Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Marking Guidelines According to MIL-STD-129

There are different marking standards mentioned by the DoD. MIL-STD-129 is the standard mentioned to maintain the uniformity of marking of the military equipments.

The United States Department of Defense has made it essential that the items must be marked with unique identification for their ease management. The marking of the items with their UID helps the military personnel in the item tracking procedures. DoD has mandated a standard of the marking- MIL-STD-129- which has been approved by the DoD and other Government agencies. As the suppliers of the military equipments are required to maintain uniformity while marking and supplying military equipments, the MIL-STD 129 has set a standard for the suppliers. The suppliers are required to follow the instructions provided by the instructions to meet the UID standards and requirements while transporting the items.

The marking helps tracking the items when the stock goes short of balance level. However, the MIL-STD-129 requirement standard ahs categorized the container into three types such as Unit containers, Intermediate containers and Exterior containers. For all types of container, the basic formats such as national stock number (NSN), item description, and part number are mandatory. But there are certain changes in the marking of different types of containers.

Unit Containers – The Unit containers should be marked with the following data

  • National Stock Number (NSN) Barcode
  • CAGE, NSN, part number, item description, unit of issue, quantity, contract number, lot number (if used), date of preservation, method of preservation code, should be listed in clear and plain text.
  • The unit containers are also marked with Shelf Life Markings that specify the start of shelf life along with the date an item needs to be tested or disposed of. Only the deteriorative items require Shelf life markings as specified by the contract requirement preparation for delivery Special Markings.
  • The MIL-STD-129 requires that the serial numbers of each item in the container must appear in the clear and unambiguous barcode format. Serial numbers are listed only when assigned by the Government or the manufacturer for identification or control. However, the numbers are not listed when assigned by the manufacturer solely for indicating the quantity produced.

When the exterior container serves as the unit container, the exterior container rules apply.

Intermediate Containers

The intermediate containers are marked with the same data as unit containers, except the serial number. When there are more than five serial-numbered items in an intermediate container, the serial number rules for the exterior containers are applied.

Exterior Containers

The basic label format of the unit containers are used for the exterior containers as well. However, the item description is excluded from the format. The contact number, NSN, and CAGE Code must be entered in the bar code format. The marking is done by using one large label or placing two smaller labels side by side. The additional labels that the exterior containers may require are serial number barcodes, military shipment labels, direct vendor delivery label.

Following the standards of MIL-STD-129 may be a difficult task for the suppliers. However, depending on the situations, the requirements can be reduced to few basic sets of rules and labels.

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