Wednesday, May 6, 2009

IUID Marking Methods and Verification

The IUID marking for the items involve strategic marking methods and verification procedures before the data are submitted to UID Registry.

According to the Department of Defense, it is mandatory for all the tangible items of the department to have unique identification or IUID. It is the strategic process implemented by the DoD to keep track of the items across the organization. As the IUID is a globally unique identification, proper care and attention is crucial for IUID marking. The MIL-STD-130 has mentioned certain criteria for the contractors and suppliers who apply IUID marking on the military and non-military items.

The MIL-STD-130 is the governing document of DOD for IUID application. The usability of the nameplates in the Department of Defense depends on the accuracy, durability and flexibility of the IUID marking. The IUID of the items are anodized, screen printed, serialized, hot stamped or thermal transferred.

Different Features of IUID Marking

Unless the items of the DoD are labeled with IUID marking, they are not eligible for submission to UID Registry. There are different aspects of IUID marking:

  • Methods of IUID marking
  • IUID verification

IUID Marking Method

There are two kinds of IUID marking- direct part marking and label or nameplates. The items are required to fulfill certain conditions for direct part marking. In case the environment of the items is not appropriate for direct part marking, use of nameplates or label is considered for IUID marking. Generally, polycarbonate/lexan, metalphoto, aluminum, vinyl, polyester or mylar are the materials used for the nameplates and labels. The IUID is directly marked to the items using techniques such as dot-peen, chemical etch, laser etch, and stencil printing. The IUID are marked on the items in the form of 2D data matrix code that are identified by barcode readers.

The IUID of the items are marked or the IUID labels are affixed to the items on a particular location meant for the purpose. The sizes of the nameplates are selected by the manufacturer so as that it can contain all required data mentioned in the MIL-STD-130. The commercial products require information such as part number, serial number and manufacturer’s logo. Enterprise identifier is the additional information that is marked on the parts. Apart from the machine readable 2D data matrix code, the human readable data are also provided during the IUID marking.

IUID Marking Verification

Before submitting the IUID data to the UID Registry, the IUID marking of the items are verified to ensure that they meet the standards of MIL-STD-130.

  • The marking should pass Error Correction Code (ECC) 200
  • The 2D data matrix should be atleast a ‘GradeB’ and should maintain the quality of at least ‘Grade C’over the service life of the marked item.
  • The methodology of print quality measuring is specified in ISO/IEC 16022 and the acceptance of the DoD UID code should have a minimum print quality of B/05/660.

It is important for the IUID marking to use the metal that can withstand adverse weather conditions and chemicals. The data provided in the IUID marking should be as per the requirements of the MIL-STD-130 standards. It is imperative for the contractors and suppliers to follow the guidelines of IUID marking while submitting the data to IUID Registry.

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