Traceability as the backbone of Catena-X

Catena-X is extending traceability to the entire automotive value chain. In the future, hardware and software applications ranging from production to recycling will be traceable. This consistency will form the basis for numerous other use cases within the Catena-X ecosystem.

Tracking during the lifecycle

The value creation of a vehicle is complex: From production to use and recycling, all the processes must be closely coordinated and comprehensible. This is accomplished through traceability. 

Information on each work step is recorded on the basis of process and parts lists. This way, continuous data chains are created that show exactly when and where which materials, components or software were used.

As a rule, each company documents its responsibilities itself. In a very small number of cases, however, traceability information is shared. Here, interrelated information saves a lot of time and costs: Consistent traceability is an important basis, for example, for calculating a product’s CO2 footprint, in the event of recalls or even for a successful circular economy.

Continuous traceability

With over 1,000 partners, Catena-X is trying to lay the foundation for end-to-end traceability: All participants use a common ecosystem, through which they document their hardware and software deployments and exchange information.

Benefits for SMEs, too

With its end-to-end traceability, Catena-X also explicitly addresses small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Even if some of them have so far not had the necessary infrastructure, data collection and provision will still be successful in the future. This is because Catena-X offers compatible, interoperable solutions from an Excel upload via standardised interfaces to open-source and manufacturer-specific traceability solutions.

The initial effort is worth it in the long run: For example, apart from traceability, SMEs can also use their data to:

- analyse and improve production processes
- commence paper-reduced archiving, 
- switch to digital inventory to save time and costs, 
- track original products and detect counterfeits
- ensure competitiveness within the Catena-X ecosystem, and to 
- generate new business.

Prioritised data sovereignty

Cooperation based on trust is a top priority for the Catena-X network.

Companies of all sizes can join the Catena-X network and benefit from end-to-end traceability. The minimum requirements are the availability of parts list information and a rudimentary IT infrastructure with internet access.

Catena-X stands for interoperability, data integrity and sovereignty in traceability as well as for use cases based on it, such as sustainability or demand and capacity management.

Find out more and become part of our initiative!

This is a work result of the

Catena-X Automotive Network Consortium Project,

supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action.

Funding code: 13IK004*



Timo  Albers

Timo Albers

Business Owner

Patrick  Strauß

Patrick Strauß

Product Owner

Exchange with Catena-X