Monday, November 23, 2009

MIL-STD-130 and UID Compliance

MIL-STD-130 is the Department of Defense's standard that any tangible item must be provided with Unique Identification (UID). The UID symbol can be a number, a sequence of bits or a character string as is physically marked on the item. Technologies utilized for marking of the UID can include name plates and labels.

The UID system was developed by the DOD as a means of identifying tangible assets and distinguishing them from other similar and dissimilar assets. The UID consists of a encoded bar code that is assigned to one singular item. These unique codes are never reused, and once a tangible asset has been assigned a UID, it never changes, even if the asset is re-engineered or modified. In some instances, a UID may also be placed on a lot or batch of similar tangible assets contained together. In this instance, the entire container of items is treated as a single unit. Once the items are separated from the container, the UID is no longer of use and the individual items are not given their own UID.

To meet the MIL-STD-130 standard, the UID is physically marked on the asset by using a two-dimensional data matrix symbol, with IS0-5434 formatting. The data is formatted per the specified standards and is known as the item's Unique Item Identifier (UII). The bar code symbol is a representation of the UII, that can be machine-read. This encoding is then identified using text element, data, or application identifiers. Normal industry practices determine which identifier is used for each type of assets, as determined by the organization assigning the UID.

There are a variety of technologies that are used for the marking of the UID bar code. Durable polyester labels and identification plates are twp of the more common applications used for UID marking. In addition, direct printing onto the asset using ink jet, dot peen, chemical etch, or laser etch are also used. No matter how the UID is applied to the tangible asset, the MIL-STD-130 standard has strict marking and printing specifications that must be met, in order to be compliant.

The MIL-STD-130 standard, and the UID compliance requirement, is a complicated manner. In order to ensure compliance, turn to the experts at ID-Integration for more information.

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