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Certificate of Analysis (COA)

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TrackAbout Module
Module Name: Certificate of Analysis (COA)/en
Short Description The TrackAbout Certificate of Analysis module eliminates the need to store paper COAs. It enables you to provide product quality data electronically and eliminate many of the manual activities currently performed by sales and customer service teams.
Supported In: TAMobile 5, TAMobile 6 Rugged, TAMobile 6 Desktop
Business Process: Production
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For certain kinds of gases, usually specialty gases, distributors guarantee the chemical makeup of the gas. A worker will sample the batch and perform an analysis, then produce a paper certificate. This certificate is usually attached to the neck of the cylinder and is provided to the customer upon delivery. The certificate is called a Certificate of Analysis, or COA.

Why You Need It

TrackAbout automates the ability to assign and attach COAs to unique assets within TrackAbout simply by using a matching file name and LOT number collected during a Fill action.

How it works

There are two different ways in which certificate of analysis documents can be presented in TrackAbout

  1. TrackAbout provides a link to download a COA stored in an external system
  2. TrackAbout stores COAs generated by another system

Customizing it for You

Method 1: Link to COA in another system

In this case, COA documents are served from a web server external to TrackAbout, typically a system the customer has set up and manages. The customer provides a URL to TrackAbout that can be used to fetch any COA from the remote system.

It’s not possible for TrackAbout to know if any particular cylinder has a COA associated with it in advance when TrackAbout is not hosting the COAs. Therefore, TrackAbout devised a system to dynamically check for the existence of a COA on the remote web server while dynamically constructing an asset’s detail web page.

Within the TrackAbout application web site, on the Asset History page for a particular asset, TrackAbout can show a link to fetch the COA from the external system, if the COA exists on the external system.


Both internal customer users and their Follow-On Tracking users can fetch COAs from the TrackAbout web site. FOT users can only view assets that are currently in their possession, and so can only fetch COAs for assets that are currently in their possession.

External URLs

A COA may be fetched from a remote system using a variety of identifiers such as an asset’s Lot Number, Serial Number, or perhaps a combination of identifiers. It really depends how the customer made it possible to fetch their COAs.

A token is a placeholder in a generic web address or URL. We currently support fetching COAs from remote systems using the following identifiers:

  • Lot Number: The current lot number of the asset. The token is [LOT_NUMBER]
  • Serial number: The serial number of the asset. The token is [CROSS_REF]
  • Delivery ticket number: The most recent delivery ticket number used to deliver this asset to a customer. The token is [DOC_NUM]


So for example you might have a url that is something like:


If an asset has a lot number of 123456 then this url will be presented as


Showing the Link

Not every filled asset has a COA. From the Asset History page, TrackAbout will do a quick check to see if there is a file at this destination address. If there is a file then TrackAbout will show a link to fetch the COA. If there is no file present at the formed URL then no link will be shown.

Multiple COA provider or Multiple URLs

TrackAbout can handle COA's that are stored in different systems. Specialty Gas COAs can be in one system, and other gas COAs can be in another one. Each system has a different URL style and uses different identifiers to fetch the COAs. TrackAbout made it possible to check multiple external systems for the existence of a COA document for a given asset.

If there are multiple URLS, Trackabout will try them in sequence until one is found that links to an actual file. Then this link will be used.

Method 2: TrackAbout to store COAs generated by another system

In this method, COAs are generated by TrackAbout’s customer and then sent to TrackAbout to be associated with assets we track and to be made available to end users.

This other system creates an output COA file. This file is transferred to TrackAbout and attached to the assets. This file is then available as a link from the Asset History page within TrackAbout. It is visible to both internal users and external Follow-On Tracking users.

COA hosted by TrackAbout (Using lot number)


  1. Assets are assigned a lot number during the filling process using TrackAbout
  2. Gas analysis is performed by engineers on one of the cylinders in a given lot.
  3. Data is collected from the gas analysis and a COA document is created.
  4. The COA is uploaded to TrackAbout (FTP server)
  5. TrackAbout finds assets that match the lot number of the COA and links the COA to the assets.
  6. FOT and TrackAbout users can now download the COA by visiting the Asset History page of any asset in the lot.

Important Note: It is important that the assets are assigned to the lot before the COA is uploaded. In practice this means that any non-wireless handhelds should be synced before pushing COAs to TrackAbout.

File transfer mechanism

Today, secure FTP is supported to transfer COA files into TrackAbout. Contact TrackAbout support to have a secure FTP site setup and hosted by TrackAbout. TrackAbout will check this secure FTP site regularly (generally about every 15 min) to see if any new files have been added.

Naming convention

The logic expects the following naming convention for the COA: [LOT].[FileExtension] So for example a pdf file for lot 123456 must be named: 123456.pdf

Searching for COA

There is a "Certificate of Analysis Search" page that is accessible to both FOT users and regular users that can be used to find COAs that are hosted by TrackAbout (e.g. they were uploaded and associated with fill records).

The page returns the headers: Date, Barcode, Serial Number, Current Location,Category Group and Type and a link to the Certificate of Analysis PDF copy.


Assigning Lot Numbers

This feature required that lot numbers are assigned to assets that might not be filled on site but received from a vendor. If this is the case, your system can be configured to allow the feature Receive from Vendor that will prompt the user for a lot number. Receive from Vendor can also prompt for asset serial number is desired.


If an error occur during the processing of the COA file, the certificate will be moved the the FTP Problem folder.

Possible reason for problem:

  • The COA filename does not match a lot number
  • Check the the lot number has been used and assets are assign to it. Use the Lot Search page

You can retry processing the COA by returning it to the appropriate folder from the FTP Problem folder in the FTP.