UID Label - MIL-STD-130Introduction

The latest version of MIL-STD-130, Version N, was released on December 17th, 2007.

Since many contractors, and their subcontractors, have to mark many of the items they make to meet this standard, we thought it would be useful to produce a brief summary of the changes.

This document is particularly concerned with how the changes will affect the labeling of UID items and the verification of the UID barcodes.

UID LabelsMuch of the information contained in this document comes from our UID partner, Siemens Energy and Automation. The people in this part of the giant Siemens organization have been involved in the development of the UID program since its beginning and are a great resource for us and our customers.

Summary of Main Changes

  • Over 70 total changes in 44 pages
  • Changes to Definitions for “Labels”, “Validation” and “Verification”
  • A requirement change in the permanency of marking through overhaul
  • Selection of verification standard is your choice of ISO15415, AIM DPM-1-2006 or
  • Addition of Dome Illumination as specified in AIM DPM-1-2006 verification requirement.
  • Verifier Manufacturer calibration procedures acceptable for calibration.

Changes in Section 3 – Definitions

Section 3.34 Label is now defined as: “An item marked with the identification information of another item and affixed to that other item. A label may be of any similar or different material than that of the item to which it is affixed.

A label may be made of a metallic or non-metallic material. Labels may be affixed to the identified item by any appropriate means. Labels are often referred to as plates (i.e. data plate, name plate, ID plate, etc.) however, label material and methods of marking and affixing have no bearing on this distinction.”

Section 3.54 – 3.55 Unique Item Identifier (UII) and the UII Data Set are defined where the UII is the concatenated value derived from a UII data set that is (a) Construct #1, (b) Construct #2 or (c) the IUID equivalents defined in 3.33.

Note that the UID is now limited to a total of 50 characters.

Section 3.60 Validation definition is changed to: “Confirmation by examination and
provisions of objective evidence that the particular requirements for a specific intended use have been fulfilled; that all requirements have been implemented correctly and completely and are traceable to system requirements.”

Section 3.62 Verification definition is changed to: “Confirmation by examination, and provisions of objective evidence, that the item identification marking requirements specified in this standard and the associated contract have been fulfilled.”

These sections are important because they put the responsibility on the contractor to be able to prove that the UID labeling meets the requirements of the Standard.

Changes in Section 4 – General Requirements

Section 4.3 “Direct identification marking and identification plates, identification bands,
identification tags, or identification labels used shall be as permanent as the normal life expectancy of the item and be capable of withstanding the environmental tests and leaning procedures specified for the item to which it is affixed. The direct identification marking method should be selected to ensure the mark will withstand the specified rebuild processes. It is not intended that existing items be subjected to retest solely because of the addition of an MRI requirement except when required to insure compliance with 4.5. When IUID is required for new items that are being tested, the marking on the part shall be subjected to the same test conditions. Direct identification marking methods shall account for final finished condition of the item including paints, coatings, and sealants to assure readability. “

The change to this section is to re-emphasize that the UID marking is intended to be permanent. This is going to be made easier with the introduction of the AIM DPM-1-2006 verification standard. The AIM DPM standard is intended to make it easier to verify UID marks on labels that are given a protective coating as well as low contrast direct part marks.

Changes in Section 5 – Detailed Requirements

In Section 5.2, additional guidance and clarification is provided for the use of EID in non-IUID items, use of PIN, lot or batch and Serial number, and original part number.

Section Clarifies the dimensional requirements of a rectangular data matrix, with the larger side not to exceed 1 inch while continuing to allow contractual exceptions.

Many contractors are not aware that the Datamatrix barcode used for the UID marking can be used in a rectangular format as well as a square. For some products (labeling on printed circuit boards for example) a rectangular Datamatrix code fits the label better than a square one would. This section defines that the longest side of a rectangular UID mark must not be longer than 1 inch.

Section 5.2.7 MRI Marking Quality states that conformance with the required standards may be based upon a sampling plan in accordance with ISO/IEC 2859-1. It further states that “Marking quality conformance shall include validation and verification of mark content and quality.”

One of the most common causes for UID labeling to be rejected is failure by the contractor to validate that the UID mark is constructed according to the requirements of the standard in order to ensure that the format of the data is correct. The contractor is expected to have a process in place to ensure that both the formatting and quality of the UID mark meets all the provisions of the standard.

Section Data Matrix Symbol Quality has been revised significantly. Any of the approved verification and validation methods may be used at the Supplier’s choice for all marking procedures. Suppliers may now select from ISO/IEC 15415, AIM DPM 1-2006, or SAE AS 9132, whichever gets you the best result.

The addition of the AIM DPM standard as an approved verification method is one of the most important changes to the standard.

Many contractors are currently using ISO/IEC 15415 for label verification and this is still allowable under the standard. For these contractors it is still permissible to use labels with a modulation or contrast score of 2.0 as long as all the other parameters score 3.0 or better. The standard states:

“Quality (symbol validation and verification) reports shall clearly show that the MOD, SC, or both, are the only parameters measured as low as 2.0, and clearly show that the overall grade would be at least 3.0 if MOD and SC were at least 3.0. Quality reports shall also document the synthetic aperture size used. “

With the AIM DPM 1-2006, a new dome light, excluded from MIL STD 130M Change 1 (but present in the original Quality Guidelines from AIM) has been introduced. This allows for easier verification of UID marks on curved surfaces. Note that existing verifiers will not have this feature and will need to be upgraded by the manufacturer or replaced to take advantage of the new rule.

In paragraph “d”, the MIL STD 130 N now accepts each Verifier manufacturer’s calibration procedures for their own verifier products.

For example, our customers using the Siemens UID Verifier can use the calibration technique determined by the Siemens engineers using the calibration card supplied with the equipment.

Paragraph “e” provides guidance for application of the Data Matrix symbol to a curved surface, restricting the symbol size to 32% of the radius (16% of the diameter or 5% of the circumference) associated with the curvature of the surface.

This ensures that the Datamatrix symbol will be readable from a single position and is a good practice for non-DoD labeling as well.


If you have to label your products to meet MIL-STD-130, you will know that there are a lot of variables to contend with.

Here at WincoID we have helped hundreds of prime and sub contractors with their MIL-STD-130 compliance plan.

We can provide printed and verified UID labels and well as systems consisting of printers, scanners, verifiers, labels etc. We also help with label design and templates – everything possible to make compliance easier for our customers.

If you have any questions or need some help, call David Holliday at 603-598-1553 x 237.

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