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What Does ISO 9001 Clause 8.5.2 Identification and Traceability Mean?




ISO 9001 Clause 8.5.2, titled "Identification and traceability," specifies requirements related to how organizations should manage the identification and traceability of their products and services. This is required in industrties such as aerospace, automotive, medical devices, and pharmaceuticals manufacturing.


Details of ISO 9001 Clause 8.5.2


Identification of Process Outputs: The organization is required to use appropriate methods to identify process outputs. This identification is crucial when it's necessary to ensure the conformity of products and services. For example, in manufacturing, this could involve assigning unique identifiers to components or assemblies.


Status Identification Throughout Production: The organization needs to identify the status of outputs concerning monitoring and measurement requirements during production and service provision. This ensures that at any given point in the process, it is clear whether the outputs meet the specified criteria or if further action is needed.


Control of Unique Identification for Traceability: When traceability is a requirement (for instance, in sectors like aerospace or medical devices), the organization is obligated to control the unique identification of the outputs. This involves creating and maintaining a system where each product or batch is uniquely identified, allowing for traceability throughout its lifecycle.


Retention of Documented Information for Traceability: The organization must retain documented information that enables traceability. This information could include records of unique identifiers, production logs, or any other relevant data that allows the organization to trace a product back to its origin and understand its production history.


Example Medical Devices Manufacturing


In this context, traceability is often critical. Each device or component might have a unique serial number, and throughout the manufacturing process, this number is used to trace the device's journey.


The organization would have a system in place to ensure that the status of each device is documented at various stages, and that this information is retained for quality control purposes, audits, or in case of any recalls.


Example Electronic Components Manufacturer


  1. Identification of Process Outputs: Each electronic component is assigned a unique serial number or barcode during the manufacturing process. This identifier is recorded in the company's system.

  2. Status Identification Throughout Production: At various stages of production, the status of the electronic components is marked as "in progress," "inspected," or "approved" based on quality checks and tests conducted during the production process.

  3. Control of Unique Identification for Traceability: The unique serial numbers assigned to each electronic component are carefully controlled. The company has a system in place to ensure that these identifiers are not duplicated or misused.

  4. Retention of Documented Information for Traceability: The company maintains a comprehensive record, associating each serial number with detailed information such as the production date, testing results, and any specific components used in the manufacturing process. This information is stored in a secure database.

In case of a quality issue or a customer complaint, this traceability system allows the company to quickly identify which batches or specific components might be affected. It aids in investigating the root cause of the problem, implementing corrective actions, and, if necessary, conducting a product recall. This is a practical application of Clause 8.5.2 in ensuring the identification and traceability of process outputs.


ISO 9001:2015 Clause 8.5.2 Identification and Traceability


In essence, this clause emphasizes the importance of implementing systems to uniquely identify products or services and maintaining a clear record of their status and history. This is crucial for quality control, compliance, and in scenarios where traceability is essential, such as in the case of product recalls or audits.


By adhering to Clause 8.5.2, the organization enhances its ability to manage and control the production and provision of services, ensuring that traceability and conformity are maintained.


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