Purpose of printing best-before dates and lot numbers
Products are printed for various reasons. For example, printing is required to comply with legal requirements, to manage in-house products and inventories at a manufacturing plant, or to identify products on logistic routes.
Printing best-before dates on food products
Best-before (use-by) dates help consumers determine the freshness, make infomed purchasing decisions and safely use perishable products. By having this information readily available on products, the producers clearly state the period in which a product should be used as well as limit their liability.
Space restrictions may prevent printing best-before date on products, in which case the best-before date can be printed separately upon indicating where the consumer can find the printing. Food labeling has many rules. For example, producers need to be cautious when printing both the lot number and factory identification code.
Printing lot numbers and serial numbers
In order to maintain and control stable quality, products are printed with codes that indicate when and where they were made. When a serious complaint occurs and a product recall is needed, the production lot can be identified with these codes . This allow manufacturers to pinpoint the cause of the error, and limit the magnitude of the recall as part of the defensive measures.
Printing codes for process management
Identification codes and barcodes can be printed on parts to indicate neceessary information to aid in the manufacturing process. This helps improve production efficiency and quality control. Some examples that are used are printing pass/fail indicators on parts so that defective parts are not used in final products, and printing readout values on parts for any adjustment required further down the line.
Printing for prevention of counterfeit products
Secret numbers and codes are printed on products recognized only by the manufacturer. If counterfeit products should appear, the manufacturer can use these codes to distinguish which products are unlawful imitations. This printing application has been used as a means of protecting proprietary brands.
KEY POINTNecessity of marking
Marking directly on products with a laser marker or an inkjet printer enables recording relevant manufacturing information, such as production history, process management, and identification numbers, as well as ensuring tracibility. In case there is a product defect, the cause of the error can be pinpointed quickly and the size of the product recall can be minimized.