Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Frequently asked questions on DoD UID Labels

What is a UID?
A UID is better known as a Unique Identifier that is used to track the manufacture, distribution, and lifetime of products used by the U.S. Department of Defense. All contracted vendors are required to provide a legible and permanent UID marking on products sold to the DoD.

What materials are best used for labels meeting DoD UID requirements?
There is not a specific material specified in Mil-Std-130 guidelines, but all must meet durability requirements and contain the full UID information as well as linear bar codes and data matrix codes when space permits. Choices for label material include coated plastics, metals, and decals that may be attached directly to the manufactured product. It is wise to ask for a Certificate of Conformance from label vendors to ensure liability will not fall on the purchaser in the event that materials do not hold up to the stringent requirements of Mil-Std-130.

How can I be sure that marks will meet readability requirements of a Grade B minimum?
It is important to test all DoD UID labels prior to implementing them in the final production process. Any vendors that are responsible for supplying printed DoD UID labels should be able to supply a Certificate of Conformance (COC) as well as rated grades of marks at the time of label manufacture. These practices will permit manufacturing plants the surety necessary to meet Mil-Std-130 requirements in all cases.

What specific information is required on DoD UID Labels?
Manufacturers are required to print an enterprise ID, part number, and serial number with data qualifiers as a minimum to meet Mil-Std-130 standards. Additionally, the DoD requires linear bar codes and data matrix codes when space permits inclusion. Some products require a data matrix code regardless of size constraints so it is very important to stay on top of the government documentation for DoD UID labels.

Can I use my company’s terminology on DoD UID Labels?
No. The U.S. Department of Defense lists specific accepted acronyms and abbreviations for use in DoD UID labeling. Failure to comply to the DoD accepted terminology will result in the rejection of product and eventual loss of contracted projects. In special cases where new language may be necessary, the nomenclature should be determined in the contract stage prior to product manufacture and delivery. Special exceptions will be permitted as deemed necessary in these cases.

Where can I find help to sort through DoD UID Label specifications?
There are a large number of resources available on the internet to help you learn more about Mil-Std-130 and its DoD UID Labels. For expert assistance, consider contacting a full service integrator like ID Integration for support throughout your DoD UID label development.

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