Wednesday, September 30, 2009

MIL-STD-130N Standardization – A Process To Follow

The Department of Defense releases many standards of operation to streamline and make uniform its operations. While many of these are pertinent to very specific organizations and operations within the DoD, one of the most wide-reaching and generally applicable standards is MIL-STD-130N. This updated standard is the regulation by which manufacturers and suppliers of and to the United States military must regulate their identification markings on products. Since MIL-STD-130N has such far-reaching implications, it is important to understand this crucial regulation.

MIL-STD-130N is the latest update to a regulation for identification of products. In 2007, MIL-STD-130N was released as an update to the previous standards. The previous iterations of these regulations were not nearly as exhaustive, and with the release of MIL-STD-130M the DoD sought to comprehensively address labeling procedure for the products in its inventory. MIL-STD-130N builds on and expands the standards and is now in a form that addresses several kinds of identification technology. It also references international standards set forth by the International Organization for Standardization and the International Electro technical Commission, or ISO/IEC. The updated standards are a response to both the changing technologies and products involved in identification and the growing task of uniformly identifying and tracking widely diverse products in the massive inventory of the US Military. MIL-STD-130N was issued only two years after its previous iteration, so staying informed of the intricacies of this important standard are crucial to suppliers and manufacturers.

MIL-STD-130N demands that Unique Identification, or UID, marks fit into two categories. The first is MRI, or Machine Readable Information. MRI are forms that are familiar to the average civilian and military employee alike. The first kind of MRI is bar code, which have been in use for decades to consumers on all kinds of goods. The second kind of MRI is a matrix code, which are also common to the civilian market, but may not be as recognizable. The matrix code involves a small square of black and white pixels. These codes are actually quite common on shipping labels of major carriers. These codes are a uniform response to technology of tracking inventory, and make it easy to uniquely identify millions of parts and products.

MIL-STD-130N also allows for HRI, or Human Readable Identification. The HRI addressed in MIL-STD-130N are simply uniformly formatted codes of letters and numbers. They are addressed in the standard as an option because HRI are still effective as long as they are codified.

MIL-STD-130N further regulates the kinds of information that must be contained in MRI or HRI. This includes very specific kinds of information about product description and history. Therefore, it is essential to understand the intricacies of MIL-STD-130N, and no one understands them better than the experts at ID-Integration. With a proven history in UID labeling, let ID-Integration help you fully understand MIL-STD-130N.

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