DoD Labeling Compliance Made Easy

Trying to keep up with changes in Military Standards? Do you have to comply but you’re not really sure how? Most often we hear, “How do I figure out what all these changes mean, and how do I get in compliance. What’s the most recent standard, and does it apply to me? This is just painful.”

One of the first things you will need to figure out is if it makes more sense to use a label printing service to preprint the labels, or to get them set up to print your own on demand and encode as needed. There are formulas to help you determine the best course to take. Remember to consider both short and long term plans when considering your investment in hardware and software to be sure it is forward compatible. Be sure to look through the application, deadlines, and resources available.

The UID standard has been put in place for much the same reason as the RFID one: better inventory tracking. Both are contract specific. RFID is fairly straight forward – put an RFID label on the unit, exterior container, and pallet. Oh but wait a minute…..do you have a UID item in there? If so, you need to put the UII number in a PDF417 bar code format on the shipping label. The shipping and product marking standards are coming together a bit.

UID is more complicated. Your customer should let you know which items need to be marked. Some actually are specific as to method and material and may provide you with a print/drawing; others leave it up to you to decide based on how the product is used and the environment it’s used in.

Which Standard is Current?
MIL-STD-130N was released on December 17, 2007 and supersedes MIL-STD-130M with Change 1 that was released on June 15, 2007. See how quickly things can change? Six months between one and the other. If your contract has a clause that refers to DFARS 252.211-7003: Item Identification and Valuation, then you need to comply to the UID part of MIL-STD-130N. MIL-STD-130 is 52 pages long.

MIL-STD-129P with Change 4 was released on September 19, 2007 and supersedes MIL-STD-129P with Change 3 released on October 29, 2004. Three years since the last change. If your contract has a clause that refers to DFARS 252.211-7006: Radio Frequency Identification, then you need to comply with MIL-STD-129P. MIL-STD-129 is 163 pages long.

Most people know which standard affects them, but what to do after that isn’t always so clear. For some it’s not much fun reading through volumes of documents. If you have to comply, make sure you know what that means before you accept contracts to be sure your profits are not gone before you even start. 

You need to  know your labels are in compliance, preferably before your DCMA is standing beside the shipment on your dock.

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Winco ID offers Seminars throughout the Northeast Region to help you get in compliance with MIL-STD-130, MIL-STD-129 and includes RFID and UID labeling. Visit us for more information or contact David Holliday at 1.800.325.5260 X237.

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