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A surprising number of people have questioned the adequacy of goods acquired from an office supply store.  A2B Tracking has been asked, “Can’t we pick up label material and printers at an office supply store that will handle this requirement?”

In a word, the answer is no. When it comes to implementing IUID on your assets, not all materials are created equally. The “Identification Marking of U.S. Military Property” (MIL STD 130) gives direction for marking items sold to the DoD, and it includes specifications for the materials allowed.

The US military has set forth harsh environmental standards for the labeling of IUID compliant items. Among the standards is the requirement that the label 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.” (source)  While Staples products can be applied to office equipment, they are not sufficient for adhering to these DoD standards.

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Neither is the printing technology adequate. Even though office-durable printers will provide high contrast barcodes such as a black barcode on a white background, they will not provide the laser engraving, thermal transfer printing or photo-anodizing techniques required to ensure that durable MIL standards are being met.

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