Technology Whitepaper 



The Basis for Cradle-to-Grave Traceability


Old DPMs never die, nor do they fade away. At least they’re not supposed to meet their demise before the part carrying them goes out of service. One of the major challenges of using DPMs (short for “direct part marks”) to trace products and parts lies in the need for permanence. If a part is to be incorporated into a brand-new Boeing 737 and the aircraft is expected to stay in service for several decades, then the DPM on that part needs to last several decades as well. This is known as “cradle-to-grave traceability” – a fundamental requirement for the sake of quality control and public safety.

When a device or a part is traceable throughout its lifetime, manufacturers and oversight bodies can more effectively enforce high quality standards and efficiently implement recalls whenever the need arises. This helps ensure that faulty devices are removed from the market quickly when their flaws come to light. Cradle-to-grave traceability also plays a major role in preventing part counterfeiting. Since tags, stickers and other types of indirect markings don’t necessarily remain with their corresponding objects, manufacturers turn to DPMs to ensure complete life-cycle traceability.


This white paper will discuss:
• How DPMs benefit industries
• How DPMs encode data
• The importance of DPM verification


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