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What Is a Batch Number And What Is It Used For?

If you’re in manufacturing, you’ve probably heard the term “batch number.” This unique identification code helps companies when traceability is essential for quality control and safety. So what is a batch number? Read on to learn about batch numbers, batch codes, and what they are used for. 

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What Is a Batch Number?

A batch number is a unique identification code assigned to a specific group of products that were manufactured together during a single production run. This code allows manufacturers and distributors to track and trace products through their supply chain. The data included in the batch number typically includes information about the raw materials used, production data, and the location of production. 

What Is a Batch Code?

A batch code is a unique identification code assigned to a specific group of products or materials that were manufactured together. 

What’s the Difference Between the Two?

If a batch code and batch number seem identical, that’s because both terms are used interchangeably. Batch number and batch code both refer to the identifying data printed on a product label. 

What Is a Batch Coding Machine?

A batch coding machine is a type of equipment used to print batch numbers on product packaging and labels. Some common types of batch coding machines include inkjet printers, thermal transfer printers, and laser coding machines.

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How Are Batch Numbers and Batch Codes Used in Labels?

Batch number labels are an important component of some product labels. In fact, in certain industries, such as food and beverage, batch code labels are required by law. If a product has to be recalled, batch numbers help identify which products were affected as well as where they were distributed. This helps companies quickly take action to pull defective or contaminated products from the shelf and reach out to customers who purchased the recalled batch. 

What to Use Them For

Batch coding can be useful in any circumstance where you need to track and trace products through the supply chain. Here are some ways batch numbers can be used:

  • Quality control: Batch numbers can help you isolate any issues or defects that arise.
  • Compliance: Batch numbers are required by law for infant formula, children’s products, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, cosmetics, and food and beverages. 
  • Manage inventory: Batch numbers can be used to optimize production processes, manage supply chain logistics, and improve efficiency. 

What Not to Use Them For

Not all products need a batch number. For example, you might not need a batch number if the product has a short shelf life. Produce and baked goods simply need an expiration date to ensure quality and safety. Additionally, if your products are produced in small quantities or on a made-to-order basis, it may be more practical to track customer orders or production runs rather than using batch codes. 

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