How Manufacturing Industries Use Barcoding Technology for Maintaining Product Quality

Amit Bhatia, Chief Information Officer, Jaquar | Monday, 08 January 2018, 07:19 IST

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A barcode is a series of parallel vertical lines, which consists of vertical bars and spaces, and are read by barcode scanners or readers. Today barcodes are pre­dominantly used in Manufacturing industries worldwide for monitor­ing and controlling their complete Production cycle that includes Qual­ity Control too. One of the leading brand in Indian as well as Global Market, has successfully implement­ed Barcoding in Item packing, Price tags, Carton labels, Invoices, etc. The barcoding facilitates unique product identification and also helps in time­ly and accurate retrieval of product information. This in turn helps to gain multiple benefits pertaining to its entire Production process. Some of most significant ones are lowering of inventory cost, lowering total cost of ownership, increasing efficiency of production, adhering to stringent quality standards through product traceability, so on.

Barcoding Benefits for Manufactur­ing Industries

Today barcoding is accepted as uni­versal and efficient way of control­ling the entire Production process and is widely implemented by many industries. Considering the instance of the leading Indian Brand having Global presence, where Barcoding is implemented for enhancing its effi­ciency of Production process, others too can be benefitted by the imple­mentation of the same. Some of the inherent benefits that industries can gain by Barcoding are described be­low.

Inherent Accuracy

The foremost benefit to barcoding is the inherent accuracy associated with it. When Inventory data is manu­ally entered on handwritten paper or even through spreadsheet packages like Excel, is prone to significant hu­man error which are unavoidable. Statistics reveals that the error rates are 10 in 1000 for human-operated keystrokes and a mere 1 in 10,000 scans for a barcode scanner. Errors in inventory may often results in de­lays in shipments, missed orders and over or understocked items. These may in turn effect the reputation of the company.

Safety and quality assurance

Barcodes provide more accurate Inventory Tracking and tighter Quality Control. These features are imperative in case of manufactur­ing industries where products need to be continuously monitored and tracked. Imparting tighter control and continuous tracking of products result in reduction of theft or loss of products as such can incidents be easily traced out thereby minimiz­ing the effects of it further down the chain.

Accurate tracking of Items

Often significant time is lost if items are stored in disorganized way, which also results in loss of mone­tary value. Here, the concerned staffs often face problem in locating items for Production or Shipping. Barcod­ing is an efficient way of tracking in­ventory throughout the Production process all the way to a sale, making it easier for staffs to store items in a sensible way, locate them and make ordering decisions based on more accurate inventory levels.

Improvised control of small items

Often barcodes are related to Pro­duction and Inventory only, but they also represent an efficient way of storing information accurately. Henceforth, they can be useful when affixed to small items, like spare items, so that the locations of such items, which often go missing more frequently than larger items, can be determined quickly and accurate­ly thereby reducing the time staff looked for such small items.

Barcoding Trend Exclusive for Manu­facturing Industry

One of the leading trend in Barcod­ing Technology specific to Manufac­turing industry is the implication of Green Barcoding System (GBS). A leading Manufacturing Group has successfully implemented the GBS in improvising its Manufacturing, Pro­ductivity, Yield, and Quality Track­ing. Earlier, Barcoding was done on Finished Items through Barcode Labels but with the GBS implemen­tation, barcode label is fused on the Item at the time of heat treatment process of the Item. These barcodes are usually printed on-site by regu­lar thermal transfer barcode print­ers with special ink ribbons. When the GBS implemented barcodes are fused onto semi-finished Items, they transform into long-lasting barcode numbers that can resist high thermal and chemical changes.

The Production process consists of various phases like Moulding, Drying, Glazing, Kilning and Sort­ing before the Finished Good is produced and moved to Warehouse. Now by implementing the GBS within the Production process, the Barcoding is done at time of Mould­ing. At this phase, the Barcode is embossed on the Moulded item re­sulting in permanent marking of the Barcode on the item. The Product mould is then transferred to Green­ware Area, where it is scanned for Status and Weight. Once approved, it is then transferred to Dryer Area, from there to Green Inspection Area, then to Glaze Area, next to Kiln Area and finally to Sort Area. At each of the phase the same pro­cesses as performed in Greenware Area are repeated. The advantage of GBS implementation in Production is that it facilitates Product tracking and Quality checking of items much earlier in the Production phase. This enhances the Production Quality and Efficiency.

The advantage associated with GBS is manifold. Some are discussed here.

It enhances the durability of barcode as unlike Normal barcode labels, the GBS barcodes are resist­ant to high temperature and chemi­cal changes.

It enables to monitor the qual­ity of Items much earlier in the Pro­duction cycle than the Normal bar­code. It is so because the barcodes in GBS are attached to Items at the time of moulding only.

Further, performing quality check earlier in production cycle, helps in identifying the stages where the defects are maximum. Control­ling it right there helps in reducing wastage of resources, lowering the production cost and enhancing pro­duction efficiency.

With the growing awareness about implementation of GBS, more and more industries are inclining their Barcode technology towards GBS implementation thus reaping the rich benefits as provided by it.

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