Within the Department of Defense (DoD), A UID is a unique permanent marking on an item. These markings – generally found on UID labels - distinguish each item from any other item in the DoD’s inventory. The identification system was implemented by the DoD as an quality assurance program designed to eliminate misplacement, duplicacy, and piracy of articles and items.
The rules and regulations of the program are quite detailed and cover all processes such as UID verification, registration, labeling techniques, and technologies. In this article, we will focus on the importance of the labels, how they are categorized, how to properly mark equipment and other assets, and how they help in the preservation of both government and commercial assets.
The DoD has specified all standard protocol for proper handling of with identification registration. A contractor must first apply for license certification. Documentation of all production-related issues is required before the DoD will approve the application. The objective is simple: To label each item with a unique identifier so that each can be tracked throughout its entire lifecycle.
Mil Spec 130 states the techniques to be followed for marking the required items. It states that:
• The tags or labels should be permanent.
• The tags should be permanently marked either by indented, laser marked, inkjet, or chemical etching processes.
• The tags should contain all required information, such as: Type of commodity, enterprise identifier, serial number, expiry date, batch number, etc.
• When fixed to the items and/or products, the tags should be placed in a visible location to facilitate a clear scan.
• The tags should be of high quality and be well maintained, as they are meant to serve the lifespan of the commodity.
Apart from these regulations, the protocol is also very specific about the storage and export of articles containing the unique identifier. This is one reason that the information on the tags is recorded with the help of a 2D data matrix scanner. This means that the item can be traced anytime, should it need to be quickly located and retrieved or reassigned. This also helps tighten security measures.
However, not all items require UID labels. There are several regulations detailing precisely what equipment qualifies for labeling. These regulations can sometimes be difficult to decipher for manufacturers, who may not be sure which – if any – of their products require a label. For clarification or assistance on these regulations, visit ID Integration, Inc. online at www.id-integration.com.