19 May 2022

ILM Consultant Technical Editor Karl Flowers examines the current state of traceability in the automotive industry and how it can be expected to develop going forward.



The requirements for traceability in automotive supply chains are numerous. A large part of the need for traceability is for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to manage risk in their supply chains.

Sensitivities concerning environmental, social and governance sustainability issues such as deforestation, modern slavery or corruption must be flagged (and obviously corrected). Factory product recalls that are closely linked to specific batches of materials that do not conform to a brand’s policy and procedures must be possible through a good tracking system.

The consumer is another driver of why a luxury or valued item will need to have a product passport – out of strong ethical curiosity. A consumer will be interested in scanning a quick response (QR) code and being able to check that a product ticks all the boxes that they care about.

The product passport information should satisfy all these questions. A product passport starts with a product birth certificate that shows how the product (or by or co-product) was created and how it is moving forward – collecting information as it moves – through steps that may be sensitive.

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