Tuesday, December 29, 2009

How to match up with UID Labels

Unique identification (UID) labels allow the Department of Defense (DoD) to tell one object apart from another and to track objects throughout the organization.

This includes anything that will be submitted to the DoD for UID label compliance.

While there is not a specification for UID label materials, labels or decals must meet the performance requirements of MIL STD 130. MIL STD 130 is a standard for linear bar codes and data matrix labels. A recent update to MIL STD 130 runs through the essentials of marking military property.

For example, one mandate states the UID labels need to be read by either machines or humans. Another point out a few essential pieces of information must be listed on the UID label.

The recommended minimum size for text of UID labels to be readable by humans must be no less than 0.2 centimeters/0.08 inches and 5.76 points. UID letters should have a regular, often geometrical shape and a simple, modern font style or a sans-serif font.

There is a wide range of materials to choose from to manufacture the UID labels, such as stainless steel, polyester, aluminum or laser marked adhesive backed tape. And when viable, the marking must be positioned where it will be able to be seen and noticeable during usual, standard procedures.

The marking can be made by any means that is permanent of the life of the item, will not adversely affect the item and which will not be damaged during normal use or cleaning.

UID labels will make item tracking in DoD business systems easy and will provide reliable and accurate data for management, financial and accountability purposes, according to the DoD.

Still, the subject of UID labels is complicated and additional information is available from the experts at ID-Integration, (www.ID-Integration.com).

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Taking a Look at the Innovative New Barcode Identification System MIL-STD-130

The U.S. Department of Defense executes a broad range of services. The need for identification standards among defense assets is a vital one. Military standards should require very close supervision of defense items. The Department of Defense has required that all items contain markings which meet MIL-STD-130 standards in order to be UID compliant.

The Department of Defense often has to interact with private contractors to accomplish their many and various goals. This is why the MIL-STD-130 standard is crucial in keeping track of military assets. The different standards and contractual requirements for these items could make meeting specifications very complicated. The MIL-STD-130 seeks to provide commonality in pursuit of these standards. Having this standard allows the differences in specification to have a supreme identifier.

There are a variety of different regulatory and contractual requirements which have to be met by all items designated for use by the Department of Defense. This complex web of needs is easily met by the standards applied in MIL-STD-130. The protocols for UID marking involve a constantly evolving web of contractual concerns of private contractors and the Department of Defense. While the MIL-STD-130 standard has made things easier on those using these items, staying in compliance can be tricky and requires effort. Luckily there is help.

Making sure that all military assets used by the Department of Defense are complaint with this MIL-STD-130 marking is crucial. It is a complex process to meet these standards. Luckily, the experts over at ID Integration can take all of the guesswork out of the process. They are an independent systems integrator with the professional expertise in making sure that your items are compliant. Such a complicated subject can be best explained by their experts. Keep up to date with the current Unique Identifier protocols. MIL-STD-130 is required for many items. Get up to speed with ID Integration.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Understanding and simplifying MIL STD 130

What is MIL STD 130?

MIL STD 130 is the set of standards that the Department of Defense is using to mark, identify, and track military property. Various specifications and standards are consolidated into MIL STD 130, and if any conflicts with any other documentation arise, MIL STD 130 takes precedence. Any items that already have unique identification such as a serial number are generally excluded from MIL STD 130.

What is required for MIL STD 130 certification?

Items must be marked with either a stiff metal band that includes an identification number or a marking applied directly to the item itself. The marking should be able to survive the life of the item, including any necessary cleaning and rebuilding, and should be visible during normal use if at all possible. Every attempt should be made for the item identification to be a machine readable identification (MRI), and in the even that there is not enough room on the item for the full ID, then the most essential information should be marked. Various guidelines as to text size and font are also included in MIL STD 130, and many different industry specific guidelines also apply.

What should be included in an MRI?

There are various specifications involved in marking an item with an MRI ranging from amount of data required to the quality of the marking itself. Even the arrangement of the MRI is specific in order to assist the machines in reading the identification codes. The MRI will also be updated with any maintenance or repair performed, as well as information regarding warranties, repair facilities, dates of repair, and other data.

How to simplify things

With all of the various information that MIL STD 130 requires, it is generally best to leave the identification process to those with proven methods and standards. The experts at ID-Integration know MIL STD 130 by heart so you don't have to.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Simplifying the creation of UID labels

The purpose of UID labels
UID labels define the unique identification of an item. MIL STD 130 specifies the various items that must be included in UID labels as per the Department of Defense to assist in tracking military property. Many different standards and specifications are consolidated into MIL STD 130, and in any conflict in creating UID labels, MIL STD 130 takes full precedence over any other documentation. Items such as automobiles and cell phones, which come with their own identifications, may be considered non IUID items and therefore may not require a UID label.

How should the UID be marked?
UID labels should be either on stiff metal bands that are attached to the identified items or applied directly to said items. The label should be able to survive any cleaning or rebuilding that may be necessary during the item's life-cycle. The UID label should also be visible, if at all possible, any time the item is in use under normal circumstances. The label should also be a MRI (machine readable identification) if at all possible. If the entire UID label does not fit on the device, it should be distilled to its most important data. MIL STD 130 includes guidelines on text size and font to be used on UID labels.

What all should UID labels contain?
Though some information will vary depending on the construct of the UID labels, both require the EID of the activity that assigns the serial number as well as the serial number itself. Procedures involving the item's PIN number and its marking may vary as per MIL STD 130.

Simplifying the creation of UID labels
The creation of UID labels can be very time consuming, and errors are common due to the complexity of MIL STD 130. The experts at ID-Integration can generate approved UID labels in a fraction of the time it would take to even understand MIL STD 130.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

A Brief Analysis of Mil Spec 130

What is MIL-STD-130N?
The Department of Defense has hundreds of standards by which they operate. MIL-STD-130N, or Mil Spec 130, is one of these specifications that outlines the correct requirements and procedures for marking, identifying, and tracking all military property. Anything that is warehoused, supplied, made, or issued by the any branch of the Department of Defense is required to be marked in accordance with Mil Spec 130.

There are some items that don’t fall under Mil Spec 130 guidelines because they may be included in other standards, not required to be marked with a Item Unique Identification (IUID), or are marked in some other way. One example is vehicles, because they are already marked with a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN).

Specifications for Marking and Quality
Mil Spec 130 requires the following criteria be followed for proper marking.

· The marking must be on some type of stiff identification plate, band, tag, or label that is firmly affixed to the article. The identifying mark can be put directly onto the item’s surface as long as it is clearly visible while the item is in operation and it will last through the life expectancy of that item. The mark must also be able to hold up to conditions in its surrounding environment.

· If an item is not large enough for a full IUID, Mil Spec 130 requires that at least the most important information be included on the mark. The information that must be included is the Enterprise Identifier, the PIN number of the item, and the Lot or Batch number. If there is no room on the item for any type of mark, the packaging may be marked with all of the required information.

· In order for the information on the markings to be readable, the minimum font size recommended is .08 inches. Mil Spec 130 also has specific font recommendations.

· Machine Readable Information (MRI) is the preferred system of marking and Mil Spec 130 outlines the formats that it must follow. A specific MRI marking protocol is required unless the items call for certain industry specific marking protocols.

· The required information included in an MRI is: the Enterprise Identifier of the manufacturer; the serial number; the current PIN, lot, or batch number; the current PIN, lot, or batch number; and in the case of duplicate part numbers, Unique Item Identifiers (UII) must be assigned and included.

· Mil Spec 130 also contains strict guidelines concerning the quality of the IUID marking. This includes specific protocols for the linear bar code and print quality of the data matrix symbol.

Interpretation of all the requirements and specifications of Mil Spec 130 is complicated, at best. The experts at ID Integration, a company specializing in industrial marking systems, are experienced with every aspect of this particular military standard.