Is A Serial Number “A Mere Observer”?

Sat, 8 Jun 2013 Source: Badu, K.

This article only seeks to grub into the essence of the embossment of serial numbers on manufactured products. Caveat: This is neither an amicus curiae brief nor a missive to direct our eminent Supreme Court Judges. The article in actual fact only aims to illuminate the ‘benightedness’ surrounding the purpose a serial number serves.

In fact, it is only a manful optimist who can suggest that the embossment of same serial number on more than one product is not ‘contrarious’ or antipodal to the pith of a serial number. Indeed, the embossment of same serial number on multiple products is weird by all standards.

“Serial numbers identify otherwise identical individual units with many, obvious uses. Serial numbers are a deterrent against theft and counterfeit products, as they can be recorded, and stolen or otherwise irregular goods can be identified. Bank notes and other transferable documents of value bear serial numbers to assist in preventing counterfeiting and tracing stolen ones. Serial numbers are valuable in quality control , as once a defect is found in the production of a particular batch of product, the serial number will identify which units are affected” (for further reading see: wikipedia.org/wiki/Serial number - ).

In the great scheme of things, the embossment of serial numbers on manufactured products cannot be deemed extraneous in my candid opinion. For example, in manufacturing environment, there is a jargon called ‘Batch Manufacturing Index (BMI); ‘BMI’ actually spells out the product components and ‘a unique’ set of numbers that identify that particular product from previous or subsequent identical products. Safe to say, a serial number is an identification tool in manufacturing environment.

For instance, software products are identified by unique serial number, also known as the product identification number. In this instance, the serial number helps the manufacturer to distinguish between the rightful owner and a software pirate. In actual fact, a serial number is a check mechanism. By and large, manufacturers’ use serial numbers as tracking mechanism on their products.

Indeed, a serial number is a unique number used for identification and inventory purposes. For example, a serial number may help a manufacturer to track a product and get additional facts for replacement, or as a way of finding compatible parts when the need arises. Thus, the significance of a serial number on a manufactured product cannot be overlooked.

For, if indeed a serial number is an identification feature, then the idea of the same serial number appearing on more than one product would render its existence irrelevant.

The overarching question then is: why should a manufacturer for instance, use a serial number if it won’t serve its purpose?

Indubitably, a serial number is unique and ‘security-focused’. In this regard, its uniqueness, and more importantly its efficaciousness would be mollified if duplications occur.

To this end, it is oxymoronic for anybody to suggest that a serial number does not serve a purpose. Yes, a serial number has ‘a place in the heart’ of manufacturing, so please stop deceiving yourself.

K. Badu, UK.

Columnist: Badu, K.