Logistics News

ARA calls for adoption of component marking standards

GS1 Australia identification and marking system to become new standard by January 2019


The Australasian Railway Association (ARA) is encouraging industry participants to adopt common standards for identifying materials used across the local rail industry.

The ARA Board backs GS1 Australia’s open global standards for identifying and marking, including barcoding and/or tagging, components.

ARA says standardising the way materials are identified will improve safety and reliability in the industry.

The rail body says the decision to back GS1 was driven by an industry-wide ‘Parts and Components Identification Project’ that started in 2015, followed by the launch of the new Implementation Guideline for the Effective Management of Inventory in the Australian Rail Industry at the AusRail Conference last year.

ARA CEO Danny Broad is inviting the rail industry to join in adopting a Call to Action that aims to “reduce costs, improve safety, reliability and quality using GS1 standards” by January 1, 2019.

“The adoption of GS1 standards will provide a common framework to support the current challenge of managing efficient Maintenance Repair and Overhaul (MRO) processes,” Broad says.

ARA says the Call to Action initiative is important from the perspective of quality assurance traceability and cost savings.

“The implementation of GS1 standards across the Australian rail industry is a critical foundation for the subsequent phase of full lifecycle tracking of components from acquisition to disposal; essential for the effective implementation of ISO55000 Asset Management Standards.”

GS1 Australia CEO Maria Palazzolo sees some effort in order to standardise processes across the industry that currently has varying degrees of barcoding standards in place.

“A level of effort will be required for the implementation of these standards as many rail operators, suppliers, manufacturers and contractors are at various stages of barcoding their products, with some rail organisations already well advanced and actively working with their suppliers,” Palazzolo says.

GS1 Australia senior manager – trade, transport & heavy industry Bonnie Ryan says the Australian rail industry will benefit from GS1’s standardisation approach to “consistently identifying and marking components and assets”.

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