Wednesday, January 27, 2010

UID Registry - What is It?

The term UID registry is used by the Department of Defense (DoD) and those that work with the department of defense. The UID registry is a way of indentifying and classifying items used by the DoD. In simple terms it can be defined as a way of identifying and controlling parts and assets used by the military. The UID registry allows the military to have better control of those assets and is better able to perform any necessary audits.
The UID registry regulations stipulate that items sold to the Department of Defense have to be marked with a 2 dimensional number that is non erasable. These markings are made to be machine readable. The reason, so that human error is reduced.

Through the use of the UID registry the acquisition of products is done much more efficiently, and the inventory control has also been improved. This makes it much easier for the DoD to make payment to providers at the specified time. Currently it is required that any defense providers be in compliance with the UID registry.
This registry was first introduced by the Defense department in 2004, and now it is this registry that keeps all the information about the DoD assets, future assets, and past. The UID registry keeps all the data and helps the Defense department keep track of items that are arriving, are depleted, and need to be replaced. This new system allows personnel to easily track an item across the nation and even in other countries. All records can be easily accessed even when a product is no longer in use. The UID registry keeps data such as manufacturer, acquisition date, and even repair information.

Providers must submit information to the UID registry, so that it can easily be managed by Defense personnel. It is important that this submission process begin early on and that all data entered be correct. The registry will require information like, part number, serial number, enterprise code, among other information.
As with most military acquisition processes, there is a certain way the data must be submitted and contractors must follow procedures to be accepted.

The data needs to be converted to XML format before being accepted into the UID Registry, however, all external files need to be modified to the UID registry requirements before being changed over to XML format.
There are specific formats available from the UID registry personnel which go over the process for contractors. Following this process the data is submitted for UID testing and for approval in the UID registry.

The approval process can be seen at the UID registry website, and if all information has been submitted according to the DoD requirements then it should be approved.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

What is a UID?

A UID is a Unique Identifier found on every product used by the Department of Defense, (DoD). This is not an uncommon practice in good manufacturing plants. Tracking the development, distribution, and lifetime of a product allows for data collection that will help companies, both manufacturers and end customers, to improve their production processes long-term. In some cases, this UID may provide information that is vital for safety in regards to defective product recalls, poor durability trends, or more – especially when concerning a DoD project.

The basic components of a UID meeting Mil Spec 130 guidelines includes a manufacturer to mark a unique identifier on every product that is truly unique and only traceable to that original item. This mark must be permanent and able to sustain handling and weathering throughout the lifetime of the product. Additional information is also desired including production components like lot and batch numbers, manufacturing location, modifications, and more.

There are a great number of ways to implement a system for marking a UID on all manufactured items. These range from programmable indenting, inkjet, and laser to manual methods such as stamping, stenciling, and acid etching. Each UID marking method brings unique advantages to the manufacturing process enabling more automated technologies to fit right into the production line with the potential to increase overall production line efficiency.

If you’re looking to lower costs, you may wish to consider using a solution that relies on fewer consumables. Laser marking technologies are a greener choice for many companies looking to mark a UID without the concerns of the common VOC pollution associated with heavy duty inkjet inks. Because the laser beam literally etches a tiny portion of the product’s surface, it is not necessary to use expensive inks. Marking directly onto a product and avoiding costly labels or tags may also be achieve with inkjet solutions.

Perhaps you’re cramped for space when considering a UID mark. Options here include attached tags, or simply marking directly on the product’s surface. Data matrix bar coding can fit a large amount of data into a very compact space as well. So it’s important to consider both the technology behind the mark and the UID mark content itself when planning your UID solution.

For more information on the details of UID, perform a simple search on the web. There are a large number of resources available to assist you. Mil Spec 130 is a tough standard to follow and in many cases, it may be in your best interest to partner with a company of experts in this field. If you’re looking for some help in sifting through the details on UID marking, contact ID Integration for a full service, custom approach to your production process.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Understanding the MIL STD 130

MIL STD 130 ensures the accurate identification of all items that do or might pass through the hands of the Department of Defense. Since that encompasses everything from toothbrushes to tanks to TVs, these specifications are lengthy and complex.
Additionally, MIL STD 130 attempts to aid in the design of governmental contracts by helping to estimate the minimum need. Unfortunately, MIL STD 130 encompasses a host of secondary systems for identifying and marking equipment and parts, but whenever MIL STD 130 and some other system disagree, MIL STD 130 takes precedence.
Some key terms appear repeatedly in the definition of MIL STD 130, most notably IUID. IUID stands for Item Unique Identification. This simply means the MIL STD 130 marking, or whatever set of numbers used to mark an item which distinguish it from some other item, even if the two items are otherwise identical. MRI, machine readable information, usually refers to a bar code, which is often included in a good IUID.
MIL STD 130 demands that information be written on a metal or plastic tag, plate, band or label. The font size cannot be smaller than 5.76 points in a sans serif font like Arial. Numbers should be in Arabic. If, at that size, there still isn't room for proper IUID, partial information or relocation of the information may be acceptable.
MIL STD 130 also has specifics for every major system of marking equipment or merchandise. For simplicity's sake, marketable merchandise with logos, lot numbers, and other identifying marks generally don't need more identifying, according to MIL STD 130. MIL STD 130 has regulations for marking systems such as ATA, AIAG, CEA, etc. Since it has to be perfect or they will send it back, consider getting help from the professionals at ID-Integration when tangling with the MIL STD 130.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Submissions to the UID Registry

The UID Registry is the repository of UID data that can be accessed by the Department of Defense (DoD) to keep track of items. It also sets up standardization across the entire DoD government procurement system.

The software system acts as a central clearing house that makes it possible for the DoD to keep informed of important document information as it relates to military property with barcode markings. The UID Registry also permits merging equipment data for DoD purposes and is the final storage area for the DoD barcode identification system.

The UID Registry standards check numerous factors of the UID data determining whether to accept or reject the data suppliers submit. And as long as the markings match the requirements, it will be accepted; if not, it will be rejected.

The UID Registry also attempts to produce one strategic database for storage of item information and the Defense Logistics Information Service manages the UID Registry.

MIL STD 130, which is mandated for all UID items, is a standard that provides the criteria for product designers to develop specific item identification marking requirements. The DoD has instructed that UID data entered to the UID Registry should comply with the MIL-STD-130 standard.

The DoD allows various means of putting forward data to the UID Registry. For example, suppliers are required to deliver UID data to the Wide Area Workflow (WAWF) and/or the DoD UID Registry. WAWF is a secure web-based system that allows government suppliers and DoD personnel to create and track invoices and receiving reports, along with access to contract related documents, over the web.

The WAWF submission has taken the place of the manual DD250 document.

This subject is complicated and there are experts at ID-Integration that will provide additional information on the UID Registry.