Traceability includes information on each pipe segment, pipe joints, valves and manufactured bends. Detailed information is stored, such as the manufacturer of a part, the facility of origin, date and time the part was manufactured, the source of the steel and any noted defects. The data goes even deeper, though. Take a weld, for example. The software will have the number of the weld, its specific GPS location, the date it was performed, the name of who performed it, the type, weld procedure specification, the installation contractor, the weld qualification report, the name of the non-destructive examination contractor who tested it, the results of NDE and if the weld was ever repaired or cut out. Why It Matters The in-depth information gathered through a traceability initiative is critical to avoid production and safety issues. Traceability programs are important in the testing of the pipeline. Historically, field operators had little information on the materials and construction or repair process of the pipeline, but now, the electronically gathered and stored information is available to them. The program also stores data generated by the testing, which is crucial to documenting the system and planning for future construction.