Facts and figures
Find out more about the technical details of our traceability solution in our FAQ. Your question is not listed? No problem, just contact us!


Traceability means being able to trace the production history of components and products at any time. For this purpose, data such as process parameters, environmental parameters or quality data are recorded along the production process and linked to the respective component. For this purpose, it must be possible to reliably distinguish or identify (series) parts that look the same to the human eye. At Detagto, this is done via the unique surface, the individual "fingerprint", of each individual part.

Object recognition determines the type of product or component. Object recognition determines, for example, whether it is a chair, a sofa or an armchair. The traceability of a component, on the other hand, determines its serial number. In the above example, traceability could therefore be used to distinguish between several chairs that look the same. Object recognition is therefore a separate process, but it can be combined with traceability.

The surface patterns of a component are often as unique as a human fingerprint - even if the parts are manufactured under the same conditions and in the same batch. Detagto's tagless traceability therefore makes it possible to differentiate between individual (series) parts and thus trace them individually as single parts.

There are two steps:

  • First, the respective object is registered. A standard industrial camera is used to photograph the surface, which is then converted into a character string by the IRIS software. This "digital fingerprint" is only about one kilobyte in size and is stored in the database together with a unique serial number during registration. By linking the serial number with other data (process parameters, quality data, etc.), complete traceability of the workpieces is created. The serial number can be generated by the software itself or specified by a connected third-party system.

  • The serial number of a part is determined during identification. To do this, an image of the same surface area of the object is taken, from which the IRIS software again calculates a character string (the "digital fingerprint"). The software then compares the fingerprint in the background with all the fingerprints in the database and outputs the corresponding serial number if the identification is successful. The data record of the part can then be loaded with all the associated information.

The imaging hardware is identical for the registration and identification of an object. Both steps can therefore be carried out with one or different systems.

Despite the utmost care and process stability, surface structures can be unique for each individual part due to random, stochastic and unavoidable processes in manufacturing or processing - even for series parts from the same batch and the same tool. Detagto's Tagless Traceability is therefore applicable without any changes to the component or manufacturing process.

With tagless traceability, billions of components can be reliably distinguished and individually identified. The prerequisite is that the surface is suitable for surface identification. A feasibility analysis can also determine this quantitatively.

In principle, all data, such as process parameters or quality data, can be linked to an individual part - or specifically to its serial number. Thanks to the flexible interfaces of the IRIS software, the data can be stored both in the customer's database and in a database provided by Detagto. If a component is identified and the serial number is determined, the associated data set can be opened using the serial number.

This is not a problem for our Tagless Traceability. Possible changes can be eliminated to a certain extent by our IRIS software - just like changes in ambient light. As part of a pilot project, our customer was even able to identify parts whose surface was covered by up to 70%. This ensures smooth traceability of the parts despite machining marks, soiling or ageing processes.

Yes, our Tagless Traceability is designed to operate in an automated production line. Image acquisition can be triggered by a DC pulse from the PLC, for example. Software interfaces such as OPC UA or a REST API are available for data exchange. We would be happy to discuss the right solution for you.

We are currently working on a mobile, smartphone-based identification system. The primary goal is to ensure good usability for customers. If you are interested in using mobile, marking-free identification, feel free to contact us.

The focus of our IRIS software is on the traceability of your parts. Defects or faults in the component are therefore not (yet) detected. In the future, however, the surface images taken as part of Tagless Traceability could also be evaluated for the purpose of quality inspection.


The process works as long as unique surface patterns are available on an object. Depending on the material, tool and manufacturing process, these patterns can vary in intensity.

Parts made of metal, wood and paper, for example, are very suitable as long as the surface has not been highly polished or homogeneously coated. Numerous plastics, for example technical plastics with glass fiber in the material, are also suitable. Initial tests with ceramics show a general applicability.

Your material was not included in the list? No problem! We would be happy to provide you with a free, non-binding assessment or check whether Tagless Traceability will also work with your parts within the scope of a feasibility analysis.

Generally, very different area sizes can be used. We have already successfully applied the method with an identification area of approx. 1 mm². Smaller areas should also be possible using the right optics. In most cases, however, the recording area is between 15 x 15 mm and 30 x 30 mm.

Ambient light generally has no effect on the function of the method. On the one hand, the impact is minimized by a filter installed on the camera system; on the other hand, the ambient light is eliminated by the IRIS software.

The IRIS software calculates a character string from the surface image of a part, which is only about one kilobyte in size. Only this "digital fingerprint" is therefore stored in the database and not the photo taken. With one million parts, the database of digital fingerprints therefore has a size of approx. one gigabyte.


Detagto offers the complete range of services to successfully implement Tagless Traceability in your production:

  • Software: Detagto's IRIS software is the heart of the technology. The software monitors all camera systems and activities, processes the captured images and manages the fingerprints in a database. The IRIS software offers various interfaces for connecting to other IT and automation systems (e.g. OPC UA, REST API).

  • Hardware: A camera system is required for image acquisition. Detagto offers two standard models for differently sized identification areas (up to 40 x 40 mm or 90 x 90 mm). However, the IRIS software can also be connected to the customer's camera systems on request, e.g. if cameras are already available or a specific camera manufacturer is preferred.

  • Planning and integration: Detagto accompanies you from the initial conception of Tagless Traceability in your production through to operation.

Yes, Tagless Traceability can be planned into new systems as well as retrofitted into existing production systems/lines. The installation of the required camera systems can be carried out very easily using standard aluminum profiles. Apart from this, no changes to the hardware are necessary - neither to the system, nor to the component or process. Therefore, renewed approval processes are also not an issue.

First, we discuss your application together and clarify all technical details. We will then be happy to test your parts for suitability in the laboratory. For standard applications, we can then start implementation straight away. On request, installation and commissioning can be completed within just two to four weeks.

For other applications, we usually start with a proof of concept under laboratory conditions or a pilot in production. The result is a quantitative evaluation of the identifiability of your parts. Integration into production can take place immediately afterwards.

We support you every step of the way, from initial planning to implementation.

We offer the software and hardware at a one-time fixed price. A distinction is made here as to whether a camera system is used only for identification or also for registration. This makes it particularly easy to compare the investment costs with conventional marking systems, whereby our registration system can be compared with a marking unit (e.g. a laser) and our identification system with a reading unit (e.g. a DMC reader). In most cases, the costs for our system are significantly lower than the costs for traceability with conventional labeling!


We couldn't answer your question? Or are you interested in using our Tagless Traceability? Just write to us! We will be happy to help you.