Wednesday, April 8, 2009

DoD UID Labels and Their Different Aspects

DoD UID labels are a system developed by the Department of Defense to keep track of the assets. However, there are various aspects of the marking procedure.
What Are DoD UID Labels?

Unique Identification or UID is an asset management system initiated by the Department of Defense (DoD) that requires the assets have globally unique identification mark. The system allows the DoD to distinguish the objects from each other and keep track of them. Basically, the DoD UID labels are machine readable, high density 2D matrix style barcodes that are either directly marked on the parts or affixed permanently as labels.

The Background of DoD UID Labels

The Department of Defense introduced the Item Unique Identification (IUID) program in an attempt to manage plants, property, equipments, supplies and operating materials and improve their tracking system throughout the organization. The structure is designed to be implemented across the multi-national organizational boundaries and it is also inter-operable. Besides, the framework of UID labels is comparable across the business systems of DoD. Principally intended to uniquely and globally identify the items across the department of Defense, the marking and labeling program has enhanced the asset accountability and valuation.

After January 1 2004, the DoD UID labels have been mandatory for the organization. According to this recently established policy, UID markings and registration of the UII is essential for government furnished property in the possession of contractors and tangible personal property. The DoD also aims at completing UID marking of embedded assets and items within the DoD system by December 31, 2010. however, there are certain criteria for the items delivered to DoD to have UID labels

  • The acquisition cost the items should exceed $5000.
  • It should be a consumable item, controlled inventory, serially managed or material that requires a permanent identification mark.
  • The item should be a component required by the program manager to have unique identification.

As the DoD UID labels are data matrix barcode symbols, the data of the symbols are combination of certain codes- a inique part number and/or serial number that is assigned to that item and the identification of the manufacturer or the enterprise. The data is processed to be encoded with a specific language and format and decoded with Automatic Identification Technology. Basically there are two methods of UID label construction for an item-

Construction #1- serialization within enterprise identifier

Construction #2- serialization within the original part number, batch number or the lot number

Marking Procedure of DoD UID Labels

The identification plate with UID labels is affixed to the item securely or the UID label is directly applied to the surface of the item. The marks should be permanent according to the normal life expectancy of the item. The nameplate and the marks are designed to resist difficult environmental tests as well as the specified cleaning procedure for the item to which the plate or label is attached.

Quality Checking for DoD UID Labels

Quality checking for the validity of the data content and verification of print quality is important for the UID labels. The data validation is checked by scanning the marks with an automated barcode scanner.

DoD UID labels are crucial for the submission of data to UID registry. However, the contractors require keeping in mind the marking procedure and quality checking for submission of data.

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