UID Background

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In an attempt to improve asset management through uniquely identifying property, plants, equipment, operating materials and supplies, the Department of Defense (DoD) has initiated a business transformation and the Item Unique Identification Program (IUID). The framework is intended to be implemented and interoperable across joint and multi-national organizational boundaries and comparable across the Department of Defenses business systems. The purpose of the IUID program is to globally uniquely identify items to provide better asset accountability and valuation through the life cycle of the item.

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 IUID markings and registration of the UII. The long term goal is to complete IUID marking of items and all embedded assets within the DoD system by Dec 31, 2010. DoD contracting officers are required to include the DFARS 252.211-7003 clause in all solicitations, defining items necessary for identification and valuation. All tangible items delivered to the Department of Defense will require a unique item identification (UII) if:

  • The unit acquisition cost is over $5,000
  • The item is either serially managed, mission essential, controlled inventory, or a consumable item or material where permanent identification is required
  • The item is a component that the program manager has determined requires unique identification
It is a consumable item or material where permanent identification is necessary.


What is IUID/ UID / UDI / UII ?

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Item unique identification (IUID) is a system that allows the Department of Defense (DoD) to distinguish one object from another, and to track objects throughout their organization. This system requires that parts have a globally unique identification (UID) mark which is machine readable and permanently affixed as a label or directly marked on the part. The UID mark, a data matrix barcode symbol, is a high density 2-D (ECC 200) matrix style barcode.

The UID data contained withiin the data matrix is formed by combining the manufacturer's or enterprise's identification with a part number and/or a serial number which is unique to that one item. The data must be encoded following a specific language and format in order for Automatic Identification Technology (AIT) to read and interpret the data.

The unique item identifier (UII) is derived by concatenating the string of specific data elements in the data matrix to identify an individual item distinctly from all other items that the DoD owns.

There are two basic methods of constructing the UII for an item;

  • Construct #1 - serialization within the enterprise identifier
  • Construct #2 - serialization within the original part number, lot number or batch number (within the enterprise identifier)

Which construct you use depends on your company and manufacturing process.

The data matrix may be applied to an identification plate securely fastened 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/syntax (validation) and print quality (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-130, ISO15415, AS9132 or AIM DPM-1-2006.

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.