Advanced Imaging


Advanced Imaging Magazine

Updated: January 12th, 2011 10:01 AM CDT

Cataloging the DoD

Unique ID verification is a massive job for U.S. Department of Defense
Siemens UID Compliance Verifier
© Siemens Energy & Automation
The Siemens UID Compliance Verifier combines camera, optics and all required lighting into a portable device.

By Barry Hochfelder

That means that all property, plant and equipment with a unit acquisition cost of $5,000 or more, and items that are sensitive or classified, or furnished to third parties, regardless of acquisition cost, must be marked suitably for audit.

Most items are marked with Direct Part Marketing (DPM) barcodes. As Department of Defense vendors moved to comply with the standard (MIL-STD-130) they found that label technology was unable to meet permanency requirements, so they switched to DPM techniques, including lasers, electro-chemical etch and dot peen technologies. Several updates and revisions of MIL-STD-130 have come out (it's up to revision N) since the UID mandate in 2004 to improve the standard for verification. To evaluate the marks, which use different substrate materials and methods, the Association of Automatic Identification and Mobility (AIM) created its DPM Quality Guideline (DPM-1-2006), most of which was adopted by the DoD in MIL-STD-130M, Change 1.

There also is Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS), which is a specific provision in the contracts that requires the defense contractor to implement the MIL-STD standard.

"You have to verify the matrix image and be sure it's readable in the future," says O'Brien. "You don't want a contractor delivering parts that are not readable by government resources."

The Siemens product is significant because it is the first verification system to include all 10 illumination configurations set out in MIL-STD-130N (previous versions only had nine configurations; Version N added dome lighting). The dome lighting configuration is ideal for cylindrical objects, such as gun barrels.

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