Cécile Bergia has been product quality manager at Tournaire for over 17 years.
Traceability for a customer is very important because it allows the manufacturing batch, the associated controls and the batch of raw material to be identified at any time.
Product Quality is all the controls related to the product, which guarantees the customer the conformity of the delivered product, so it involves production monitoring with dimensional, aspect and functionality controls, to be sure that the delivered product meets the customer’s specifications.
We need to guarantee traceability to the customer throughout the product chain. We have several ways of doing this:
1) the barcode labels that are applied to pallets, reels or boxes. This effectively allows us to link a material number, a batch number, a date and all the data associated with the control on these products. With this same label we can trace back to the batch/material data;
2) in addition, on small packages, a serial number is affixed to the bottom, which allows us to find the batch of material used and the series of the year; and
3) on large packages intended for the pharmaceutical industry, a unit number under the package which also allows us to trace the package in a unique way and to link all the controls and the batch of raw material.
In view of regulatory changes, we are moving towards increasingly precise and flawless traceability. We are currently working on improving unit traceability to facilitate the integration of its data with our customers. Several projects are being developed with our clients and by studying all the regulations of the various countries.
All our customers today are asking for this information. For pharmaceutical or food applications it is very critical but it is a major issue and all applications today require this information to guarantee the end-user – that’s us, the customers – that the packaged products are compliant.