Saturday, October 1, 2011

The Importance of MIL STD 130

MIL STD 130 is a document detailing the process of UID labels or marking for products that are produced, stored, stocked, and issued by the Department of Defense, or DoD. Any organization that works with products intended for use by the DoD must follow the UID label guidelines as specified in MIL STD 130. This managed process is used to ensure that each product has unique identification so that it can be tracked throughout its usage and lifetime. MIL STD 130 plays a big part in Department of Defense projects, or contracts. This is especially true when this branch of government works with outside organizations and manufacturers. MIL STD 130 has been developed to provide a useful manual of specifications to ensure full compliance of UID labels.

In cases where a product has already established a history with a unique identification number, MIL STD 130 allows for some exceptions. These are typically products such as motor vehicles, cell phones, and other products with separate and unique UID labels already in place. The best examples of these exceptions include; cell phones, which are already defined by their Electronic Serial Numbers; and cars, which are already identified by a Vehicle Identification Number.

MIL STD 130 provides the minimum requirements that UID labels must meet in order to be used by the DoD. The list of requirements is too long to list in this brief article, but some of the more basic requirements can be discussed. To start, MIL STD 130 requires that all UID labels be marked on a hard surface that will withstand industrial environments. UID labels may be affixed to the part, itself, or with a plate, label, tag, or band. In some cases UID labels aren’t actually labels, but rather an identification mark that has been printed or indented directly onto the surface of the part.

MIL STD 130 explains that these UID labels need to be located in a highly visible area, if possible. UID labels need to be designed to last for the full lifetime use of a product, taking into consideration the environment it will be exposed to. Compliant UID labels also need to have both human and machine readable codes visible on the identification.

MIL STD 130 enforces several requirements for how the human readable and machine readable information should be provided. Specifications for human readable information typically include information about the font size and style, among other things. All machine readable information must be arranged in a certain way, and there are minimum requirements for the information that must be identifiable.

Depending on the industry, the requirements for ID integration are different. Since MIL STD 130 is a lengthy document that can't be easily shortened, anyone working with the Department of Defense (DoD) should contact an experienced integrator like ID Integration, Inc. for assistance in evaluating the many solutions.

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