With so many different methods available for applying a Unique Identifier symbol to equipment produced for the military, a defense contractor might easily start to feel overwhelmed. Therefore it can be a good idea to find a vendor that offers a variety of UID solutions — and can provide advice on which methods work best for a particular application.
One such supplier is ID Integration Inc. (id-integration.com). This company offers direct marking methods for applying the 2-D Data Matrix UID symbol to equipment. For example, they can supply a programmable, dot peen stamper that supports text as well as Data Matrix permanent markings. The pin stamp even comes with a 15-foot cable that provides a degree of portability. Other direct marking equipment they sell includes industrial ink jet (which also comes with a lengthy cable to make marking easier); laser marking using a polymer coating; and chemical etching systems.
No matter what the marking method, IUID verification is a critical step in the process. IUID verification assesses the quality of the Data Matrix symbol. The goal — as spelled out in defense department standards — is to create a mark that will last the life of the equipment. That can be a challenge, as military equipment often travels across the globe and may encounter a variety of harsh environments.
Other marking options
For contractors who want to apply the unique identifier to their products indirectly by attaching labels, ID Integration’s partner, Jet City Laser, sells a wide variety of UID labels. Whether you’re looking for etched or metalized polyester, anodized aluminum, thermal print labels, or tamper-resistant TESA tape, Jet City has a wide range of UID labels to choose from. Again, IUID verification is a crucial step to ensure the quality of the UID marking. UID labels from Jet City are 100% verified to meet DoD standards.
In addition to providing marking equipment or labels, ID Integration can help contractors with their entire UID system. They are UID integrators, meaning they can advise manufacturers on the best way to introduce the marking equipment into the existing production process. They sell UID hardware and software to streamline the process and help ensure compliance. They can provide a needs assessment for a defense contractor just getting started on UID systems, and even offer on-site training. In addition, their website is packed with educational material on UID topics.