SARAH W. JOINS ALL-MARKS!
Sarah W. is the newest full time member of the All-Marks team. Outstanding with communications and marketing, Sarah is a tremendous asset to All-Marks. She will be selling all of our products and job shop services which include laser marking, UID labels and related products, and all manner of product identification. She can be reached at 877.847.8076 ext. 3.
ALL-MARKS IS GROWING!
All-Marks has just been appointed the regional distributor for all Datalogic Automation laser marking products. This includes all green lasers, CO2 lasers, pulsed fiber lasers, UV lasers, DPSS lasers, continuous wave fiber lasers, and more!
Kudos to All-Marks!
ON APPROVED VENDOR LIST
All-Marks is now on the SpaceX approved vendor list for job shop laser marking. SpaceX is also a long time customer of All-Marks, utilizing our industrial laser marking equipment.Link
UID - Information
In an attempt to improve asset management through uniquely identifying property, plant and equipment, operating materials and supplies, the Department of Defense (DoD) has initiated a business transformation and the unique identification program (UID). The framework is intended to be implemented and interoperable across joint and multi-national organizational boundaries and comparable across the Department of Defense's business systems. The purpose of the UID program is to both uniquely identify and value items to provide better asset accountability and valuation through the life cycle.
What is UID?
UID, or Unique Identification, is basically a system for uniquely identifying parts and products so the Department of Defense (DoD) can distinguish one object from another, and to track objects throughout their organization. It accomplishes this by using a UII (Unique Item Identifier) via a Data Matrix barcode. The major components that make up the UII number are usually a cage code, a part number, and a serial number. The data must be encoded following a specific language and format in order for Automatic Identification Technology (AIT) to read and interpret the data.
What is a Data Matrix barcode?
Data Matrix (sometimes spelled datamatrix) is a two-dimensional bar code that is machine readable and permanently affixed. The Data Matrix barcode is either applied as a label or directly marked on the part, and can store from 1 to about 2,000 characters.
The 2D Data Matrix bar code symbol is square or rectangular and can range from 0.001 inch per side up to 14 inches per side. UID compliance requires that all labels, marks and tags use a Data Matrix bar code.
The data matrix may be applied to an identification plate securely fastened (using an approved adhesive or mechanical fasteners) to the item or may be applied directly to the surface of the item. The mark shall be as permanent as the normal life expectancy of the item and be capable of withstanding the environmental tests and cleaning procedures specified for the item to which it is affixed.
After constructing the data matrix symbol quality checks are required for data content (validation) and data accuracy, code profile and appearance (verification). The data content is validated by de-coding the mark using an automated (barcode) reader. The profile or appearance of the code is inspected with vision verification equipment. The quality standard for acceptance of the machine-readable code must meet the specifics of MIL-STD -130N, ISO15415 and/or AS9132.
Wide Area Workflow is the standardized data capture mechanism for transmitting UID data from the contractor into the DoD UID registry for new acquisitions. The UID registry will maintain the records of what the item is, the original owner, initial value, and interact with other systems for property management and logistics.
A subassembly is simply a UID marked part that has an association with a parent UID marked part. For example: If you have a kit that contains multiple UID items, or an electronic device that has expensive subcomponents, you would want them UID marked and associated with the parent UID item.
When is UID Required?
A recently established policy makes UID a mandatory DoD Requirement on all solicitations issued after Jan. 1, 2004. In addition tangible personal property and Government Furnished Property (GFP) in the possession of Contractors must have UID markings and registration of the UII by May 2006. The long term goal is to complete UID marking of items and all embedded assets within the DoD system by Dec 31, 2010. DoD contracting officers are required to include the clause in all solicitations, defining items necessary for identification and valuation. All tangible items delivered to the government will require a unique item identification (UII) if:
- The unit acquisition cost is over $5000.
- Serially managed.
- Mission essential.
- Controlled inventory.
- It is a consumable item or material where permanent identification is necessary.
The guidelines above are quite general, the net result is that for new procurement (new goods sold to the Department of Defense by a contractor), if you are required to mark items with UID, the relevant DFARS clauses will be spelled out in your contract.
How to I apply UID to parts?
There are several acceptable methods for applying a Data Matrix barcode to your parts, and they can vary drastically regarding their ease of implementation and their durability. The solution you choose will often depend upon the use of the part. Factors in the operating environment such as whether or not it will be exposed to harsh outdoor environments including direct sunlight, chemicals or high temperatures will be crucial in determining the optimum technique. The UID marks are usually applied using one of the following techniques.
Labels made out of a highly durable material such as polyester with a strong adhesive backing. They can usually be applied like stickers. These applications are most suitable for products that will not be used in harsh environments such as prolonged exposure to sunlight or exposure to powerful chemicals.
ID plates or labels allow you to apply highly durable markings that are suitable for harsh outdoor environments without imprinting the Data Matrix into the part itself. Plates can either be produced in-house or they can be outsourced to All-Marks - we can provide custom plates for any application.
Direct marking is the process of embedding the UID marks directly onto the product itself, usually via dot-peen, laser, or electro-chemical etch. All-Marks has partnered with various hardware manufacturers to provide solutions for these marking methodologies. All-Marks has also partnered with the leading companies that provide WAWF submission software.