Contractors supplying equipment to the military are likely aware of requirements for Item Unique Identification of each piece of equipment they produce. The Department of Defense requires the identification, in the form of a 2-D data matrix symbol, for each piece of equipment valued at $5,000 or more, and in some cases, items of lesser value. The machine-readable code allows tracking of the asset throughout its life.
But contractors might be less familiar with the reasons the IUID program was implemented. The IUID requirements were spurred by concern from government auditors that federal departments have a poor grasp of the amount of inventory they have, where assets are located and what condition they’re in. As a result, the assets are more prone to theft, damage or loss. Assets that can’t be found are in some cases unnecessarily reordered.
With IUID marking, each individual asset can be tracked from cradle to grave. This reduces wasteful spending of taxpayers’ money and improves department operations. In the case of DoD, this translates to increased combat-readiness and enhanced safety for personnel.
The IUID program was developed with input from experts in the field. Among these is ID Integration Inc., which worked with DoD on itsIUID policy. ID Integration also belongs to technical working groups for IUID implementation and policy.
Ensure compliance with an IUID verificationsystem
ID Integration (www.id-integration.com) offers a range of services relating to IUID systems. For defense contractors who decide to incorporate direct part marking into their manufacturing process, IDI brings more than 15 years of experience in this area. In addition, the IDI staff is expert at IUID verification: A step that is key in complying with DoD standards. An IUID verification system will measure the quality of the 2-D Data Matrix. Is there enough contrast between light and dark areas? Are the cells within the symbol straight and uniform? Are required areas such as the quiet zone present? An IUID verificationsystem will look at all these factors and assign a grade to the symbol. It’s better for a manufacturer to find out early in the process that the Data Matrix is not making the grade, or is close to failing. Then appropriate maintenance or repairs can be made to marking equipment before too many defective labels are produced.
IDI has worked with many major clients on UID systems, including UID customers include Boeing Honeywell Aerospace, Rockwell Collins, United Airlines, U.S. Army and U.S. Navy.
Applications engineer Nancy Malone became fascinated at an early age with technology and software. The Stockton, California resident went on to earn a master’s degree in computer engineering and is now a sought-after expert. When she’s not playing or watching baseball, she writes for industry-leading websites including ID-Integration.com.
Reasons for IUID requirements are many