The Department of Defense requires all tangible assets to be marked with a unique identifier for tracking purposes. All government and industry standards, specifications, publications and handbooks applicable to the design of DoD asset tracking identifiers are detailed in MIL-STD-130N. The standard also includes a list of items that do not need to comply with MIL-STD-130N, and itemizes the relevant replacement governing standards.
The identifier must contain certain information, and this information may be presented in the form of a plate, band, tag or label. These can be made of metal or stiff plastic and must be designed to attach permanently to the asset. MIL-STD-130N also allows the identifier to be inscribed directly onto the asset, for example by laser marking or etching the required information. Finally, in rare instances, MIL-STD-130N permits placing the identifier on the packaging of the item.
MIL-STD-130N defines the information to be included on the identifier differently for assets that require Item Unique Identification (IUID) and non-IUID items. For example, Commercial off the Shelf (COTS) items are typically considered to be non-IUID items. Both types (IUID and non-IUID) in general must display at a minimum the Enterprise Identifier (EID) and the Part Identifying Number (PIN). If space allows, a traceable number associated with the item such as a serial number must be included as well. For IUID items, serial numbers and Part Identifying Numbers are further defined specifically for Construct #1 and Construct #2.
Machine-readable information (MRI) is the preferred marking method specified by MIL-STD-130N. The required character count, symbols, syntax and semantics must be in compliance with the standards (ISO/IEC and others) listed in MIL-STD-130N. Exceptions are explained, for example, marking protocols from the Automotive Industrial Action Group (AIAG), the Air Transport Association (ATA), the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) all take precedence when applicable. MIL-STD-130N also designates the quality standards for MRI markings.
Human-readable information (HRI) is permitted by MIL-STD-130N provided it meets readability design guidelines. These include a minimum text size of 0.2 centimeters (0.08 inches, 5.76 points) and a sans-serif font (Arial, Futura, Trebochet or other), with Arabic numerals. The characters must remain readable over the entire life of the item.
Both MRI and HRI types must be placed in a visible, readable location and information must be arranged in a specific order. The order is dependent on Original Design Activity (ODA), Current Design Activity (CDA) or other. These are defined in MIL-STD-130N.
This cursory overview does not explain the complexities of MIL-STD-130N, nor does it detail the many exceptions. Compliance with the Department of Defense military standards is complicated and it is best to consult with the experts at Jet city Laser for more information.
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Jet City Laser is a premier supplier of UID Compliance that are 100% verified and meet MIL-STD-130N requirements. It has helped numerous customers in UID registration products to register data to the UID Central Registry.
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