Complex Automotive Supply Chain Makes Traceability A Challenge

by Josh Roffman, on August 9, 2016

Screen_Shot_2016-08-09_at_11.33.22_AM.pngIt can be difficult to quickly pinpoint the origin of a faulty auto component.

Even relatively minute problems with an important auto component can have serious consequences. Whether they be faulty brake lines or airbags that fail to deploy, these malfunctioning parts can threaten the safety of drivers, passengers and pedestrians everywhere. 

Automakers and federal regulators do their best to ensure that timely recalls occur whenever such problems are uncovered. But this isn't always easy to do. The auto part supply chain is vast and complex, and faulty components can find their way into many different makes and models. Figuring out their origins and pinpointing the source of the issue is a major challenge.

For instance, Japanese automotive supplier Takata is currently in the middle of one of the largest part recalls in U.S. history. Car And Driver reports that as many as 34 million vehicles sold in the U.S. may have defective airbags made by Takata - specifically, malfunctioning inflator parts that prevent the safety devices from deploying properly during collisions. Vehicles made by a number of major brands - including Chrysler, Honda, Toyota and Nissan - have been affected, but poor recordkeeping practices on the part of Takata have made it difficult to determine the full extent of the problem.

A recent report by VDC Research noted that U.S.-based automakers and other manufacturers that provide components for the industry are investigating ways to improve traceability for all companies. One possibility is greater investment in Enterprise Labeling Solutions, which can add intelligence and centralized control to automotive' labeling systems. This additional visibility will help the industry track faulty components to their source, allowing for quicker resolution of the issue.

For more on how Enterprise Labeling Solutions can help with automotive labeling, check out our special report co sponsored with VDC.

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