Wednesday, August 26, 2009

An Insight into Direct Part Marking Technology

Direct part marking is growing popular in various business sectors for its various uses in marking the items. With this method, the barcode is directly imprinted on the products, subassemblies and materials. Although, DPM is primarily used by the civil industries, of late, the process is being used by varieties of companies. The increasing popularity of direct part marking is due to its numerous advantages, reduced implementation cost as compared to its previous generation, and availability on universal scanning.

Use of Direct Part Marking

Direct part marking is used in many fields such as aircraft, automotive, electronic, armament, pharmaceutical and medical industry, petrochemical, train transport, etc. The logistics and manufacturing enterprises also prefer the item marking technology to support item management and shipment traffic control. The outcome of implementing direct part marking includes more efficient product management and documentation along with goods traffic. The technology also allows enhanced manufacture and dispatch of the items. It is an efficient method of the objects starting from their production or acquisition to maintenance and withdrawal.

IDI Systems

Benefits of Direct Part Marking


Convenience of reading 2D barcode

Convenience of keeping large quantity of data in small area

Suitable for using on different material such as glass, metals and plastics

Eliminating machine and human errors

Easy object identification

With fully automated marking it improves work efficiency

Reduced operating cost

Available option for product serialization

Quick implementation of technology

Method of Direct Part Marking

The direct part marking methods include grooving, engraving, burning, etching and painting. The method is selected according to the implementation cost, material for marking and reading technology.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

UID Registry Data Submission Information

Submission of UID data to the UID Registry is crucial for the DoD contractors and hence, it is vital for them to learn various aspects of submission process.

The DoD requires that the contractors must submit the UII details of the items to UID Registry, the storehouse of UID data of the items. Any item that are eligible for UID marking – legacy item currently owned by the DoD, newly procured items and Government furnished property – must be submitted to the UID Registry. The DoD requires that the marking format, required data element and the marking methodology should be according to the MIL-STD-130 standard. Any deviation from the mentioned criteria may lead to rejection of the document. Hence, the suppliers must give proper attention to the accuracy of the data and other marking details of the items.

Who Should Submit the UID Data to the UID Registry

According to DFARS 252.211-7003 and DFARS 252.211-7007, it is the responsibility of the prime contractors to submit the UII and other DoD recognized data for unique identification to the UID Registry. For the new procurements the UII data for the items are submitted to the UID Registry under a DoD Contract. The DoD also allows voluntary submission of UID data for the Government furnished equipments. The item managers are responsible for the operational use and application of UID to the legacy items and hence, they are also required to submit the UID data of the items to the UID Registry.

When Should the UID Data be Submitted to UID Registry

For the new procurements the IUID data for the items must be submitted while creating the receiving report and electronic material inspection. Generally, it is created through Wide Area Work Flow. WAWF stores the UID data of the items and forwards the data to the UID Registry. The UID data of the Government furnished equipments must be submitted to the UID Registry before 30 September of the applicable contract year. The DoD aims at submitting the data about UID registration and marking of the legacy items before December 31, 2010.

Submission to UID Registry via WAWF

WAWF allows electronic submission of the invoices, material inspection and receiving reports. It provides a platform for the authorized DoD personnel and Government contractors to capture generate and process receipt and other payment related documents with the help of web-based interactive application.

The Required Data for Submission to UID Registry

The UID Registry is the repository of UID data where all the information is captured and accessed when necessary. The submission of UID data of the items or parts to the UID Registry requires several essential data such as UID Type (Construct 1 or 2), Entity Identifier (such as CAGE) of company assigning the UID, IAC (Issuing Agency Code) which controls the Entity ID, Part Number (Construct 2 only), Serial Number, Fully constructed UID, the item number (CLIN), shipment numbers, product identifier (NSN/PN) and unit cost. These data elements are crucial part of the UID marking and play key role in item tracking process of the DoD. The UID Registry also requires accuracy of the data elements and the contractors must pay attention to enter accurate data.

Of late, the UID Registry has started providing information through its website for the convenience of the contractors and Government personnel.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Decisive Features of Direct Part Marking Methods

There are various direct part marking methods, but the appropriate method for marking a part is selected by considering certain factors.

Direct part marking is an important method of marking parts. The UID data of the item is directly etched on the surface of the item for permanent UID marking of the item. Generally, the industries like automotive, aerospace and electronic manufacturers opt for direct part marking system of their items for reliable marking solution. Assuring warranty, safety and satisfying regulatory solution for their requirements, the direct part marking enhances the item tracking and management of various Government and personal assets.

Different types of direct part marking methods are Electro-chemical etching, Dot peen, forge or mold, Cast, adhesive dispensing, Abrasive blasting, Stencil, Lique metal jet, Laser Shot peeing, Laser marking, Engraving/milling, Embroidery. However, these methods are selected carefully for each of the marking requirement.

Selection of Direct Part Marking Methods

There are various methods of direct part markings. But, all the methods are not applicable to all kinds of parts or items. In fact, the contractors need to select the appropriate method for marking the parts depending on various factors.

Functional Aspects of the Part

If the parts are used for safety critical applications such as in air-craft engines or high-stress systems, the contractors should prefer to use non-intrusive marking methods.

Shape of the Item or the Parts

The geometry of the part is responsible to decide the method of direct part marking of the item. For instance, if the surface of the part is curved it is difficult to enter the UID data making it inconvenient for direct part marking. A flat surface is always suitable for the method.

Texture of the Item Surface

It is easy to etch the 2D data matrix code on a rough surface through direct part marking where as difficult for a highly polished surface. In case it becomes essential to mark the part with DPM, the glare of the surface is reduced before the method is applied.

Size of the Part/Item

The application of the UID and 2D data matrix code are not dependent on the size of the items. In fact it is the size of the codes that are determined by the size of the items. In case the part is too small the size of the codes are adjusted accordingly and the methods also selected accordingly that can produce the required result.

Operating Environment of the Item and their Life Span

As it is important to have permanent marking solution with the direct part marking, the marking methods are determined according to the working environment. For instance, if the part is more exposed to heat, the efficiency and durability of the marking should be selected accordingly. Also, the functional life-span of the items differs for different items, which influences the selection of marking method for the items.

Width of Items

Thickness of the items are one of major matters of consideration while direct part marking. Otherwise, there are chances of deformation of the parts affecting their functionality. With most of the marking methods, the marking depth doesn’t exceed 1/10 of thickness of the item.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Advantages of UID Marking for The DoD

The Department of Defense introduced the UID marking of the items keeping in mind its advantages for the item tracking process.

The U.S. Department of Defense started the IUID program to mark the DoD items with unique identification (UID). The implantation and the marking of UID to the DoD recognized items principally aim at keeping track of the items and helping the strategic item management process. The item that come under the scope of UID marking program include item in operational use, in inventory or undergoing depot maintenance along with new solicitations, items procured under ongoing contracts, and the Government-furnished property in the possession of contractors.

UID is a globally unique permanent identification of an item under the Department of Defense that distinguishes individual item from all other item. The UID of an item is a machine-readable 2D data matrix code etched to the item or the label that is affixed to the item. It is a set of globally unique essential data that helps tracking and better management of items.

The UID marking procedure has been proved beneficial for the DoD in several ways.

  • Asset visibility and asset traceability are the major parts of asset management and UID marking system provides the best management practice for the business organizations in this regard.
  • UID of the items are an aid to DoD’s financial operation for the operations are done with the item identification number. It also helps in advanced audit option for the plant, property, equipment and operating material management.
  • The data available for the strategic purchasing of the items, their repairing and maintenance is more accurate with UID of that particular item.It also provides an extensive approach strategic maintenance of item reports.
  • The better visibility of the items and the better tracking ability through the UID has helped a long-term and improved inventory management system for the DoD.
  • The organizations that aim at mission oriented activities will achieve enhanced planning and execution of item with the help of total asset visibility.
  • As the UID of the items has enhanced the efficiency of management with asset visibility and improved data availability, it has also reduce the frustration of the DoD regarding keeping record of data starting from acquisition to repairing and management.
  • The consistent use of lifecycle asset information with the help of UID has significantly reduced the item management cost for all the departments of DoD.
  • During the peace as well as the war time, the DoD allows total item visibility.

The MIL-STD-130 is the standard that determines the UID marking methods of the items. There are a required set of UID data that is essential to be marked on the item to get accepted by the UID Registry. The DoD also requires that the alpha-numeric human-readable information should also be introduced to the UID marking of the item along with the machine readable 2D data matrix code. As the UID of the items provide extended marking solution for asset management system, they are growing popular among various business organizations across the world. The permanent marking of the UID has added to the advantage of the UID marking system.