All contractors that supply to DoD programs need to comply with mandated labeling standards. But when the time comes to implement a UID program, often there are many questions. Should you acquire your own UID marking equipment, or outsource? What kind of marking do you need to do? How can you be sure the marking will withstand extreme or difficult conditions?
Our partner, Zebra Technologies, offers the following information from their white paper “Sensible DoD Asset Management and Tracking: The Business Case for Thermal Label Printing for IUID Marking”. Following is an excerpt that can help you find the UID solution that is right for you.
- Select the appropriate marking solution – Match your solution to your needs. You don’t have to buy expensive or complex IUID marking technology, like laser etching or dot peening. Most of the time, you can use much less expensive thermal label printers.
- Ensure the bar code meets requirements – A label or mark needs to meet military standard formatting specs, and will include criteria such as bar code density and label content. Tolerances are another key factor, and the width of bars and spaces must be consistent and have sufficient contrast to make the symbol readable.
- Ensure the bar code is accurate– data accuracy is important because if the IUID mark contains incorrect data or it does not meet DoD verification and validation standards, you can’t submit the data to the Registry.
- Choose the appropriate software – The software component of a UID solution must be able to generate properly formatted IUID data for reporting and be updated to included any changes in DoD requirements.
- Be sure that your solution stands up to the task – If the marked item needs to withstand weather conditions and extreme environments, then you’ll need durable label materials or adhesives and protective coatings that can provide item-lifetime identification in such conditions. In addition, if the item is part of a larger system, then the label or marking system must be able to handle these linked data relationships.
Are you considering a UID solution and need some guidance? Then give us a call. Our range of solutions can help you comply with mandates in an efficient and affordable way.