Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Compliance of DoD UID Labels According to the MIL-STD-130 N Requirements

The DoD UID labels are required to be according to the standards of MIL-STD-130 N. The mentioned criteria must be followed by the contractors to avoid rejection.

The DoD UID labels are one of the ways of marking the DoD items with unique identification so as to enhance their traceability. The Department of Defense has mandated that the labels should be MIL-STD-130 N compliant so that all markings of the items should maintain a standard. As the marking and serialization process of the items are the essential aspect of item management and tracking, the UID marking that doesn’t comply with the standards are rejected by the department. The DoD UID labels are marked with 2D Data matrix codes that are machine readable either by direct part marking or by applying permanent UID labels.

Apart from the feature that the unit acquisition cost of the items should be more than $5000, the other criteria that enables the items to have unique identification are

  • The items are controlled inventory
  • Serially managed
  • Mission essential
  • The item is customable where permanent identification is necessary.

As the basic identification marking standard of the DoD UID labels are regulated by the MIL-STD-130 N, it is mandatory for the contractors to obey the instructions provided in the standard. The standard has issued some specifications for the marking requirements and the marking methods of the UID.

Depending on the requirement of the UID marking of the item, the labels (nameplates, ID plates or Data plates) can be constructed with either metallic or non-metallic materials.

The DoD UID labels of the items are made of material either same or different that that of the material of the item. It is essential that the material of the labels shouldn’t cause any damage to the items and should get affixed to the material of the items or parts.

The standard has limited the number of characters of the UID marking of the labels to 50.

The criteria for machine-readable and human readable information of the UID data on the DoD UID label are declared by the MIL-STD-130 N.

The validation and verification of data are mandatory for each submitted data.

The warranty of contract between the government and the contractors states about the nature, utility and condition of the objects.

The drawbacks of the MIL-STD-130 have been rectifying for the convenience of the contractors and better management of the UID items. The latest version of the MIL-STD-130 N, which was released on December 17 2007, has mentioned the criteria for DoD UID labels, validation and verification. According to the standard, different lighting methods should be used for the different part marking. The contractors are required to follow the instructions provided for marking of UID and manufacturing UID labels.

The DoD UID labels are verified according to the cell modulation, cell size, cell contrast, print growth, reference decode, fixed pattern damage, unused error correction, axial non-uniformity, minimum reflectance, and grid non-uniformity. When the outsourcing of UID is considered, the DoD should ensure that the service should follow all the steps mandated by the standard. Even, the DoD UID label generating software must comply with the standards of MIL-STD-130 N.

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