Tuesday, December 20, 2011

UID & MIL SPEC 130: Know the Facts

A UID, or item unique identification, is an endeavour to manage the supplies that the U.S. Army receives. It stands for unique identity and tries to make all transactions, distribution, and maintenance of various products easily traceable. Therefore, UID compliance is a requirement for all the suppliers of the U.S. Army. Now, with such a system in place, there are also many guidelines that explain these processes; including MIL SPEC 130 and MIL-STD-130. As directed by the Department of Defense (DoD) all suppliers are required to comply with UID standards when manufacturing products or parts for use by the U.S. Government. Because these UID requirements have a big impact on security, the U.S. DoD follows MIL SPEC 130 guidelines quite strictly. These MIL SPEC 130 specifications apply to any items that are purchased, issued, manufactured, or transported by the U.S. Military.

Almost every product that the Army controls requires unique identification numbers, except for those items, which already contains item unique identification such as the VIN and serial numbers on most vehicles and cell phones, for example. MIL SPEC 130 also specifies the way that the UID is to be applied on the products. They specify the materials and the approved methods for marking this UID information on a variety of products. Most often, MIL SPEC 130 instructs contractors to use unique identification number plates of durable materials for permanent tagging. The guidelines advise these suppliers to use strong metal plates, or stiff plastic UID tags that will withstand harsh conditions and weathering. Some manufacturers prefer to mark this information directly onto the part saving on consumables costs. Today, there are many proven marking methods that are capable of meeting compliance; including YAG laser marking, programmable indenting equipment, and even permanent inkjet printers that can be installed directly onto production lines for efficient and automated marking.

Durability of marked information is of primary importance for UID compliance and it’s well understood that these markings or tags are required to remain legible throughout the full lifetime of every part and product. The UID plates have to outlast the products, and they are also required to survive extreme weather conditions. Mil spec 130 also directs the suppliers to attach the unique identification number plates in the place where they are most likely to be seen.

UID marking is mandatory for all contractors and suppliers of the U.S. Department of Defense. If manufactured, or distributed, products fail to fulfill this unique identification compliance then they may face rejection and the eventual loss of valuable Government contracts. Therefore, every DoD supplier should take the issue of UID compliance seriously. For expert assistance, visit the experienced professionals at ID Integration, Inc. These integration experts can quickly advise you for complete MIL SPEC 130 compliance and can complete your UID solution in a manner that helps to increase production, decrease errors, and streamlines your manufacturing processes. Learn about unique item identification and MIL SPEC 130 by visiting ID Integration, Inc. online at, http://www.id-integration.com/docs/specs/UID_Basics_101.pdf.

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