How Do I Read Sterling Lot Numbers?
So, you may be wondering, "When was my rope born? How can I tell, so I know when to retire it?"
We're here to help you solve the mystery.
Every single rope that comes out of our factory has a lot number on the end label- the little yellow sticker that's wrapped in plastic at both ends of your rope. This is part of our ISO certification process as it ensures we are adhering to the stringent quality control process as well as confirm we are manufacturing the highest quality product possible This lot number is essentially a code to tell us what batch (by date) this rope came from, so we can keep track of our inventory coming out of the factory.
Our old lot numbers, before January, 2015, were formatted with 12 characters, broken down like this:
This tells us which machine the product was built on (R26), the date it was made (04/12/14) and the initials of the operator who built it (MJA)
Here's a visual for example:
In this example, the lot # is R17-111014 which means it was made on Machine R17, on November 10th, 2014 (can't see the intials in this one).
That being said, as of January 1st, 2015 we have adopted a new lot numbering system in accordance with our new order entry system.
Our new lot numbering format now includes only 4 digits, like this:
The new format tells us year (15) along with which week in the year it was made (09).
Here's a couple visual examples:
The new system was rolled out 1/1/15, however inventory built prior to this date will still have the old numbering system so it’s very likely that you may still see products with both the old and new lot numbers.
The hardware lot numbers have not changed, however there are 2 different lot numbers we use to complete our train of traceability.
On the hardware itself you’ll find a number similar to the one below:
This system uses a Julian date as well as a serialization schema. To explain, 15 is the year (2015), 111 is the day (111th day of 2015) and the M0001 is the serialization.
In our system we simplify this to just the Julian date (15111), which is found on the product packaging. Using this system provides traceability back to the entire lot and all the serial numbers within.