With the increasing importance of corporate image in the highly competitive, global markets of today, as well as the mounting need to protect corporate assets in issues involving product liability, the ability to prove product authenticity through product traceability is becoming an absolute requirement.
We must provide a means of guaranteeing reliable, fully functional product is not the root cause of customer issues. In this instance, these products may be subject to harsh environments, have extremely limited “real estate” in which identifying mechanisms can be located, and are produced in very high volume.
In this case, we chose to utilize a 2D data matrix identifier, directly marked on each specific unit in inventory to ensure unit level traceability and authenticity of the source of each device. During manufacturing, this mark would be placed on each item, with specific data stored in an offline database, available for access throughout the life of the parts.
While no official valuations are publicly available, reports have indicated the efficacy of the implemented traceability/authentication system. Not only have multiple instances of the introduction of counterfeit product into the supply chain been quickly identified, customers have been cooperative in helping to pursue highly successful legal action against the sources of those counterfeit products. Additionally, specific instances of grey market delivery of product have been successfully detected and brought to a halt. Even situations involving corporate espionage have been detected and dealt with by the manufacturer.