The defense department system of using Item Unique Identification (IUID) tags to label individual pieces of equipment has become a valuable method of tracking assets throughout their lifetime, no matter where they are located across the globe. These tags, which are in the form of 2D data matrix symbols, contain basic identifying information about the item. As spelled out in the U.S. Defense Department’s MIL-STD-130,information contained in the unique item identifier may include the issuing agency code, enterprise ID, part number and serial number. An IUID scanner is used to read the code and extract the information. |
In addition to containing this basic information, the identifier can be linked to a database that stores other details about the item, such as its repair and maintenance history. In that sense, the identifier is considered a “key” that can unlock important information about a particular asset. The data matrix symbol paired with an IUID scanner makes it easier for information about an item to be shared across the organization.
MIL-STD-130 contains detailed requirements regarding IUID labeling. The identifying symbol should be designed to last the life of the equipment and withstand environmental conditions the item is expected to encounter. MIL-STD-130 discusses different methods for applying the identifier and lists specifications for the symbol’s size and its quality.
Selecting a scanner
2-D Data Matrix scanners come in hand-held and fixed-station models. Taking a close look at the features of the IUID scanner will help ensure you’ve selected the best model for your particular needs. Software can be installed that enhances the basic functions of a scanner. For example, software available through ID Integration, Inc. allows the hand-held scanner to extract information from the Data Matrix symbol in any combination and order. The software finds any syntax errors in the identifier and even suggests corrections. Importantly, all syntax errors are reported, rather than just the first one found. This saves time and improves efficiency when making corrections. And no middleware software is needed to accomplish these tasks, saving additional money.
Results are communicated through beeps and vibrations. One beep indicates a valid identifier, while four beeps alerts the user that a syntax error has been found. Installation of the software is easy; no drivers or setup programs are needed. The system even includes an optional camera feature that allows the capture of close-up images. For more information, visit id-integration.com.
Nancy Malone lives in Stockton, California. She enjoys reading and cooking, as well as cross country skiing. She works as an application engineer and enjoys learning about new technology, such as the innovative software available from ID Integration. She currently provides individuals information about id-integration.com through her articles about UID compliance. Follow me on Google+
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