Tuesday, December 29, 2009

How to match up with UID Labels

Unique identification (UID) labels allow the Department of Defense (DoD) to tell one object apart from another and to track objects throughout the organization.

This includes anything that will be submitted to the DoD for UID label compliance.

While there is not a specification for UID label materials, labels or decals must meet the performance requirements of MIL STD 130. MIL STD 130 is a standard for linear bar codes and data matrix labels. A recent update to MIL STD 130 runs through the essentials of marking military property.

For example, one mandate states the UID labels need to be read by either machines or humans. Another point out a few essential pieces of information must be listed on the UID label.

The recommended minimum size for text of UID labels to be readable by humans must be no less than 0.2 centimeters/0.08 inches and 5.76 points. UID letters should have a regular, often geometrical shape and a simple, modern font style or a sans-serif font.

There is a wide range of materials to choose from to manufacture the UID labels, such as stainless steel, polyester, aluminum or laser marked adhesive backed tape. And when viable, the marking must be positioned where it will be able to be seen and noticeable during usual, standard procedures.

The marking can be made by any means that is permanent of the life of the item, will not adversely affect the item and which will not be damaged during normal use or cleaning.

UID labels will make item tracking in DoD business systems easy and will provide reliable and accurate data for management, financial and accountability purposes, according to the DoD.

Still, the subject of UID labels is complicated and additional information is available from the experts at ID-Integration, (www.ID-Integration.com).

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Taking a Look at the Innovative New Barcode Identification System MIL-STD-130

The U.S. Department of Defense executes a broad range of services. The need for identification standards among defense assets is a vital one. Military standards should require very close supervision of defense items. The Department of Defense has required that all items contain markings which meet MIL-STD-130 standards in order to be UID compliant.

The Department of Defense often has to interact with private contractors to accomplish their many and various goals. This is why the MIL-STD-130 standard is crucial in keeping track of military assets. The different standards and contractual requirements for these items could make meeting specifications very complicated. The MIL-STD-130 seeks to provide commonality in pursuit of these standards. Having this standard allows the differences in specification to have a supreme identifier.

There are a variety of different regulatory and contractual requirements which have to be met by all items designated for use by the Department of Defense. This complex web of needs is easily met by the standards applied in MIL-STD-130. The protocols for UID marking involve a constantly evolving web of contractual concerns of private contractors and the Department of Defense. While the MIL-STD-130 standard has made things easier on those using these items, staying in compliance can be tricky and requires effort. Luckily there is help.

Making sure that all military assets used by the Department of Defense are complaint with this MIL-STD-130 marking is crucial. It is a complex process to meet these standards. Luckily, the experts over at ID Integration can take all of the guesswork out of the process. They are an independent systems integrator with the professional expertise in making sure that your items are compliant. Such a complicated subject can be best explained by their experts. Keep up to date with the current Unique Identifier protocols. MIL-STD-130 is required for many items. Get up to speed with ID Integration.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Understanding and simplifying MIL STD 130

What is MIL STD 130?

MIL STD 130 is the set of standards that the Department of Defense is using to mark, identify, and track military property. Various specifications and standards are consolidated into MIL STD 130, and if any conflicts with any other documentation arise, MIL STD 130 takes precedence. Any items that already have unique identification such as a serial number are generally excluded from MIL STD 130.

What is required for MIL STD 130 certification?

Items must be marked with either a stiff metal band that includes an identification number or a marking applied directly to the item itself. The marking should be able to survive the life of the item, including any necessary cleaning and rebuilding, and should be visible during normal use if at all possible. Every attempt should be made for the item identification to be a machine readable identification (MRI), and in the even that there is not enough room on the item for the full ID, then the most essential information should be marked. Various guidelines as to text size and font are also included in MIL STD 130, and many different industry specific guidelines also apply.

What should be included in an MRI?

There are various specifications involved in marking an item with an MRI ranging from amount of data required to the quality of the marking itself. Even the arrangement of the MRI is specific in order to assist the machines in reading the identification codes. The MRI will also be updated with any maintenance or repair performed, as well as information regarding warranties, repair facilities, dates of repair, and other data.

How to simplify things

With all of the various information that MIL STD 130 requires, it is generally best to leave the identification process to those with proven methods and standards. The experts at ID-Integration know MIL STD 130 by heart so you don't have to.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Simplifying the creation of UID labels

The purpose of UID labels
UID labels define the unique identification of an item. MIL STD 130 specifies the various items that must be included in UID labels as per the Department of Defense to assist in tracking military property. Many different standards and specifications are consolidated into MIL STD 130, and in any conflict in creating UID labels, MIL STD 130 takes full precedence over any other documentation. Items such as automobiles and cell phones, which come with their own identifications, may be considered non IUID items and therefore may not require a UID label.

How should the UID be marked?
UID labels should be either on stiff metal bands that are attached to the identified items or applied directly to said items. The label should be able to survive any cleaning or rebuilding that may be necessary during the item's life-cycle. The UID label should also be visible, if at all possible, any time the item is in use under normal circumstances. The label should also be a MRI (machine readable identification) if at all possible. If the entire UID label does not fit on the device, it should be distilled to its most important data. MIL STD 130 includes guidelines on text size and font to be used on UID labels.

What all should UID labels contain?
Though some information will vary depending on the construct of the UID labels, both require the EID of the activity that assigns the serial number as well as the serial number itself. Procedures involving the item's PIN number and its marking may vary as per MIL STD 130.

Simplifying the creation of UID labels
The creation of UID labels can be very time consuming, and errors are common due to the complexity of MIL STD 130. The experts at ID-Integration can generate approved UID labels in a fraction of the time it would take to even understand MIL STD 130.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

A Brief Analysis of Mil Spec 130

What is MIL-STD-130N?
The Department of Defense has hundreds of standards by which they operate. MIL-STD-130N, or Mil Spec 130, is one of these specifications that outlines the correct requirements and procedures for marking, identifying, and tracking all military property. Anything that is warehoused, supplied, made, or issued by the any branch of the Department of Defense is required to be marked in accordance with Mil Spec 130.

There are some items that don’t fall under Mil Spec 130 guidelines because they may be included in other standards, not required to be marked with a Item Unique Identification (IUID), or are marked in some other way. One example is vehicles, because they are already marked with a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN).

Specifications for Marking and Quality
Mil Spec 130 requires the following criteria be followed for proper marking.

· The marking must be on some type of stiff identification plate, band, tag, or label that is firmly affixed to the article. The identifying mark can be put directly onto the item’s surface as long as it is clearly visible while the item is in operation and it will last through the life expectancy of that item. The mark must also be able to hold up to conditions in its surrounding environment.

· If an item is not large enough for a full IUID, Mil Spec 130 requires that at least the most important information be included on the mark. The information that must be included is the Enterprise Identifier, the PIN number of the item, and the Lot or Batch number. If there is no room on the item for any type of mark, the packaging may be marked with all of the required information.

· In order for the information on the markings to be readable, the minimum font size recommended is .08 inches. Mil Spec 130 also has specific font recommendations.

· Machine Readable Information (MRI) is the preferred system of marking and Mil Spec 130 outlines the formats that it must follow. A specific MRI marking protocol is required unless the items call for certain industry specific marking protocols.

· The required information included in an MRI is: the Enterprise Identifier of the manufacturer; the serial number; the current PIN, lot, or batch number; the current PIN, lot, or batch number; and in the case of duplicate part numbers, Unique Item Identifiers (UII) must be assigned and included.

· Mil Spec 130 also contains strict guidelines concerning the quality of the IUID marking. This includes specific protocols for the linear bar code and print quality of the data matrix symbol.

Interpretation of all the requirements and specifications of Mil Spec 130 is complicated, at best. The experts at ID Integration, a company specializing in industrial marking systems, are experienced with every aspect of this particular military standard.

Monday, November 23, 2009

MIL-STD-130 and UID Compliance

MIL-STD-130 is the Department of Defense's standard that any tangible item must be provided with Unique Identification (UID). The UID symbol can be a number, a sequence of bits or a character string as is physically marked on the item. Technologies utilized for marking of the UID can include name plates and labels.

The UID system was developed by the DOD as a means of identifying tangible assets and distinguishing them from other similar and dissimilar assets. The UID consists of a encoded bar code that is assigned to one singular item. These unique codes are never reused, and once a tangible asset has been assigned a UID, it never changes, even if the asset is re-engineered or modified. In some instances, a UID may also be placed on a lot or batch of similar tangible assets contained together. In this instance, the entire container of items is treated as a single unit. Once the items are separated from the container, the UID is no longer of use and the individual items are not given their own UID.

To meet the MIL-STD-130 standard, the UID is physically marked on the asset by using a two-dimensional data matrix symbol, with IS0-5434 formatting. The data is formatted per the specified standards and is known as the item's Unique Item Identifier (UII). The bar code symbol is a representation of the UII, that can be machine-read. This encoding is then identified using text element, data, or application identifiers. Normal industry practices determine which identifier is used for each type of assets, as determined by the organization assigning the UID.

There are a variety of technologies that are used for the marking of the UID bar code. Durable polyester labels and identification plates are twp of the more common applications used for UID marking. In addition, direct printing onto the asset using ink jet, dot peen, chemical etch, or laser etch are also used. No matter how the UID is applied to the tangible asset, the MIL-STD-130 standard has strict marking and printing specifications that must be met, in order to be compliant.

The MIL-STD-130 standard, and the UID compliance requirement, is a complicated manner. In order to ensure compliance, turn to the experts at ID-Integration for more information.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The easiest way to decipher the MIL-STD-130N UID standards

Inventory and inventory tracking are a serious matter to any business, and the Department of Defense (DoD) is no different. The MIL-STD-130N is, essentially, a set of DoD standards that determine requirements and methods used for marking, identification and tracking of military property. Each item being tracked must carry a Unique Identification or UID. These standards apply to any property that is produced, issued or stored by or for the Department of Defense.

All items must carry some form of UID, whether it is an applied mark or an existing UID such as an electronic serial number or Vehicle Identification Number on a car. Whenever possible, Machine Readable Identification (MRI) or “barcodes” are the preferred form of UID. Regardless of the method used, numerous specifications cover the specifics of the type of UID, placement and information contained. Some of these standard specified criteria are:

• The type of material that the UID mark is applied to
• The method used to secure the UID marking to the item
• The location of the UID mark
• The visibility of the UID mark
• Permanency of the UID mark throughout the life expectancy of the item
• Ability of the UID mark to withstand environmental conditions
• The ability of the UID mark to withstand maintenance

The regulations regarding UID markings are also extremely specific. For instance the text size for a human readable marking must be 0.2 centimeters or 0.08 inches. All of the letters of the text must be in a sans-serif font and numbers should be in Arabic. The exception to this rule is the usage of Roman numerals, in which case you must turn to other documentation to determine what type of font to use. Text markings are also limited to 50 characters and should use the Data Matrix EEC 200 symbol using ISO/IEC 15418 semantics and ISO/IEC 15434 syntax, unless they are subject to DFARS mandated markings.

To cover all of the standards and regulations here would be an exhaustive process for both reader and writer. Suffice it to say that for the uninitiated, digging through the specifications of the MIL-STD-130N and its attached documentation to determine the correct marking for a product is a nightmare.

This is where ID-Integration steps in to save the day. Fortunately for us, the experts there live and breathe the MIL-STD-130N each day. Let them handle the tedious task of digging through the MIL-STD-130N to determine the nomenclature used, how tall it should be, whether it should be on metal or plastic and whether or not it should be a tag, label, band or plate. They’ll do what they do well and give you the opportunity to get on with doing what you do well.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

How IUID Simplifies Inventory Management

How would you keep track of your possessions if they were spread across the Earth? The US Department of Defense (DoD) deals with this problem every day, and thus developed a set of standards for tracking their massive inventory. MIL-STD-130N, released on December 17, 2007, takes advantage of recent advances in barcode technology to ensure that their entire inventory uses Item Unique Identification (IUID).

IUID allows for better inventory control because each individual product is accounted for. Even individual parts used to assemble a finished product are accounted for during manufacturing, greatly minimizing the risk of loss. Though many products need tagging to fulfill IUID requirements, several industries already utilize IUID concepts. For example, every automobile has a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), and thus a unique identifier, already. Products ranging from cellphones to firearms come with the idea of IUID built right into their serial numbers.

However, several products lack such careful cataloging. These require tagging with a method that will remain durable throughout the life-cycle of the item. Metal or stiff plastic plates take precedence over flimsier label materials. Stamping or etching the tag directly onto the item offers an even more durable solution. Some items, such as ball bearings, elude any of these methods. In these cases, it's acceptable to tag the item's packaging with the IUID instead. In the past, humans would need to read this tag, but these days computers have taken over much of the information processing responsibility.

Machine Readable Information (MRI) used to be encoded in linear barcodes, like the kind found on everyday consumer goods. Though still acceptable under MIL-STD-130N, linear barcodes have fallen into disuse in favor of two-dimensional barcodes. 1s and 0s are represented by black and white squares, which are then arranged into a larger square. This method offers numerous advantages, chiefly that large amounts of data can be packed into an incredibly small space. Currently, up to 50 characters will fit in the space of 3 square millimeters. This comes in handy since an item's tag grows with its history.

In addition to its IUID, each item's tag tells its story, identifying who has designed, manufactured, and repaired the item throughout its lifetime. Even items not requiring an IUID require this tracking information. In a way, these life stories become an IUID in and of themselves as items journey down their own unique paths. Still, giving each item an IUID right as it rolls off the line, like giving each baby born in the US a social security number, allows for easy cataloging before such life stories develop.

IUID concerns are far more complicated than the brief summary given here. For more information visit ID-Integration at http://www.id-integration.com

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The facts about MIL-STD-130: Understanding UID Labels

The December update of MIL-STD-130 outlines the essentials of marking military property. While there are many technical aspects of this standard, it is important to first understand the basics of this important mandate. There are a few key aspects of the standard, and understanding the basics is essential to complying with the standard. These simple questions and answers below will give you a comprehensive introduction to using unique identification, or UID labels, for military use.

Who needs to be able to read these UID labels?
Either machines or humans need to be able to read the UID label. The easiest way to determine which should be used is the lifespan of the item. If a machine readable information, or MRI, label can be used that will last as long as the item it labels, then an MRI should be used. If not, a durable marking of lasting material should be used.

What should be on these UID labels, and where should they be located?
Ideally, all of the required information should be listed on a UID label, but there are a few essential pieces of information that must be on each label. First, the label requires an Enterprise Identifier, or a code that identifies the organization of the manufacturer or supplier. Second, the part must be identifiable through a Part or Identification code, or PIN.

For MRI, more information can be encoded in smaller space, so more information is required for these kinds of labels. In addition to the above requirements, an MRI should contain information about an item's history like UID label changes. Consult the standard to be sure the MRI is complete.

The label should be easy to read in normal operation, but should also be in a location that is not subject to wear during the life of the item. If absolutely necessary, a UID label can be put on the packaging of an item.

What should these UID labels look like?
For labels readable by humans, there are specific guidelines to maintain a standard of readability. First, the text of the UID labels must be at least 0.2 cm/ 0.08 in/ 5.76 points. This text should be in a simple sans-serif font, or font with no terminators (for example, there should be no lines at the base of a capital letter A), and numbers should be Arabic.

For MRI labels, MIL-STD-130 references specific standards for linear bar codes and data matrix labels. The International Organization for Standardization and International Electrotechnical Commission reference these two formats in ISO/IEC 15416 and 15415, respectively. Consult these two standards to be sure the MRI meets the appropriate description.

As you can see, MIL-STD-130 is both simple and complicated. There are basics that are essential for any UID label, but there are also important details to ensure compliance with this standard. The experts at ID-Integration have proven experience in UID labels and can answer any questions you have about MIL-STD-130. Be sure to understand these basics and consult the experts at ID-Integration.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

UID Registry: Uncover The Significance of UID Registry to DOD

The US Department of Defense (DoD) has attempted to increase its data quality, accuracy and visibility with the Unique Identifier (UID) registry. On July 29, 2003, Acting Under Secretary of Defense Michael Wynne stated that the goal of the UID system was to assist in DoD item tracking and asset management. The UID registry is the database storage area for all tangible items that make up the barcode identification system for military property.

The UID registry is the storage repository for military property with barcode markings. This system enables the DoD to track, update and record important information related to the these items. If a product recall were to occur, the UID registry could be used for replacement of defective equipment.

Just like many large organizations, the DoD runs numerous software and hardware platforms. The UID registry is a central clearing house to ensure standardization of data across all computing systems. The Defense Logistics Information Service (DLIS) maintains the UID registry.

Barcode markings permit the DoD to track equipment, so they will always know its whereabouts. Updates can be made to database records; administrators can perform useful queries and searches based on the data components of the UID: type, contract and Issuing Agency Code (IAC). Other data components, like the unit acquisition cost, can be used in accounting documents for DoD financial management.

UID Registry Purpose

The UID registry permits consolidation of equipment data for DoD purposes. This government classification system has been gradually built up over time by requiring different vendor numbers for government contractors involved in military procurement. The UID registry attempts to create one key database for storage of item information in order to streamline the government contractor registration system.

Standardization across the entire DoD government procurement system is established by the UID registry, which will lead to improved item, finance and asset management. Auditing checks can be performed more easily with this uniform system. Military property, spread across the entire world, can be made more tangible with the UID registry.

UID Registry Importance

Accountants can update financial depreciation records with the lifecycle management tool - the UID registry. In the end, the UID registry should lead to reduced costs (improved financial management), due to a better understanding and more efficient approach to long-term inventory management.

The UID registry is vital to keeping track of DoD property, allowing for modification of data to achieve information management goals. It makes equipment location more tangible for DoD personnel who can ensure better data integrity, accuracy and quality.

The UID registry is a final storage area for the DoD barcode identification system, which allows for better data verification. It increases the reliability of data on military property that is used throughout the world.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Understanding MIL-STD-130

In December of 2007, the Department of Defense released an update to MIL-STD-130, the regulation governing the proper labeling of items in the military's inventory. This important set of standards ensures the efficient tracking and cataloging of every product and piece of equipment belonging to the United States government. By understanding a little background of this standard, you can ensure compliance with this important governing regulation.

First, it is important to understand that this regulation is constantly updated. Though the latest version of MIL-STD-130 was released on 17 December 2007, the previous version was released only two years earlier. This reflects the response of the Department of Defense to new technology, so understanding the emphasis and reasoning behind MIL-STD-130 is important to be prepared for its next iteration.

MIL-STD-130 is a specification of standardization already happening in the global marketplace. The regulation builds upon, and at times uses, standards and requirements from the International Organization for Standardization, or ISO, and the International Electro technical Commission, or IEC. The ISO/IEC guidelines help streamline and codify the unique labeling of all products, and MIL-STD-130 goes further to customize these standards for its own use. This reflects a realization by the DoD that rigorous standards are necessary now to ensure organization of millions of items in the future. MIL-STD-130 represents the continuing effort to incorporate this thinking into its procurement process.

Though MIL-STD-130 is demanding, it is also accommodating. The most recent update, called MIL-STD-130N, allows for several technologies to be employed in the process of marking items with a Unique Identification code, or UID. The first is a more traditional UID nameplate that meets specific criteria in text and location in order to organize items in the inventory. The second kind of UID marking is Machine Readable Identification, or MRI. There are two major kinds of MRI: barcode and data matrix. Barcodes are familiar to most consumers today, as they are present on just about all kinds of goods. Data matrix labels are used most recognizably by shipping companies, and these matrices hold a multitude of information as well. They use a square field of smaller black and white squares to code information.

For suppliers, understanding the technology and the code of the UID labels is essential to compliance. First, suppliers must allow for space for the various kinds of UID markings, since readability is a requirement of MIL-STD-130. Additionally, the Part Identification Number, or PIN, of a product must be considered to allow easy integration into the standards of MIL-STD-130.

Understanding MIL-STD-130 requires familiarity and experience with its implementation. ID-Integration is a leader in this field, having created various kinds of UID labels for use in DoD applications. The basics are important to understand, but the specifics of MIL-STD-130 are essential, and no one knows them better than ID-Integration.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Understanding UID Marking With Special Reference to MIL-STD-130

In today's global market, efficiency is a focus for saving time, effort, and resources, no matter the industry. The Department of Defense is no different, and has implemented its own guidelines to maximize efficiency with the immense amount of goods in its inventory across all of its branches and organizations. MIL-STD-130 is the regulation that establishes the standards for Unique Identification, or UID marking. These guidelines ensure a uniform approach to UID marking, making it easy for the government to track its inventory, and making it essential for suppliers to understand.

UID marking is the process of labeling items with codes that are unique to each item. According to MIL-STD-130, there are a few acceptable forms of UID marking, and understanding the basics means understanding their importance to your organization. First, a UID marking must be, of course, unique. This is possible by the specificity of the coded information contained in such a label. Each label must include three pieces of important and identifiable information: the Enterprise Identifier, or EID; a serial number; and a Part Identification Number, or PIN. The EID labels the organization of the manufacturer or supplier. The serial number is a traceable number dedicated to the item, and the PIN identifies its relationship to the whole item to which it belongs. These three pieces of information are essential for a compliant UID marking.

There are two kinds of UID marking. First and most preferable is the Machine Readable Information marking, or MRI. This is the preferred method because it is easily standardized and can contain more information encoded in the marking than is readable with the human eye. The second is a human readable marking. Both must contain the three aforementioned pieces of information, but the MRI can and must contain more information, specifically about the item's history and prior labeling. An important quality of both kinds of UID marking is durability. The UID must be able to be read for the entire lifespan of the item. For different materials, different kinds of UID are best suited, including engraving directly on the item. Another important aspect of the UID marking is accessibility, since it must be able to be viewed by machine or by the eye.

Since the specifics of the UID label may change according to the type of item labeled, it is important to fully understand the requirements of MIL-STD-130. No one knows these requirements better than ID-Integration. With a proven history of creating UID solutions, ID-Integration can customize a label for any kind of product to meet the needs of both military standard and your organization. While the basics of MIL-STD-130 are important, it is imperative that you consult an expert, and in the field of UID marking, there is no better expert than ID-Integration.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

UID Nameplates: Guaranteed Compliance with MIL-STD-130

MIL-STD-130 is a military standard that governs the markings of military property. This standard ensures uniform labeling of all items in use by the military. A guaranteed way to comply with this standard is the addition of Unique Identification codes, or UID in the form of UID nameplates.

UID nameplates offer durability and security, two hallmarks of MIL-STD-130. First, their durability is possible through the use of steel; brass, copper, or alloy plates that will not rust or wear down, guaranteeing the life of the UID for the life of the item that is labeled with a UID nameplate. This is important because the standard has very specific requirements for a UID on an item. To comply with the standard, the UID must outlive the item it identifies. Any item that is labeled with a metal or alloy UID nameplate is sure to be outlived by this durable tag, and this longevity guarantees both meeting the requirements of MIL-STD-130 and ensuring a long term solution for labeling any piece of equipment, machinery, or product. Additionally, the standard requires that the UID must be visible during the course of normal operation. A UID nameplate meets this demand for two important reasons. First, UID nameplates can be customized to any size necessary, ranging from plates able to fit small parts and products, to placards that identify machinery and heavy duty equipment. Second, the durable plates can withstand more than other means of labeling that might be subject to weather and wear. UID nameplates can withstand both, and ensure visibility by being able to be affixed to a wide range of surfaces.

UID nameplates are also extremely secure. They are a single piece of machined metal or alloy, and do not allow for alteration or tampering. This is also important for MIL-STD-130, because the standard places strict requirements on the appearance of UID nameplates. First, a nameplate must be in a standard, non-serif font. This means the font should have no terminators or lines on the ends of letters (for example, there should be no perpendicular line on the bottom of the letter P). This is an easy requirement to meet for UID nameplates, which are extremely customizable. Second, the text must be at least 0.2 centimeters large, or 0.08 inches. The aforementioned flexibility in size and shape of UID nameplates means this is easily achieved for any item.

The durability and security of UID nameplates make them an ideal solution to comply with MIL-STD-130. No one knows this solution better than the experts at ID-Integration. Their experience with both MIL-STD-130 and UID nameplates means guaranteed compliance with this sometimes-complex regulation. Consult ID-Integration for your UID nameplate solutions to make sure you meet all the requirements of this military standard.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

MIL-STD-130N Standardization – A Process To Follow

The Department of Defense releases many standards of operation to streamline and make uniform its operations. While many of these are pertinent to very specific organizations and operations within the DoD, one of the most wide-reaching and generally applicable standards is MIL-STD-130N. This updated standard is the regulation by which manufacturers and suppliers of and to the United States military must regulate their identification markings on products. Since MIL-STD-130N has such far-reaching implications, it is important to understand this crucial regulation.

MIL-STD-130N is the latest update to a regulation for identification of products. In 2007, MIL-STD-130N was released as an update to the previous standards. The previous iterations of these regulations were not nearly as exhaustive, and with the release of MIL-STD-130M the DoD sought to comprehensively address labeling procedure for the products in its inventory. MIL-STD-130N builds on and expands the standards and is now in a form that addresses several kinds of identification technology. It also references international standards set forth by the International Organization for Standardization and the International Electro technical Commission, or ISO/IEC. The updated standards are a response to both the changing technologies and products involved in identification and the growing task of uniformly identifying and tracking widely diverse products in the massive inventory of the US Military. MIL-STD-130N was issued only two years after its previous iteration, so staying informed of the intricacies of this important standard are crucial to suppliers and manufacturers.

MIL-STD-130N demands that Unique Identification, or UID, marks fit into two categories. The first is MRI, or Machine Readable Information. MRI are forms that are familiar to the average civilian and military employee alike. The first kind of MRI is bar code, which have been in use for decades to consumers on all kinds of goods. The second kind of MRI is a matrix code, which are also common to the civilian market, but may not be as recognizable. The matrix code involves a small square of black and white pixels. These codes are actually quite common on shipping labels of major carriers. These codes are a uniform response to technology of tracking inventory, and make it easy to uniquely identify millions of parts and products.

MIL-STD-130N also allows for HRI, or Human Readable Identification. The HRI addressed in MIL-STD-130N are simply uniformly formatted codes of letters and numbers. They are addressed in the standard as an option because HRI are still effective as long as they are codified.

MIL-STD-130N further regulates the kinds of information that must be contained in MRI or HRI. This includes very specific kinds of information about product description and history. Therefore, it is essential to understand the intricacies of MIL-STD-130N, and no one understands them better than the experts at ID-Integration. With a proven history in UID labeling, let ID-Integration help you fully understand MIL-STD-130N.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

IUID Marking Within the Department of Defense

In order to keep track of the wide variety of equipment produced, issued, and possessed by the military, the Department of Defense adheres to an identification standard known as MIL-STD-130N. One of the most important functions of this standard is the notation of requirements for proper IUID marking (Item Unique Identification), which grants every single item its own identity and history. Even items that are identical in production will have a unique number, setting them apart as specific and separate entities. This assigned identification will never be changed, and a suitable IUID marking ensures that this identity remains with the item.

One important set of requirements within the MIL-STD-130N details the appropriate location for applying an IUID marking to a piece of military equipment. First of all, the label must be easily visible and accessible during the item’s normal usage, and should remain so for the entire lifespan of the item. The IUID marking should be placed on a sturdy metal or plastic piece which can be attached to the item or even directly on the item itself when appropriate. This mark must also be sustainable throughout any repairs or cleaning the item might regularly go through. If there is no available space for such an IUID marking to be positioned, one may be placed on the actual packaging of the item.

While some instances allow for a text-based marking which would be readable by a human, the preferred form of IUID marking is the MRI (Machine Readable Information). A standard known as MH10.8.7 is followed when making MRI marks unless a partner association (such as NASA) follows its own marking protocol which is supported by the Department of Defense.

MIL-STD-130N also specifies the particular information which an MRI provides. An IUID marking must contain an EID (Enterprise Identifier) of the issuing organization or activity, a unique serial number, and the PIN (Part or Identifying Number) or batch number of the item.

In order to ensure the proficiency of the MRI system, the Department of Defense additionally denotes certain requirements towards the quality of an IUID marking. The MIL-STD-130N references specific protocols for inspecting the quality of an MRI mark both as a linear bar code and as a data matrix symbol.

Considering both the quantity and nature of the equipment used by the Department of Defense, the necessity of proper identification and tracking of these items is paramount. For this reason, such explicit standards as the MIL-STD-130N are required for the placement, information, and quality of any IUID markings within this system. However, this explanation has only touched the surface of what is clearly a complicated subject, and those seeking further information should turn to the experts at ID-Integration.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Functional Benefits of Direct Part Marking

Direct part marking is growing popular in many industries for its remarkable benefits.

Direct part marking involves marking the item or the part directly on its surface. Unlike the use of UID labels where the nameplates, tags or the labels with the UID codes are affixed or attached to the items, the direct part marking is a method of UID marking that uses different techniques to mark the item or the parts. Mostly preferred by NASA to mark parts of spacecraft, the direct part marking methods are often used in civil industry. Of late, this method is being used in a wide variety of logistics and processing companies to mark the parts and the items. The growing popularity of DPM is due to its numerous advantages and lower implementation cost.

Use and Implementation Results of Direct Part Marking

Generally, the direct part marking is used to mark the subassemblies and components within the automotive, aircraft, armament, electronic, pharmaceutical, petrochemical and medical industry and many other fields. The DPM marking method enhances efficient production management and goods traffic in conjunction with enhanced documentation of these processes. Along with goods traffic the marking method ensures reliable quality and efficiency of marking, better production and dispatch of goods. Apart from simplifying closed monitoring of the marked object starting from their production to withdrawal, direct part marking allows data integration and exchange between seller, manufacturer and career.

Benefits of Direct Part Marking

Direct part marking is popular due to the benefits that it offers. In fact, it provides all benefits of automatic identification technology starting from supporting efficient resource management to eliminating human error and accessing current information on assets. The new techniques of direct part marking is more durable in comparison to traditional labels for the technique allows to encode more information in a small area and the markings can withstand harsh external conditions. There are several other benefits of DPM

Durability of the UID marking is the most prominent benefit of DPM. The new

technologies of DPM help to produce durable codes that can’t be removed, erased and faked.

It allows a large quantity of data to get encoded on a smaller area- upto 3600 characters can be encoded.

The two dimensional barcode marked on the items through direct part marking can be read at any angle.

It is possible to use the DPM marking technology on various materials such as metals, plastic and glass.

It has the ability to eliminate human and machine errors. The 2D data matrix barcode is 20% read correctly even if it is broken.

The durable marking of the items ensures that the all information about the objects can be accessed easily by cracking the codes of the marking. It also helps tracking the items starting from its manufacture and acquisition to maintenance and repairing.

The methods generally have low operation cost; at least the operation is cheaper than traditional methods of using labels.

DPM can be used for marking even item of small size such as electronic subassembly. The data matrix barcode marking doesn’t affects it’s functionally.

DPM improves work efficiency as the object identification and marking is completely automated.

It is a faster implementation marking technology.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

UID Registry Submission Process For the Vendors

Submission to the UID Registry is an important process for the vendors while shipping or delivering the items and the shipment to the DoD.

The contractors or vendors, who ship items to the DoD, are required to include the UID data of the shipment along with the items. The UID data of the items are submitted to the UID Registry by the suppliers or the vendors. According to the UID guidelines and standards, certain data elements about the shipment are mandatory to get uploaded to the data base of the UID Registry. Actually, the UID Registry is a depository of information about the UID data of the DoD items. As the UID programs for the DoD items have been introduced to keep track of the items and enhance the item management program of the DoD, the UID data stored in UID Registry becomes the source of accessing information. Hence, it is essential for the contractors to be careful about the data that they submit for verification.

The Vendor Information Required for Submission to UID Registry

UID Registry contain all required info about the DoD items that are useful to keep record of the item beginning from the production or procurement of the items to their withdrawal. Hence, the vendors need to submit correct data of each shipment that contains items with UII. The required data are Vendor Name, Gov’t. Contract Number, Gov’t. Delivery Order (D.O.) Number, GDLS Purchase Order (P.O.) Number, Shipment Number, Ship Date, Carrier and Tracking Number, Ship-to Address, Ship-to Address DoDAAC. The data required for each UII qualified item in the shipment are GDLS Purchase Order Line Item Number, EIN Issuing Agency Code, Enterprise Identification Number, Original Part Number, Current Part Number, Serial Number, UII Number, UII Type, Parent UII Number, P.O. Unit Price, and attached validation report.

In case the part number of a UID Registered item changes, the data elements that are included along with the UID information are original part number, current part number and effective date of the current part number. The information should be submitted by the vendors to the UID Registry.

The Required Format for Submission to UID Registry

There is a UID Registry maintenance team that receives the UID data from the vendors and requires that data should be entered in a particular format. This format is meant to maintain equilibrium between the documents submitted by various contractors. The vendors are required to follow the particular data while submitting the details. The formats of the data are modified according to the products and the details that are going to be submitted by the vendor. The general format for the document is XML format.

In case the contractors don’t have their document in the required format, they need to change their documents to XML format before being submitted to UID Registry. The external files of the property management database are adjusted and rewritten according to the UID requirements and the UID Registry schema.

The Government has right to inspect the UID data for the quality verification. The vendors are required to produce IUID quality verification reports at the time of material shipment. However, before submitting the UID data to the UID Registry the vendor must register themselves with the UID Registry to obtain access right and login credentials to the UID Registry.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The UID Encoding and Decoding Technologies

UID marking of the items requires specific encoding and decoding technology for its enhanced application and improved UID efficiency.

The unique identifications or UIDs of the items are the globally unique recognitions for the item that distinguishes them from the other items and help the possessor keep track of them. In fact, the unique identification marking is a vital part of any business organization as well as the US Department of Defense. The UID is marked on the item in the form of 2D data matrix barcode symbol which is etched on part on a square grid. The marking is either directly engraved on the item or affixed to the part as UID labels or nameplates. However, it is essential that the marking should be permanent for the lifetime of the item.

For the UID to be considered as DoD equivalent, there are certain important criteria for the commercial identifiers

The UID must contain an enterprise identifier

It must uniquely identify an individual item along with product and part number and enterprise identifier.

It should have AI and DI listed in data identifier and application identifier standard and American National Standard.

The Methods of UID Construction

The MIL-STD-130 has stated two recognized methods of UID construction for the items. The contractors or suppliers will have to select the most appropriate method considering the application.

Construct # 1, with serialization within the enterprise identifier,

Construct # 2, with serialization within the lot number or batch number and original part number, lot number or batch number

The application of construction method is decided depending on the manufacturing process.

With construction #1 the UID is created with the help of unique serial number which is added to the item following the enterprise identification which may be a DUNS, CAGE/NCAGE, or EAN.UCC number. The concatenated UID of the items will get a proper Issuing Identity Code if the appropriate data qualifier is applied before the enterprise identification. However, it doesn’t need the data matrix marking with IAC.

The construction #2 of the UID is also developed with enterprise identification. However, for a complete UID, it requires some of the other data such as original part number, lot number, or batch number, and the serial number along with it.

The existing part number is an additional data element of the item, but not a part of the UID.

The Methods of Identifying the UID Marking

The data elements of the UID are engraved on the part or the UID label in the form of 2D data matrix barcode and they decoded with the help of barcode scanner or automated reader. As the UID is derived from its data elements, the barcode scanners identify each data element while decoding the UID. The data elements are introduced to the scanner along with their prefixes at the time of reading the data matrix code. In the commercial use the data qualifiers prefixes are used in the form of alphanumeric Data Identifiers; (DI), numeric Application Identifiers (AI), or alpha; or Text Element Identifiers (TEI).

The human readable 2D data matrix code is encoded and decoded using Automated Identification Technology (AIT). The technology has significantly enhanced the barcode efficiency.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

An Insight into Direct Part Marking Technology

Direct part marking is growing popular in various business sectors for its various uses in marking the items. With this method, the barcode is directly imprinted on the products, subassemblies and materials. Although, DPM is primarily used by the civil industries, of late, the process is being used by varieties of companies. The increasing popularity of direct part marking is due to its numerous advantages, reduced implementation cost as compared to its previous generation, and availability on universal scanning.

Use of Direct Part Marking

Direct part marking is used in many fields such as aircraft, automotive, electronic, armament, pharmaceutical and medical industry, petrochemical, train transport, etc. The logistics and manufacturing enterprises also prefer the item marking technology to support item management and shipment traffic control. The outcome of implementing direct part marking includes more efficient product management and documentation along with goods traffic. The technology also allows enhanced manufacture and dispatch of the items. It is an efficient method of the objects starting from their production or acquisition to maintenance and withdrawal.

IDI Systems

Benefits of Direct Part Marking


Convenience of reading 2D barcode

Convenience of keeping large quantity of data in small area

Suitable for using on different material such as glass, metals and plastics

Eliminating machine and human errors

Easy object identification

With fully automated marking it improves work efficiency

Reduced operating cost

Available option for product serialization

Quick implementation of technology

Method of Direct Part Marking

The direct part marking methods include grooving, engraving, burning, etching and painting. The method is selected according to the implementation cost, material for marking and reading technology.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

UID Registry Data Submission Information

Submission of UID data to the UID Registry is crucial for the DoD contractors and hence, it is vital for them to learn various aspects of submission process.

The DoD requires that the contractors must submit the UII details of the items to UID Registry, the storehouse of UID data of the items. Any item that are eligible for UID marking – legacy item currently owned by the DoD, newly procured items and Government furnished property – must be submitted to the UID Registry. The DoD requires that the marking format, required data element and the marking methodology should be according to the MIL-STD-130 standard. Any deviation from the mentioned criteria may lead to rejection of the document. Hence, the suppliers must give proper attention to the accuracy of the data and other marking details of the items.

Who Should Submit the UID Data to the UID Registry

According to DFARS 252.211-7003 and DFARS 252.211-7007, it is the responsibility of the prime contractors to submit the UII and other DoD recognized data for unique identification to the UID Registry. For the new procurements the UII data for the items are submitted to the UID Registry under a DoD Contract. The DoD also allows voluntary submission of UID data for the Government furnished equipments. The item managers are responsible for the operational use and application of UID to the legacy items and hence, they are also required to submit the UID data of the items to the UID Registry.

When Should the UID Data be Submitted to UID Registry

For the new procurements the IUID data for the items must be submitted while creating the receiving report and electronic material inspection. Generally, it is created through Wide Area Work Flow. WAWF stores the UID data of the items and forwards the data to the UID Registry. The UID data of the Government furnished equipments must be submitted to the UID Registry before 30 September of the applicable contract year. The DoD aims at submitting the data about UID registration and marking of the legacy items before December 31, 2010.

Submission to UID Registry via WAWF

WAWF allows electronic submission of the invoices, material inspection and receiving reports. It provides a platform for the authorized DoD personnel and Government contractors to capture generate and process receipt and other payment related documents with the help of web-based interactive application.

The Required Data for Submission to UID Registry

The UID Registry is the repository of UID data where all the information is captured and accessed when necessary. The submission of UID data of the items or parts to the UID Registry requires several essential data such as UID Type (Construct 1 or 2), Entity Identifier (such as CAGE) of company assigning the UID, IAC (Issuing Agency Code) which controls the Entity ID, Part Number (Construct 2 only), Serial Number, Fully constructed UID, the item number (CLIN), shipment numbers, product identifier (NSN/PN) and unit cost. These data elements are crucial part of the UID marking and play key role in item tracking process of the DoD. The UID Registry also requires accuracy of the data elements and the contractors must pay attention to enter accurate data.

Of late, the UID Registry has started providing information through its website for the convenience of the contractors and Government personnel.