Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Building and Decoding Techniques of DoD UID

There are two basic constructs to build DoD UID. The barcodes also need special technology for their identification.

The DoD UID unique identification system that distinguishes the items possessed by the Department of Defense allowing the department to keep track of the items in an easier way. The DoD UID of an item is marked as a High Density 2D data matrix barcode. The symbol is etched on a square grid. It is a globally unique item identifier that is affixed to the item of etched on the parts so as to make it permanent for the functional lifetime of the item.

For a commercial identifier, there are certain criteria required to consider it as a DoD UID equivalent.

  • It should contain an enterprise identifier
  • It should uniquely identify an individual item within an enterprise identifier, product, or part number
  • It should have an existing DI or AI listed in American National Standard, Data Identifier and Application Identifier Standard

The DoD UID Building Technology

There are two basic methods to construct DoD UID for an item-

Construct #1, with serialization within the enterprise identifier,

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

It is the manufacturing process that decides the construction method to be used. In Construct #1 the DoD UID is developed by adding a unique serial number to the item after the enterprise identification. It can be a CAGE/NCAGE, DUNS, or EAN.UCC number. As long as a suitable data qualifier is used before the enterprise identification, the concatenated UID will have a correct Issuing Identity Code (IAC). It doesn’t require marking the data matrix with the IAC.

Although the Construct #2 also developed with the enterprise identification, it requires other data along with it for a complete DoD UID. The data elements are original part number, batch number or, lot number, and the serial number.The existing part no is not a part of any of the DoD UID construct; it is the additional data element for the item.

The Technique of Decoding the DoD UID marks

The DoD UID is not formally imprinted as data matrix as it is derived from its component data elements each time the data matrix is accessed. The data elements that form the DoD UID are included within the data matrix and are identified with the help of a barcode reader or an automated reader. While scanning the marks, the data elements must be introduced to the automated reader with the prefixes that have been used to represent instructions. The ‘prefixes’ are data qualifiers that can be used in any of the following threes forms in commercial use.

  • Alphanumeric Data Identifiers
  • (DI), numeric Application Identifiers (AI), oralpha
  • Text Element Identifiers (TEI)
The 2D data matrix codes are the human unreadable codes and hence, the symbols must be written and read using Automated Identification Technology (AIT).The latest technology of 2D data matrix code for DoD UID marking has created a new revolution in the DoD management system. It has also enhanced the efficiency of barcode.

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