Unique Identification (UID) as a system is regulated by MIL SPEC 130, a set of protocols standardized by the Department of Defense in the United States. These requirements state the rules for compliance for all related articles or product compliance procedures, credit rules for manufacturers and contractors working with the government, as well as qualification standards and storage. In short, MIL SPEC 130 contains everything that is responsible for consolidating national security.
The plan was devised with the view that a formal record of production data can be maintained within the government (only on national possessions). Items can be easily tracked through storage, import, and a consumer’s market. Therefore, each article registered with the government is given a special code or unique identification number. The full MIL SPEC 130 guidelines contain information relevant to the UID process as governed by the U.S. Department of Defense.
Not all items require UID labels. MIL SPEC 130 clearly notes essential guidelines that qualify an item for marking. It also specifies other guidelines about manufacturing details, item production numbers, serial numbers, substrate types, and compliant marking technologies. These readings are maintained in binary format to prevent duplicacy and fraud. Manufacturers and contractors must read and record 2D matrix codes in most cases and may also benefit with the help of a high performance scanner or verifier.
MIL SPEC 130 contains specifications about the type of scanner that a manufacturer should use to read a UID. The scanner’s software is programmed to verify codes and record statistics in an organized manner.
MIL SPEC 130 covers other essentials such as data printing type, where to place the title plate, what substance to use for permanent marking, and more. As per marking compliance regulation, all products with UID tags should be attached to easy to locate places so that a bar code scanner can properly read the print. Another important consideration to remember is that the ink used for numbering should be permanent.
For marking, all manufacturers have been given a range of choice including:
• Thermal Transfer
• Laser printing systems
• Dot peen
• Chemical etching
• Inkjet printing
• Contact or offset printers
It is important that UID labels are incredibly durable on all products. A UID label must be made of a material that can endure all types of conditions. If the numbers are not placed correctly or there is a printing error, it is likely that the article or product will be cancelled, rejected, or removed from the production line. It entirely depends on the contractor to verify with compliance measures prior to a product’s launch. A beginner can refer to MIL SPEC 130 regulations to remove any doubt.
For more information, visit http://www.id-integration.com/docs/specs/UID_Basics_101.pdf or http://idintegration.blog.ca/2011/10/13/the-importance-of-mil-std-12007061/.