Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Tips and Tricks for Successful UID Marking

It is a necessary evil that all products manufactured for the U.S. Department of Defense possess a permanent UID mark. Any business wishing to sell products to the US Military will be required to implement UID Marking throughout their production processes. Although the world of Mil Spec 130 places complex and stringent requirements on UID Marking, there are some tips and tricks that may make the specification’s adoption easier to your business practices.

Stay Current on DoD Developments

Be sure to spend time staying on top of recent developments to Mil Spec 130 standards. Read recent articles in trade publications, industry associations, and online publications to find emerging information that may affect UID Marking processes. Many industry associations have a number of experienced professionals as members and administration. These general resources will be sure to address Department of Defense questions. Some helpful associations include the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), the Association for Manufacturing Excellence (AME), and the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA).

Know Popular Marking & Coding Solutions

Learn the basics of marking and coding to make the smartest decisions possible for your product’s production. If you’re still using a manual process for UID Marking, then become more educated on the automated possibilities that have been field proven for years. Start with the product that will be receiving a UID mark. Consider its composition, size, and manufacturing process then determine which marking technology will provide the best solution for you.

Some basics to consider here include taking a closer look at inkjet and laser technology. Both of these innovative technologies enable marking, on-the-fly, right in your production line. Instead of completing UID Marking at a separate station, you can simply have this function completed as a regular part of your product’s production flow. Are you spending money on separate labels or tags that must be permanently attached to the final product? If you are, then consider reducing costs by choosing a marking process that permits UID Marking directly onto the part itself.

UID Marking Message Formats

There are hundreds upon hundreds of requirements for Mil Spec 130 UID Marking nomenclature. In Mil Spec 130, the DoD specifies everything from accepted acronyms or abbreviations to machine readable code languages and durability requirements. Become familiar with newer bar code languages like Data Matrix to fit volumes of information in a tiny space. Staying savvy of your UID Marking options will assist you when considering your applications challenges and needs.

Overall, UID Marking is pretty serious business and successful execution is vital for projects with the U.S. Department of Defense. If you’re looking for an expert to guide you through this process, you can rely on ID Integration to see you to the top.

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