Sunday, October 7, 2012

Understand the Rules to Create UID Labels

A UID, or unique identifier, was developed by the U.S. Department of Defense in an attempt to track its products and properties. This identification helps to serialize and maintain all government properties and assets. The UID is created following certain rules and specifications mentioned in the MIL SPEC 130. It is an absolute necessity that all UID labels conform to the MIL SPEC 130 standards to be valid. Suppliers or manufacturers that supply products to the United States government must meet every standard detailed by the DoD. This is required to sell products to the government, but also helps to keep track of entities, maintenance, and distribution.

MIL SPEC 130 states the rules that ensure compliance. Some of the basic rules of compliance incorporated in this standard include:

• Not all government items are required to have labels. Only those that are equal to or more than $5000, are immediately needed for a mission, or an embedded product that requires permanent identification.

UID labels must be permanent, as well as scratch and chemical resistant.

• All labels must contain a 2D data matrix bar code and also free text that can be read by humans.

• The labels must be made of materials that can withstand harsh climate conditions. Materials like polyester, polyimide, and brushed aluminium are most commonly used while making these labels. Laser etching and other methods are used to write on the labels as these techniques ensure permanence even under severe climate conditions.

• All labels must contain necessary information about the product in two parts. Construct #1 incorporates the serial number of the product along with the data qualifiers, the ID of the enterprise, and description of the item. Construct #2 incorporates vital details about the original part number, the batch number, and serial number.

• The linear code and the bar code must maintain strict quality standards. Linear bar codes and data matrix symbols should be a minimum grade B in the ISO 15416 and 15415. If the labels are using electrochemical etching or laser to mark, they must follow quality standards of SAE AS9132.
• The labels must be created in a way that they are readable and permanent.

These are some of the few basics for compliance in MIL SPEC 130. All labels must adhere strictly to these rules or they will not be considered valid. For a more detailed understanding of the rules for compliance, visit

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