I recently was asked if changing the level of traceability of a part requires a new Part number. So going from a Part that is not serialized to a serialized part.
Let’s break this down using Form, Fit and Function:
Serial numbers require a label or marking or an RFID label on the part. It can be that you have a generic label for non-serialized and serialized parts. Hence it does not require a change to the form because you already have the label. It just will contain a bit more information. If, however you need a different label, it requires a change to the Bill of Material, and it needs to be positioned on the part.
Conclusion: there might be an impact to the form depending on the actual situation
Adding a label or marking does not typically impact the fit. There might be places where you cannot put a label, but in most cases you will find a spot where you can apply the label/marking.
Conclusion: fit is not likely to be impacted
If the part was not serial traceable before and now it becomes serial-traceable, it means you have changed a function. The part with serial number allows for each produced unit to be traceable throughout its life. When you only have a part number, you cannot track or trace each unit. Although this might not be obvious, the level of traceability is a requirement of a part. If you change it, you impact the function, maybe not its primary function in the context of the product. Still, a function in the context of maintainability, serviceability, and upgrade throughout the unit’s life and the ability to manage recalls more effectively.
Conclusion: changing the level of traceability impacts the function
Changing the traceability of a part when it has already been ordered requires a new part number to be able to separate traceable from non-traceable units. If the part is still in design and has not been ordered, you can continue with the same part number.
If you want to learn more about re-identification and traceability, check out the following articles: