Tuesday, July 28, 2009

UID Registry Submission- Requirements for UID Compliance

The requirements of UID Registry for the UID compliance of data are the must-know for the contractors while submitting the data to UID Registry.

According to the Department of Defense the data of the UID marking for the items should be submitted to the UID Registry. UID Registry is repository of UID data that can be accessed by the DoD personnel to keep track of the items. However, it is also crucial that the contractors, while submitting the data, should ensure that the data comply with the UID standards. The correct and complete data of the item UID plays a key role in the item management and item tracking process of the DoD.

The UID Registry standards check numerous factors of the UID data to accept or reject the data submitted by the contractors. If the markings match their requirements, they’ll accept it otherwise reject it.

Marking of Item with Unique Identification

After the DoD assigns each item with a unique identification, the UIDs of the items are etched on the items or the labels that is affixed to the item. The UID Registry is particular about the compliance of the UID data with the UID standards. Hence, it is mandatory that UID data should be entered as 2D data matrix code and be in accordance with the MIL-STD-130 criteria. Whether the barcode is entered with direct part marking or as UID labels, they play a key role while submitting the UID data to the UID Registry. Any item, be it government furnished property, DoD qualifying deliverables or property under possession of the contractors should be marked with UID before they are submitted to UID Registry.

Verification of the Marking

At the time of UID data submission to the UID Registry, the DoD feels the significance of verifying the marking of the items and the labels for their acceptability. The UID Registry standards of marking verification are based on the marking technology or procedure (direct part marking or application of UID labels) and the marking formats (Construct #1 and Construct #2) in which the 2D data matrix codes are entered.

Validation of Data

It the ISO 15434 requirements that decides the validation of UID data and marking. Starting from the accuracy of data the standard requires accurate syntax and formatting of the 2D data matrix code including the identifier, serial number and other required codes.

Scanning of the UID data

The essential business practice needs scanning of UID data before the items are taken into custody. The UID Registry also mandates the scanning of UID data provided by the contractors to check their validity.

UID Registry Submission

The MIL-STD-130 has mandated that the contractors should submit the UID data to UID Registry either directly or through the WAWF. Registering into the UID Registry is the important step for the contractors before the submission of data to UID Registry.

Item tracking and Location of the Item

All the UID qualified items are tracked to a specific location. The UID marking of the items helps to access the item information which enhances accuracy of reporting. Although the step is not an essential part of UID Registry submission process, it is an essential part of error-free item management process.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Direct Part Marking Consideration For Perfect UID Marking Solution

Accurate direct part marking requires careful processes of selecting the marking methods and considering all the aspects involved with it.

The automatic identification technology that is recently being used by NASA, Pharmaceutical manufacturer, auto makers, aerospace industry and also by the Department of Defense (DoD) is direct part marking (DPM) method. This technique of marking the parts and assets assures permanent marking of unique identification for effective tracing and tracking process. Equipments and machinery in the petrochemical industry, engine pistons and transmission parts, surgical instruments and high-value tools, tires, etc. are the parts that are directly marked. As parts manufacturing is going global, many companies use the DPM technique of marking to ensure authenticity.

There are certain important aspects of consideration while implementing direct part marking.

  • 2D data matrix codes are the perfect solution for direct part marking that requires error-free, small size and high data encoding capacity. The size of the codes is determined considering available space to enter data, amount of data to be entered, surface roughness, etc. However, it is important to meet the industry specifications with the marking.
  • It is the component design that is crucial to determine the marking process of the item. dot peening, electro-chemical etching, laser marking, and ink-jet printing are the primary methods of applying direct part marking that are machine readable 2D data matrix codes.Working environment, part life expectancy, production volume, material composition, surface texture, available space are the other factors deciding the selection of direct part marking method.
  • Deciding the location of the code is crucial for it affects the readability of data. The marking should be placed on the item that is clearly and prominently visible to the readers.Flat surface is the best choice for direct part marking. Reliable code reading involves etching the codes with perfect shape and size, and consistent individual module.
  • Verification of the marking procedure is important to detect any error in the marking. It is essential to find out if the error is due to damage to the machine or wrong settings during part exchange, or poor part fixturing. A code verification system is also important for feedback in the marking process.
  • There are specific types of decoder for direct part marking are fixed-mount readers, presentation readers, and hand-held readers. These readers differ in their functionality and application. Selection of the code is crucial and it is better to select one that will help consistent code reading and tolerate a wide range of code deformations.
  • Network connectivity of the direct part mark reader enables the reader to transfer the output to the reading to the connected PC.

The direct part marking methods are increasingly becoming a commercial practice among many industrial sectors across the world. The 2D barcodes provides convenient and accurate method of data usage and storage for better management. The 2D barcodes used for the DPM enables storing data more efficiently in 2 directions the quality of the code is specified by the component definitions. In brief, direct part marking is a process that enhances item tracking process and aids to the management process of the items in a cost-effective way to produce quality.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

UID Data Verification and Submission to UID Registry

Submission of UID data to the UID Registry is an important process of DoD which requires careful attention to different aspects.

The US Department of Defense introduced the system of submitting the UID data of the items to UID registry during November 2004. UID registry is the storehouse of information about the DoD items and their UID data. The submission to UID registry is important as it enhances the maintenance of data and helps the DoD personnel to keep track of the items easily. In other words, the system of submitting data to the UID Registry enhances the item tracking process across the department of Defense. The records that are stored can be accessed for further use as they contain data such as acquisition or manufacture of the items, their maintenance date or process, repairing information etc. Hence, looking at the significance of the UID data in the DoD, the department has mandated that the UID data entered to the UID registry should comply with the MIL-STD-130 standard.

Submission to the UID Registry is crucial for the item management process of the DoD and it is also essential that the data are correctly entered. Part number, enterprise code, serial number of the item, issuing agency code, construct type (construct #1 or Construct #2), etc. are the basic data required for the submission so as to maintain a balance between different types of data. The UID data required on the items are machine readable 2D data matrix codes and human readable UID data. And it is required that both kind of data should be submitted to the UID Registry.

There are certain aspects of submitting data and the contractors are required to follow them so as to get accepted. Although the data should be entered in the XML format, there are other aspects to be considered.

UID Registry Schema Review

It has been stated that the data format should be converted into XML format before making their way to UID Registry. However, it is crucial that the external files of the property management database are modified according to the UID registry schema anf requirements before the files are converted to XML formats. Basing on the GFP, the versions of the schema have been continuously changing and the latest version that is being used for the UID Registry is the 3.0.

Data Format Adjustment for the Submission

The UID Registry maintenance team has prepared a data format for the submission process and the contractors are required to modify their format according to the standard. Depending on the products and details that are required to be submitted, the formats of the data are modified. If required, the formats are changed even after changing them to XML format.

UID Test Registry- The Testing Solution

Before making it to the UID Registry the UID data are submitted to the UID test Registry for verification. The UID production approves the data and sends it to the GEX certified VAN provider. GEX certified VAN provider ensures that the data are submitted to the UID registry’s FTP services.

It is important that the submitted data are approved by the UID Registry. However, the approval or rejection is mentioned through the website of UID Registry.

Monday, July 6, 2009

An Introduction to UID

The IUID program of the DoD has introduced the UID marking system for the DoD items for enhanced management of the items. The UID is a globally unique identifier of the item that makes the particular item distinguished from all other items. There are some distinct criteria for the UID marking and the items or parts that qualify the requirements must be assigned with a unique identification. The contractors or the suppliers are generally responsible for marking the items with UID.

What is UID?

UID is a 2 dimensional data matrix barcode that is either engraved directly on the surface of the item or marked on UID labels or nameplates that are affixed to the item. As the UID simplifies the item management and the item tracking process of the DoD, it is required that the marking should be permanent for the life of the item. As the IUID program is a foundation to the item visibility across all the departments of DoD, improved life cycle item management, they need to be marked with correct format and correct data.

The DoD requires that the contractors must select the UID marking methods depending on the requirements and the item that are being marked. As the data elements are entered in the 2D data matrix barcode format, it also requires a barcode reader to get identified. The most important is, the contractors or suppliers need to follow the instructions stated by the DoD while marking the items to meet the DoD standard.