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Data Matrix Helps Department of Defense Track Inventory

by THenderson0622

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The Item Unique Identification (IUID) program used by the Department of Defense allows the department to track many of its physical assets throughout their lifetime. This is key to the department’s financial management as well as its combat readiness. It’s also an important requirement for contractors doing business with the DoD. IUID (also referred to as Unique Identification, or UID) is typically required if an asset costs more than $5,000, and in certain cases for items costing less than $5,000. It’s up to the contracting office to determine whether IUID marking is required.

The 2-D Data Matrix barcode is used for labeling assets within the IUID program. Parts can be marked in several ways. The IUID label can be applied directly onto the equipment by chemical etching or using a laser. Or the Data Matrix code can be located on a label that is permanently attached to the item. These labels are typically metal, but in some cases polyester might be used. The labels must be very durable to withstand years of use in potentially harsh conditions. Coatings are sometimes used to help in this regard. A thorough understanding of the item to be marked, and how it will be used throughout its life, is critical to determining the best marking method. The location of the code can also impact its readability. By working with an expert in IUID technology, contractors can avoid labeling pitfalls that put their DoD project at risk. For example, ID Integration, Inc., provides a wide range of IUID marking options and was part of the team that helped the DoD develop their IUID program.

Choosing the best IUID scanner

The 2-D Data Matrix code is significantly different from the linear barcode, and to read it a specifically designed IUID scanner is needed. Some scanners can read both, but it’s important to check this before buying an IUID scanner or IUID imager. The scanners come in cordless or corded models. Beyond this basic decision are a number of features to consider on the scanner itself or through various software solutions. The ability to upload data from the scanner or IUID imager directly to PC applications without “middleware” may be feature that can save you time and money. Some high end scanners are able to detect syntax errors in the Data Matrix and even suggest corrections. A scanner or IUID imager that can double as a camera may also be useful in some situations. And of course a strong warranty is desirable with any equipment purchase.

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About Author :

Mr.Thomas Henderson lives in Hebron, Kentucky. Throughout his career, he’s spend time working on a wide range of applications that include IUID scanner, MIL-STD-130 compliance, UID labels, IUID imager, and much more.

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