Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The IUID Marking System In Accordance to the MIL-STD-130

The MIL-STD-130 has set a standard for the IUID marking system along with the requirements, marking procedure and minimum print quality of IUID.

As per the Department of Defense mandate, the IUID of the items acquired by the department should comply with the MIL-STD-130. MIL-STD-130N requires that all IUID qualifying items should be marked with machine readable 2D Data Matrix code and the codes are identified with the help of sophisticated barcode readers.

The Requirements for the IUID Markings

The MIL-STD-130 standard requires that the IUID marks of an item can be marked with the help of identification plate, band, tag, or label. However, it is essential for the contractors to ensure that the materials of the marking should not affect the performance of the items. Again, care should be taken to place the IUID marking in such a way that it doesn’t interfere the normal use of the items.

The DoD requires that all marking should be permanent for the functional life time of the items. The IUID marking should withstand adverse environmental conditions and chemicals, and resist the cleaning procedures of the items.

The Marking Procedure of the IUID

According to the MIL-STD-130N, the DoD items that qualify the IUID criteria should be marked with machine readable codes. The length of the IUID code should be limited to 50 characters to comply with ISO/IEC 15459-4. All letters must be capitals, where as the fonts can be any one from Futura, Arial, Trebuchet MS, Gothic, or any other sans-serif fonts. However, it should be noted that the numerals should be in Arabics. Otherwise, if designated by Government standard or applicable industry Roman numerals can be used.

According to ISO/IEC 16022 the IUID should be marked with Data Matrix ECC200 symbol. The data elements required for the IUID marking are encoded into the Data Matrix Symbol with the syntax of ISO/IEC 15434. The formats for the marking are-

  • Format 05 for Application Identifiers (AI)
  • Format 06 for Data Identifiers (DI)
  • Format 12 for Text Element Identifiers (TEI)

The size of the modules should be minimum 0.0075 inch and maximum 0.025 inch. In case it is a square symbol, the size should not exceed one inch.

Linear bar codes can be of Code 39 Symbols, Code 128 Symbols, GS1-128. The range of the ratio of wide elements to narrow elements can be anything from 2.1:1 to 3.1:1.

Minimum Print Quality of IUID Symbols

The MIL-STD-130N has determined a minimum print quality for linear bar code and Data Matrix Symbols.

For the Linear Bar Code IUID, the minimum grade is 3.0 and it is measured with an aperture of 0.005 inch size with a 660nm light source wavelength.

The minimum quality of Data Matrix Symbol is measured with 0.005 inch aperture and 650 nm ± 20 nm light source wavelength.

It is essential for the DoD contractors to understand the IUID and MIL-STD-130N to build perfect IUID for the items. It also requires quality equipments and advanced manufacturing technology for manufacture of the IUID labels. As the IUIDs are designed to reduce the complexities of DoD management, care should be taken that they should be developed in accordance with the MIL-STD-130N standards.

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