How BSI Identify works

How BSI Identify works

BSI Identify provides unambiguous, persistent information for the entire supply chain. In doing so specifiers, contractors, consultant and designers have access to the latest and most relevant information about products anytime and anywhere.

With the BSI Identify platform, manufacturers can obtain a Universal Persistent Identification Number (UPIN). The UPIN enables access to a variety of product information sources (e.g. certificates, data sheets, and user guides) that can be used from the platform by installers and specifiers.

The UPIN can be associated with a product in several ways. A common practice when ‘tagging’ a product involves providing clients with a QR code embedded with a UPIN. Another option is via a digital link, which can be added to a library/BIM object during the design stage. This also ensures it can be used within any digital handover documentation, thus supporting the golden thread ethos, if the property owner or Facilities Manager has access to the appropriate UPINs. This being the case, BSI identify guarantees Facility Managers can always obtain the most recent information about a product during a building’s life cycle. Furthermore, in situations where a product within the building’s envelope cannot be seen, BSI Identify’s digital element can work alongside Radio Frequency Identification (RFI) and Near Field Communication (NFC) technology to enhance the recognition process. A UPIN also acts as a URL, which directs users to relevant information on BSI Identify’s product page.

As products travel through the supply chain and around the country, their ID can vary. For example, merchants will sometimes provide a different marking depending on the region that is stocking it. Therefore, the creation of a UPIN can be likened to the minting process – it provides a product with what we refer to as an ‘umbrella ID’ that specifiers and on-site contractors can be assured provides the most up-to-date data on a particular product, regardless of its history.

Regardless of whether a product is no longer manufactured, the platform's persistence capability ensures the product's information remains intact and accessible. This has enormous implications for building safety by ensuring products are suitably selected, utilised and traced.

Why BSI Identify adoption matters to manufacturers
BSI provides the technology, while the manufacturer manages the product information accessible via the UPIN, which ensures supply chain users are always using the most up-to-date information. BSI Identify's improved traceability provides manufacturers with a greater level of assurance that their products are being installed, used and maintained correctly. This digital ready and connected approach can help to alleviate the practice of specified products being swapped out for cheaper alternatives.

Ultimately, market forces will be the reason a significant proportion of manufacturers will adopt digital identifier technology. The change is coming. Dame Judith Hackitt called for the creation of a ‘golden thread’ of asset information to improve product traceability in her post-Brexit ‘Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety’ report. Whilst from experience, it appears an increasing number of tier-one housebuilders are heading towards insisting manufacturers have a product identity system in place before committing to using their products. Therefore, businesses that are late adapters to the technology face losing out financially in the months and years to come.

It would be encouraging to think that owners of manufacturing firms across the UK would be persuaded to commit to a digital identification system because quite simply, it’s the right thing to do. The creation of a better, more sustainable built environment will contribute to the health, safety, and wellbeing of future generations. We can facilitate this by embracing smarter practices inspired by the superb technology now available to us. Therefore, implementing digital identifier technology could be seen as a matter of principle, which although amounts to a huge commitment, it’s a move that will benefit the built environment supply chain, building occupiers and our ambitions for a less-polluted planet. For manufacturers, investing in BSI Identify means good business all round.


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