Monday, July 26, 2010

UID Scanners Makes UID Compliance Easier

UID scanners are helpful in reading and verifying data matrix labels. New technologies involved with these scanners perform tasks that once required separate machinery or outsourcing. The potentially time consuming task of scanning, decoding, verifying, and detecting flaws in UID labels

MIL-STD-130N Compliance
MIL-STD-130N is a document containing the current specifications from the United States Department of Defense. Two-dimensional data labels are required for many items owned by the United States military. These labels must follow those specifications for UID compliance.

The MIL-STD-130N is a long set of specifications. It regulates things like the placement of symbols, as well as, the type and amount of human readable information required. Due to the length and frequent updates of these specifications, a person could have a difficult time catching the flaws in a data symbol.

The Need for UID Scanners is simplified vastly when using UID scanners.

UID Scanners are important because, like some bar code scanners, they are capable of reading both two-dimensional data labels and one-dimensional bar codes. However, UID scanners can communicate to a network. This could be helpful in the attempt to track and maintain inventory for both newer and older items. These scanners can also insure MIL-STD-130N compliance by verifying that the data label meets those specifications.

Features of UID Scanners
UID scanners have an imaging ability that bar code scanners do not. This allows the operator to obtain a more accurate reading of the label. These scanners are available in both fixed and hand held varieties. The hand held type can have a cord that plugs in, or be completely wireless. These features allow for the use of UID scanners on large objects or in remote areas.

UID scanners are a practical tool for working with MIL-STD-130 compliant labels. Technologies used in these scanners simplify finding flaws in a two-dimensional matrix. Many of these features were unavailable in older bar code scanners. For more information regarding UID scanners, refer to the experts at ID-Integration.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

UID: Universal Identification System

The set of standards that is used by the United States Department of Defense is vital in keeping provisions and property well monitored in accordance with the strict identification requirements. With the variety of items that are owned and maintained by the DoD an identification system must be able to record and store critical data about the qualities of the item.

The UID or Unique Identification System provides this systematic way of recording and storing data. This data can include information regarding the total cost of ownership, logistics systems, and compatibility with other transportation and use systems. This method creates a system-wide and universally compatible method of identification and data retrieval.

First adopted in 1995, non-governmental agencies have seen the benefits of the UID method and are adopting this standardization system for themselves. The recent interest in the DoD specifications has created a new level of participation in the MIL Specs that outline the use of UID. Technical and non-technical companies and groups are using this method to take advantage of its efficiency and effectiveness.

In order to be in compliance with the Department of Defense standards concerning the UID, each item must be provided with a way for data to be obtained via a scanning device. This is through a machine readable matrix bar or sections. Being machine readable is only part of the requirement. Additionally each item must be marked with text and imagery that is readable by human personnel. Shelf life, quantity, preservation methods, and item number are among the basic information that must be printed on the exterior of the item for use and legibility.

The UID system serves to communicate the information regarding a specific item in a quick and efficient manner. Having both the machine and human readable text allows this to take place. It is the goal of the system to minimize error during the items use, storage, and transportation throughout its lifetime.

While being transported and stored, the UID will make the item more compatible with shipping and containing requirements

An added benefit of the UID is that each identified item is placed in an governmental registry. This allows an item to be stored and information to be acquired quickly during shipping for tracking and logistic purposes

If an employee of the government or a contractor working for the government wishes, an item and its UID information can be placed in the registry. This acts as a collection of all Department of Defense assets that are controlled internally or by third parties.

Monday, July 12, 2010

UID Marking Basics: Creating and Reading MIL-STD-130 Compliant Labels

In order for the US Department of Defense (DoD) to track vast amounts expensive equipment, it has mandated the standard UID marking criteria MIL-STD-130N; specifically section 252.211-7003 entitled “Item Identification and Valuation” [1]. The specifications for this standard stipulate detailed criteria that industry developers and DoD suppliers must follow when labeling products. The DoD dictates these criteria for labeling everything from ammunition to parts for rocket motors.

The standard specifies that all physical property and equipment of a certain monetary value must be marked with compliant Unique Identifier (UID) labels. UID marking components consists of a succession of bits, a series of characters, or a unique number to distinguish equipment from other gear much like a serial number. Each UID can be used no more than once within one project or scope [2]. A variation of UID marking technology is used by the shipping companies UPS and FedEx. These companies use a 2D data matrix label to track shipments (you may have noticed the grid-style label on a package; it resembles a newspaper crossword puzzle).

US Military personnel and contractors utilize DoD equipment that is subject to UID marking standards. The equipment must be inventoried and audited at regular intervals to ensure DoD capabilities and readiness. While it is possible to read UID labels with sub-par equipment, prudent users turn to DoD-certified UID label readers and scanners to automate the reading of UID labels.

To meet the rigorous criteria of MIL-STD-130N, equipment manufacturers must deploy the most reliable and advanced UID marking and UID scanning technology available. The UID marking process for nameplates can include methods such as ink jet, laser etching, or even dot-peen [3]. It is imperative to manufacture nameplates with quality UID marking equipment. It is also important to employ durable and versatile label scanners. Equipment manufacturers must also use only the best UID marking equipment available to ensure long-lasting and durable labels. Today there are a few US companies manufacturing UID marking and scanning equipment. When choosing a manufacturer one must take multiple variables into consideration. For any questions or expert advice, visit ID-Integration at

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Information on UID Labels

Logistics is a complex process that involves the shipping, handling, and storage or a vast number of objects. A system must be in place that can meet the requirements and demands posed by such a challenging task. There are many solutions that can be used to address the logistics issue, but many of them are not optimized and well designed. The Military has used a standardized system for their logistic needs for many years. Beginning in the 1990s, this system was adopted by commercial and private sector groups. As its use expanded, more groups began using the UID system for object identification. UID labels play a central part in this system.

The Department of Defense requires that all items that it owns must be in accordance with MIL-STD-130. This is a series of documents that outline the requirements of item labeling. Among these requirement UID labels must convey information regarding a specific object or group of objects through two methods. The first is through clearly legible text that is accessible to humans. The text is required to be of a certain size and style. Secondly, a bar-code matrix must be available on the item for scanning by a computer system. UID labels are in place to make the logistics process more efficient through proper identification.

In order to be in accordance with the Military labeling scheme, a certain amount of information must be expressed through the UID labels. Expiration date, group number, transportation and storage requirements, all must be clearly and easily available to determine. Many problems can develop at any point during the logistics process. An item may become misplaced or kept in an inadequate environment, leading to lost capital and time.

Each item that is marked with UID labels also has the benefit of being included in a large database. This database is known as the UID registry and it is a information warehouse that contains data on all items owned by the Department of Defense or owned by third party contractors. Having a central database has innumerable benefits to the logistic cycle.

The Military has used UID labels with a great deal of success. Recently, it has become an effective tool for the private sector as well. Logistical issues can be reduced and managed through the use of UID labels. Adherence to the labeling system is a complex topic and an expert in the field should be contacted to aid in the integration process.