UPC Body Publishes New Supply Chain Standards
In order to support recent U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) policies “for the Unique Identification (UID) of Tangible Items” The Uniform Code Council, Inc. announced today that it has published the Guidelines for Application of EAN.UCC Unique Identification (UID) Markings to Items in the Supply Chain. The Uniform Code Council is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the development and implementation of standards-based global supply chain solutions, including the Universal Product Code (UPC) bar-coding system.
The DoD is the largest procurer of goods and services in the world, with a projected FY 2006 budget of approx. $441 billion. Its UID policy requires all DoD suppliers and manufacturers to uniquely identify property, plant and equipment, operating materials, and supplies using DoD-approved identifiers. The idea is to facilitate item tracking in DoD business systems, and to provide reliable and accurate data for program management and accountability purposes in its engineering; acquisition; financial; property, plant and equipment accountability; and logistics processes.
The DoD’s goal was to accomplish this while relying to the maximum extent possible on international standards and commercial item markings, rather than imposing unique government requirements that raise the cost for marked items and supporting supply-chain infrastructure.
One recent innovation is Data Matrix, a two-dimensional matrixed symbology pictured above. This is the sole media to enable DoD’s UID policy for asset identification. It can be used for labels and data plates, direct part marking by laser etching or dot-peening, and used on items that are simply too small to accommodate a linear bar code. Each two-dimensional barcode, a 2-D Data Matrix symbol, is able to store from one to 2,000 characters. The UID mark is decoded to produce a Unique Item Identification (UII) that stores engine hardware delivery records such as serial number, manufacturer, part number and the purchase contract.
The EAN.UCC System’s EAN.UCC Global Individual Asset Identifier (GIAI) and the EAN.UCC Global Returnable Asset Identifier (GRAI) are also among a select few DoD recognized identifiers outlined within the UID policy. Finally, the DoD recognizes UPC bar codes in those instances where it is not necessary to distinguish between individual items of a product.
For more information, see the additional sources below.
Additional Readings & Sources
- Business Wire (May 26, 2003) – Department of Defense Embraces EAN.UCC System Standards within its Unique Identification Policy; Uniform Code Council Publishes Guidelines to Support UID Policy
- Defense Procurement and Acquisition Policy: Department of Defense (DoD) announces new policy for the Unique Identification (UID) of Tangible Items
- U.S. Department of Defense Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Policy of Oct 2, 2003. PDF document.
- UCC – EAN.UCC System Home Page
- Guidelines for Application of EAN.UCC Unique Identification (UID) Markings to Items in the Supply Chain
- UCC – Public Sector Initiatives