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Mil-Std 130
UID Solutions



2D Code Readers Ink Jet Fluids
2D Code Verifiers Mil-Std 130
Direct Product Marking (DPM) Laser Marking Systems
Ink Jet Systems UID Compliant Marking


UID Compliant Marking

1. I need to implement a UID compliant marking process at our company. From a simplistic viewpoint what do we need to do?

Mil-Std 130 UID compliance is a threefold requirement:

a) Applying a UID compliant mark or label to contractually specified parts;
b) Verify UID marked parts to ISO/IEC 15415 or ASTM 9132. (Maintain proof of verification);
c) Submit UID part information to the DoD Wide Area Network.


2. What are some of the advantages and disadvantages of ink jet printing versus laser etching of UID marks?

Inkjet Printing Advantages – Ink jet printing is an additive process. In most cases the printed ink thickness is less than 0.001” thick. Since it is an additive process, unless the ink has been cured, it can be removed in the event of operator error without damage to the part. Inkjet marking is a natural progression to rubber stamping or pad transfer printing. Inkjet marking systems range from $8.5K to over $100K, depending on system configuration. Portable inkjet printing systems are available whereby small or medium sized parts can be brought to the marking system for UID identification. When printing large parts, the ink jet print head can be brought to the part for marking. Print contrast can be achieved by printing a white or light background followed by a black or dark mark.

Inkjet Printing Disadvantages – Ink jet printers require consumables, inks and system fluids (also referred to as Make-Up or solvent). In order to achieve marking permanency with the ink selected for use a curing process (UV or thermal) may be required. Chemical waste is generated by an ink jet process during the head cleaning, printer maintenance or general part cleaning process. MEK inks may be required for Mil-Std 130 UID compliance. Not all ink jet printers are the same. Some require more maintenance than others thus, printer selection is more difficult. Care and process considerations must be considered in order to avoid implementing a messy process. May require multiple ink jet printers, generally a white and a black ink printer, in order to obtain the necessary print contrast on select parts. Pigmented (white or yellow ink) ink jet printers require significantly more maintenance and are not capable of achieving high resolution marks. Ink jet printers can clog if not properly maintained.

Laser Etching Advantages – Laser etching or marking is a subtractive process; material is removed to generate the mark. Thus laser marks are permanent marks without requiring any curing process to achieve marking permanency. High resolution print quality is achievable. No potentially hazardous chemicals are required. Laser marking systems range from $25K to over $100K, depending on system configuration.

Laser Etching Disadvantages- Improper set-up can generate scrap or require remarking in newly designated areas. Set-up times for individual parts can vary. Provisions for operator safety must be incorporated into the marking process. These provisions include: incorporating Class I enclosures, installation within controlled environments, extensive operator and maintenance personnel training, and posting of laser warning signs. Laser etching systems can be costly when properly integrated. For high power laser systems water chillers may be required. Fume extractors are recommended in order to remove laser debris. Improper set-up can cause potential mark penetration problems. Laser etching process requires a higher skilled operator.


3. We currently affix metal tags to our products but need to now meet Mil-Std 130 UID requirements. We don’t want to discard all of the metal tags we currently have in-stock but must meet Mil-Std 130 requirements. What is the most cost effective way of meeting the requirement?

Assuming your metal tags have the alphanumeric text requirements printed on your tag and the only requirement is to add the UID 2D code on to the tag, the most cost effective way is to affix a UID 2D code to your existing tag. In most cases JETEC can provide UID 2D codes and verification reports within 2-3 days after receipt of UID label request.


4. What printers from Videojet are capable of printing UID compliant 2D codes?

Assuming you have identified a Mil-Std 130 compliant ink for your application the following Videojet printers have been proven by JETEC to print verifiable UID 2D codes: Excel HR, Excel 170iUHS, Excel 2000, Excel 2000 Opaque, PrintPro and 46S.


5. What other printers, other than Videojet printers, have JETEC tested or are in the process of testing for Mil-Std UID compliant printing capability?

JETEC has been successful printing UID compliant 2D codes using the Domino A200 Series, Imaje 9000 Series, and Metronic Alphajet Series industrial ink jet printers. Some of these printers may require a printer device control interface software, such as JETEC’s IMS2701 or IMS5000, in order to achieve UID compliance printing capabilities.


6. I have Videojet Excel HR series ink jet printers and want to print Mil-Std 130 UID compliant 2D codes. Are they capable?

Videojet Excel High Resolution (HR) Series industrial ink jet printers require Extended Serial Interface (ESI) firmware and a printer device control interface software, such as JETEC’s IMS2701 or IMS5000 in order to print verifiable Mil-Std 130 UID compliant 2D codes.


7. How can I determine if my existing industrial ink jet printer can be used for Mil-Std 130 UID compliance?

Unfortunately, not all industrial ink jet printer manufacturers are knowledgeable of the full extent of the printing capabilities of their printers. Therefore, we recommend that you speak with both the original printer manufacturer and a recommended system integrator experienced in integrating that printer. System integrators tend to have a better firsthand knowledge of individual printer capabilities.


8. We currently use rubber stamps to mark our product information but are now required to direct product mark our parts with Mil-Std 130 UID compliant 2D codes. What process alternatives are available for compliance?

Inkjet, laser etching, dot peening, electro-chemical etching and labeling are all process alternatives capable of meeting Mil-Std 130 requirements. The first step is to review your contractual requirements to see if a particular process has been identified by your customer.

Assuming no specific process has been defined by your customer, the next step is to determine whether an additive or subtractive process is preferred. An additive process is one in which the UID mark is added to your part. Industrial ink jet printing and labeling are additive processes. A subtractive process is one where material is removed from the part to generate the UID mark. Examples of subtractive processes are laser etching, dot peening and electro-chemical etching.

The closest process to rubber stamping is industrial ink jet printing. Most industrial ink jet printing systems are digital ink jet printing systems capable of printing alpha-numeric text, bar codes, 2D codes, serial numbers and logos. Selecting the right ink jet printer, ink and system configuration is crucial to implementing a robust, reliable ink jet marking system alternative to rubber stamping.



Contact JETEC:

Tel: (949) 477-6161
Fax: (949) 477-6167


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