Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Benefits of Using the Latest Technology for the UID Scanner

The UID scanner is an application designed to be used by UID customers to decode or read the sophisticated 2D barcodes that come with UII integrated data syntax filtering. With the latest technology being used, scanners no longer rely on special software for them to be used. On the contrary, the result of the barcode scan is transmitted directly to the operating system, whether it is Linux or Windows. The UID scanner uses a sophisticated and complex process in reading or decoding the serial numbers, part numbers or vendor ID number of label items.

For the UID scanner to work efficiently, the UID label must first meet the MIL-STD-130 spec guidelines set out by the Department of Defence. The mark placed on items and which is unique and can only be traced to that single item must be permanent and have the ability to withstand severe weather conditions during its entire lifetime. A UID scanner that utilizes the latest technology has made the scanning of 2D item barcodes easier since the state-of-the-art scanning device enables clear data reading.

The UID scanner boasts of having low cost sophisticated data analysis capability that allows for data to be captured and decoded in less than one second. Scanning of MIL-STD-130 spec labels requires pinpoint accuracy, which is provided by the UID scanner as it is able to check the correctness of the data captured and provide only genuine UII data. To perform a scan on MIL-STD-130 certified labels, the decoding process is very crucial as data syntax errors are usually common with barcodes. However, the UID scanner is quick, reliable and provides detailed quality control checking system that guarantees clients get the correct output.

Previous scanners had to use the services of third party conversion utilities for the correct barcode conversion. With the UID scanner, this is no longer the case as it is able to decode the data and give the output directly into PCs and Macs. Understanding the workings of these MIL-STD-130 spec label readers is complex and can be simplified by experts at ID-Integration. For more information and professional advice get in touch with ID-Integration.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

DoD-MIL- Specs Standard Review: MIL-STD-129

MIL-STD-129 is a military mandated policy for shipping/storage of supplies and equipment. The U.S. Department of Defense uses the MIL-STD to get them as close as possible to achieving standardization objectives. Mandated MIL Specs are generally enforced to make sure that defense items accurately meet specific similarity requirements like, consistency, amount of ownership, logistics system compatibility, and commonly defense-related objectives. Between 1994 and 1995 the Department of Defense slowed down the strict policies for commercial standards like Q9000, but after 1995 a significant expansion was observed in using DoD MIL Specs. This was after the revision of the MIL Specs standard, now in use for the non-defense branches of the government as well as all connected technical organizations. Therefore, non-military companies can use the detailed MIL Specs from the design to final manufacturing, quality control in the maintenance stages as well, including non-military products.

You can find the exact MIL Specs in many places, obtainable as free downloadable versions online. MIL Specs are downloadable only if public distribution is permitted. In spite of this, non-government organizations developed their own proprietary standards and are required to be purchased.

MIL-STD-129 is primarily military required marking for storage or shipping. The standardization marking must be present on all ammunition and equipment that is supplied via shipments, require the MIL-STD-129 standard compliant barcode, and the specific directions for marking and labeling.

DoD constantly updates the MIL Spec standards that for example caused such a discrepancy that was observed in MIL-STD-129, and a marking system was not accurate and resulted in a complication at Consolidation and Containerization checkpoints. Consequently, MIL-STD-129 was updated when revision P got introduced in January of 2006. The successive standard suggested to, access DoD MIL Specs from a Gov website where comparison and catalogue necessary to determine which updated MIL Specs are available.

Unit Containers:
Unit containers must contain shelf life markings for deteriorative products as read in MIL-STD-129 standard. Aside from the start of shelf life markings, the markings must indicate the dates expiration. A NSN barcode is required for unit containers as well as part number, item description, date of preservation, quantity, contract number, unit of issue, and method of preservation code details are also required to be listed in plain text form.

Exterior Containers
Exterior containers must be marked same as unit containers with one exception as the product description marking is not required. The CAGE Code, Contract Number and NSN are required in barcode form.

Intermediate Containers:
Intermediate containers are the same as unit container standard with one exception, located in the serial number section. When serial numbered products are more than five, the standard of exterior containers are applicable for the intermediate container.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

UID Marks Defined in Mil-Std-130

There are a number of components to the mil-std-130 specified UID. Sorting through the details can be complicated, but here are some of the very basics, to get you started in becoming more familiar with the U.S. Department of Defense’s mil-std-130.

You can choose nearly any marking technology as long as your mark is permanent for the lifetime of the product and possesses a readable UID mark. If you manufacture a product that is regularly replaced through scheduled maintenance cycles, then the mark is expected to remain legible through the full maintenance cycle. The UID should also contain a data matrix, 2D code sized at an approved size of ½ inch square in most cases. Optimum marking will include the printing of human readable information, linear bar code information, and a data matrix code, when size allows.

Specific elements of a UID mark in MIL-STD-130 consist of an enterprise ID, part number, and serial number, with data qualifiers. Bar codes and data matrix codes will result in a minimum Grade B reading for approval. Other items may be required for those with special contracts and projects as determined by the DoD.

Lettering should be all capitals in a sans-serif font. Popular fonts that meet MIL-STD-130 specs include Futura, Arial, Gothic, and Trebuchet MS. Accepted formats of linear bar codes include Code 39, Code 128, or EAN/UPC symbols. For correct representation of DoD accepted acronyms and abbreviations, you will need to review the complete Department of Defense, Standard Practice document for a full understanding of all mil-std-130 requirements.

It is important that a MIL-STD-130 marking not result in a deleterious effect with its product. In English, this means that the marking cannot disrupt the product’s end performance in any way. Products that may be adversely affected by a marking, should consider alternative marking methods that do not have a negative effect. An example of such an effect would be the loss of mass in a weight-sensitive part, due to an indenting UID mark. If the altered weight, after marking, results in poor performance results, it’s definitely time to reevaluate the marking process. In these cases, attaching a tag or ink jetting a UID mark, may be the best solution.

All the details must be considered when creating a product to exceed mil-std-130 specifications. It can be very confusing to wade through the pages of information on the Department of Defense’s mil-std-130. For help, you may wish to turn to outside resources to help you create a production process that meets mil-std-130 guidelines. If you’re looking for a single resource for all your mil-std-130 integration, then take a good look at ID Integration for full service, personalized solutions to your UID marking needs.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

DoD Asset Marking: Unique, Machine-Readable IDs Complying with MIL-STD-130

The evolving DoD standard for uniquely marking items under its purview is MIL-STD-130. MIL-STD-130 requires marking assets that are produced, stocked, stored, or issued by or for the DoD with Item Unique Identifications (IUID) as Machine Readable Information (MRI). Assets in possession of contractors working for the DoD must comply with this item marking standard. Marking each item with its IUID as MRI is an essential tool for effective DoD asset management.

MIL-STD-130 does specify exclusions for items such as those requiring Human Readable Information (HRI), or those having their own IUID marking as, for instance, a Vehicle Identification Number. In addition, parts within an assembly need not be removed and marked unless so stated in the contract. If legacy item marking is necessary, the IUID will need to be generated.

Compliance to MIL-STD-130 for DoD asset marking requires adhering to many precise and often complex specifications. Some of these are summarized below. ID-Integration has the resources and products to assist your organization in understanding and fully meeting MIL-STD-130.

Unless otherwise specified, the MRI marking protocol is MH10.8.7. Manufacturers that implement the marking standards of the ATA, AIAG, CEA, and GSI each have special MRI protocol instructions. MIL-STD-130 provides direction for other MRI protocols to be approved.

MRI markings must contain the item’s complete IUID and must remain permanent and readable over the life expectancy of the item. The proper location, size, content, and lettering are among the MRI marking specifications included in MIL-STD-130. The item itself can be marked with the MRI or the MRI can be applied to a durable material, such as metal or stiff plastic, and then affixed to the item. If an item does not have enough open space to be marked with the complete IUID, MIL-STD-130 specifies the essential information for item marking, or when it is allowed to mark the item’s packaging.

The information required for the IUID has two approved UII (Unique Item Identifier) constructs:
UII Construct 1: Enterprise Identifier (EID), and a Serial Number (SN). Enterprises must assure that their SN protocols provide globally unique identifiers.
UII Construct 2: EID, original PIN, lot or batch number; and a SN unique within the product identified. Enterprises must assure unique combinations of SN with original part, lot, or batch number assignments.

The MIL-STD-130 specifications include the quality of an MRI marking.
If using a Linear Bar Code, ISO/IEC 15416 is the protocol for measuring its print quality.
If using a Data Matrix Symbol, several protocols are approved to measure its quality. These include ISO/IEC 15415, AIM DPM-1-2006, are SAE AS9132.

Because adhering to MIL-STD-130 for compliant MRI marking is complex, organizations are encouraged to turn to the experts at ID-Integration for more information.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Familiarizing Unique Identification Data

The US Department of Defense in November 2004 developed the plan of submitting Unique Identification Data (UID) of specific date of items meant for the UID registry. This registry is very resourceful as it contains all valuable information relating to Department of Defense (DoD) and their UID data. The items that are submitted to the Department of Defense needs to be identified and classified through MIL – STD-130, a military standard that scrutinizes the markings of all military property. In addition to that, UID codes in the form of UID nameplates are designed to comply with MIL-STD-130. This is universally recognized parts identification method by the DoD in financial improvement and audit readiness plans and helps in locating, controlling and valuing all defense related qualifying assets.

The submission of UID data to the DoD is very crucial since it makes the tracking process an easy experience thus enabling a better maintenance procedure and accelerates the performance of the DoD personnel. The records in the unique integrator are saved for future reference on matters like acquisition and manufacture of items, their maintenance date, repairing information and other imminent details.

Not all data can be included in the MIL-STD-130 standard. Those items that are not included are either included in other documentation or has been already entered in another equivalent UID. The Defense Department has mandated that all data entering into the UID registry needs to comply with certain specific standards. The contractors are required to enter certain details pertaining to the part number, enterprise code, serial number of the item, issuing agency code, construct type (construct #1 or Construct #2), etc. These details are entered in the XML format. It is crucial that these standards, set by the government are complying with the terms of MIL-STD-130 standard. The data entered on the UID integrated is of two format types which are necessarily submitted: readable by machine in 2D data matrix codes and readable by humans. The machine readable information is always accurate and contains no human error. The human readable information is written in the Arial, Futura or other sans serif font, with numerical in the Arabic format. The text size should be 0.2 centimeters.

All the items that under the control of the DoD and to comply with MIL-STD-130 standard should be marked in a still identification plate, with an identification band, tag or label. These markings should be clearly visible, easily readable and permanent so it can be referred to during the said life of the product. The markings should be able to withstand environmental conditions, cleaning and rebuilding.

The company ID- Integration, a marking and identification systems integrator has been in the field since 1994. It develops custom UID solutions for branches of US military and their branches in seeking compliance with Defense Department’s UID mandate. It can deliver to your company products that have surpassed an integrated system of marking, verification, scanning, interface data tools with unique marking technology and UID data construction. The process is very complicated and cannot be simplified further. Hence it is not easy for laymen to understand. Hence it is not easy for laymen to understand. To understand more about identification data integrator, please feel free to contact the experts at our company and they will explain the process in very simple language. They will answer all your queries promptly and efficiently.