us to know that the total pieces will be 300; that each pallet consists of 44 pieces; that currently 25 pieces have been placed on the pallet. Once the pallet is completed, it will go on to the packaging phase. At the same time the storing will be made to the ERP.
Another example of product traceability is the use of NFC technology.
NFC (Near-field communication) technology allows two electronic devices to establish communication if they are located within a short distance.
For example, communication can take place between an antenna and a NFC device located on the product’s electronic board.
But which information will the antenna transmit?
The necessary information will be extracted thanks to the product code: once we know the item code (via a barcode reader), the IMPROVE system will be able to select the correct information to transfer it to the NFC device.
All this can be implemented in a manual or in an automatic line.
The object of traceability is not only the product, but also the processes through which the product must necessarily pass.
This is the case, for example, of the tests: we can know, in real time if an object has passed through a specific test and the outcome of this test. It will therefore be possible to intervene immediately to verify the causes of a possible negative outcome. The search can be done through the Production Order, or through the Lot Code.
In line labels printing
An integral part of the traceability module is the management of in line labels printing, both characteristic and packaging labels.
When the product enters the line, the label, containing its characteristics, is automatically printed. At the end of the line, the packaging label is automatically generated and placed on the product by the operator. At this moment, the product is ready to be palletized and then the storing on the ERP takes place.
Special cases: Ikea label printing
A particular case of in line label printing consists of Ikea labels.
We will take the example of the hoods production, which will then be part of the kitchens produced by the Swedish house.
The requirement of Ikea is to be able to trace the entire pallet belonging to a specific hood. This is because, in case of a fault found on a hood, they want to be able to go back to all the hoods of the same pallet, to check if the other hoods have the same defect.
For this reason, it is essential to ensure that the special Ikea label and the normal packaging label for the pallet are printed together in order to be sure of their association.
The IMPROVE system allows just this: the operator can start printing the three labels (two Ikea and a normal one) simply by scanning the univocal serial code of any hood on the pallet.
Special cases: energy label printing
The energy label printing is another special case of in line printing, provided by our traceability software module.
In particular, IMPROVE allows:
- the definition of the energy efficiency of the product
- the printing of the energy label
- the calculation of the energy class: EEI (Energy Efficiency Index), AEC (Annual Electric Cons), GFE (Grease Filtering Efficiency),
IMPROVE takes data (defined by the technical office) directly from the ERP. The label is directly printed when the product is created.
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NeXT is a software house that produces and sells softwares developed to provide information and aggregate data to company management, supporting its operational decision making.
NeXT can guarantee excellent quality service, unique in the whole industry, thanks to agent-based technology programming.
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