Home » Compliance, Food & Beverage » Lot-Tracking Explained

Lot-Tracking Explained

January 25th, 2011

A Lot tracking system is a system that records information associated with a batch of product. It could be as simple as knowing what raw material went into a particular batch of product. Lot tracking allows you to track several units of a stock item using the same lot or batch no. A User can determine what can be purchased or sold by Lot status. Expiry dates and user defined statuses allow you to further control the stock item. You cannot sell stock items that have reached or passed their expiry date. This is especially true for Food and Beverage manufacturers, who often are not permitted to deliver to their customers within a specified number of days before the expiry date is reached. You can track items by lot number and serial number – Lot tracked items are where the tracking (Lot) number refers to a specified quantity of the item, serial numbers are applied to individual items. To further clarify, Lot numbers may refer to ‘n’ pounds or gallons of material which can be drawn off and used in smaller quantities than the overall lot quantity, and those smaller quantities may be consumed in several batches of a different product the material is a component of. Serial numbers typically refer to individual discrete items, such as a bicycle which itself may be constructed from many other serially-numbered components such as gears and wheels. Sometimes manufacturers of wet or dry ingredients may deliver a shipment with a single Lot number, e.g. ABC1001, in several bags or drums which are also further numbered, e.g. ABC1001-001, ABC1001-002, etc. The number on each bag or drum is not a serial number, it is a sub-lot number because a smaller quantity can be drawn off from a single bag and drum for use in one batch, leaving a quantity for use in other batches.
In order to successfully implement Lot Tracking an organization must have a disciplined, consistent and accurate process for recording the usage of ingredients and the sales location of finished goods.

Importance of Lot Tracking for Food and Beverage Manufacturers :

Any safety program for food or feed requires a comprehensive system of traceability within food and feed businesses so that targeted and accurate withdrawals can be undertaken and information given to consumers or regulators, thereby avoiding the potential for unnecessary wider disruption in the event of food safety problems. It is necessary to ensure that a food or feed business can identify the sources from which the ingredients that are incorporated into a food or feed product have been supplied. The traceability of food or feed ingredients intended to be incorporated into the food chain shall be established at all stages of production, processing and distribution.
Lot Tracking is a very simple concept. Each batch that you produce is part of a single lot. Each product within that batch gets marked with a code that indicates which batch it came from. We have all seen lot codes on our food products. No large business operates without lot coding and in many instances it is illegal to sell products without lot codes.

Once you have started implementing lot coding, you can begin to track your lots. If a customer calls in with a complaint, you can ask them for the lot code on the product. This can then be verified and cross-checked with the date it was produced. This can aid the process of identifying the cause of the defect by singling out the date of the individual batch.

By lot coding, you can also track which batches went to which customers. This is extremely helpful if you ever find yourself in the unfortunate situation of having a recall. You can track where the defective lot went and contact those customers quickly and efficiently.
By having a proper recall procedure in place, you can save yourself money, bad public relations and maybe even your company. Something as simple as a stamp can go a long way.

Why Batch Master for Lot Tracking :

Batch Master provides complete lot-traceability that allows process manufacturers to follow an item from incoming raw material through multiple bins to the finished good sent to a specific customer. Lot tracking is used for both purchased items and manufactured items. Customers can choose from several lot issue methods and create custom serial and lot numbers for any item.
Food and Beverage companies face the potential of a product recall on a daily basis. Batch Master’s bi-directional traceability helps its users trace all ingredients from source to end and back to source, as and when required. Complaints received for any product can be traced back by lot explosion to get the complete product structure, lot numbers of raw materials used and the list of the customers who have received those finished good lots. As a result of this functionality, recall of products is quicker and avoids hardships to both manufacturers and consumers.
BatchMaster provides the industry’s best Lot traceability functionality, achieving instant Lot Recall by tracking through the entire process where any lot no. was used, to all levels and through all transactions simultaneously.
- Lot explosion showing complete structure of products.
- Bi-directional lot tracking to full recall.
- Lot attributes to distinguish between lots.
- Multiple Lot picking strategies to pick at order shipment or production.
- Lot picking methods such as LIFO, FIFO,FEFO selectable by item.
- Quarantine support.
- Picking based on expiration date less shelf life days demanded.

Conclusion: Lot tracking is very important for process manufacturing industries. It keeps a record of what raw materials are used in the production of a particular finished good batch. Finished Goods batches are assigned batch codes (Lot numbers) so if a customer complaint is received, you can ask them for the lot code on the product. This can be verified and crosschecked with the date it was produced. You can also track which batches went to which customers. This is extremely helpful if you ever find yourself in the unfortunate situation of having a recall. You can track where the defective lot went and contact those customers quickly and efficiently. It helps to save money, bad public relations and even your company.

Compliance, Food & Beverage ,

  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.