Since its founding 33 years ago, DataWeld Incorporated, based in Bossier City, Louisiana, has specialized in providing modern day solutions to the age old problems of tracking cylinder assets for the compressed gas distributor.
There was a time when the driving force behind a distributor wanting to track his cylinders was either better asset management, better customer relations, or both. But in today’s world, distributors often are faced with totally different reasons for needing to track their cylinder assets: the United States government.
As an example, for years the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has mandated tracking of lot numbers for medical gases. As anyone who has tried it knows, tracking lot numbers manually is very tedious and very error-prone. Being able to determine where all of the cylinders in a particular lot number are currently located can be even more difficult, if not impossible.
To complicate things even more for the compressed gas distributor, in recent months there has been quite a bit of conversation about where the FDA is headed in terms of tracking lot numbers for products like CO2 for beverage gases and CO2 for food processing. As it currently stands, CO2 going into food processing requires lot number tracking, while CO2 used for carbonization does not require lot number tracking. But it looks like the FDA is headed that way.
The answer to the headache of tracking lot numbers, as it is with many tedious tasks, is automating the process. Put bar code labels on your cylinders, buy a bunch of handheld computers, and start tracking your cylinders and, more specifically, their lot numbers.
It is a good solution, but many distributors have turned away from tracking cylinders (and lot numbers) electronically because of the high startup costs. But now there is a better solution that lets you track lot numbers without breaking the bank, DataWeld’s iPhone-based cylinder tracking software, AcuTrax.
DataWeld’s iPhone-based software provides the benefits of tracking cylinders and lot numbers without the expense of buying proprietary handheld computers. The iPhone also offers other advantages. One device can be used to track cylinders, communicate, text, provide driving directions (GPS) and even provide digital proof of delivery. The fact that many drivers already have iPhones further reduces the cost.
Instead of writing down serial numbers and lot numbers, AcuTrax gives the capability to enter the lot number and then scan every cylinder in the lot.
When the cylinder is delivered to the customer, the driver simply scans the bar code and AcuTrax keeps track of who this lot numbered cylinder was shipped to. Easy-to-use queries answer all your questions about lot numbers in seconds.
The government will forever be implementing new policies and procedures that create additional paperwork. DataWeld’s iPhone cylinder tracking software can eliminate much of that paperwork without costing you a bundle.