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.

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