It’s easy, and to many of us important, to be able to track packages being shipped through UPS, FedEX, USPS or other shippers. With a tracking number, we can locate our parcel, get details about it, see the routing schedule and get the arrival time. Tracking and traceability are important.
Similarly, custom serial number plates are valuable and important. They may not have the need for recovering information for a year or even many years from now. But like the tracking numbers, they provide important information to the owner of a machine or device and traceability to the manufacturer for warranty details, date of manufacture, service info and parts or replacement items.
Custom serial number plates along with rating plates (or rating labels) are one of the most important pieces of information that should be installed on any OEM’s product or device. Serial plates are also frequently used for inventory and asset control purposes. In many situations, the custom serial number plate itself may be sufficient. The manufacturer will then track its records for back-up information from that number. Engineers or designers should consider the useful life of the product when detailing specifications.
The data or numbering applied to serial plates are typically variable and can be presented in human readable form, machine readable form or both. The human readable form displays numerical numbers, sometimes with alpha characters, for direct reading by the viewer. The machine-readable form presents the same information except in a barcode or UID format. It is read by a scanning device and loaded into a digital file. Combinations of human readable with barcode/UID are also available.
Versions of custom serial number plates or more sophisticated data plates are being used by the Military, Aerospace and others for situations where larger amounts of data need to be available at the source of the products’ use. Data matrix codes or UID’s (unique identification) can provide multiple fields of information. QR-codes are also popular and can provide in-depth information through the use of a static code.