Last month, as part of the A2B Tracking’s Webinar Series, Peter Collins and I (Dan Faria) discussed the Five Fundamental Elements that are required in order to create a compliant MIL‑STD‑130 label. I would like to take this post to shed a bit more light on the difference between Construct 1 and Construct 2 labels. Additionally, here is a quick video.
First and foremost, data is the most important part of your IUID label! It’s the place you have to start in order to make sure that your labels are compliant against the MIL‑STD‑130 requirements. It goes without saying, before you do anything else you should make sure that the data for your IUID is accurate and fully compliant.
Construct 1 vs Construct 2
When it comes to displaying the data on your IUID label, you have two options- Construct 1 or Construct 2. Construct 1 is made up of a CAGE code and the Serial number. Essentially, Construct 1 is the format where the items are being serialized at the Enterprise level, or the CAGE level. You can also use a D‑U‑N‑S number or a DoDAAC in place of a CAGE. But, the majority of the time a CAGE Code is used.
Construct 2 is the serialization at the part number level. Using the Construct 2 you have not only your CAGE Code and your Serial number, but you also have the part number which makes up the IUID.
In order to be compliant, there are only certain characters that you can use for the label. Those characters include: alpha or numeric characters, dashes, or forward slashes. Also note that when you’re providing the data, the characters all must be in an uppercase format.
If your part number or serial number is made up of any other characters ‑‑ pound sign, ampersand, space‑‑ those are all considered non‑compliant and cannot be used in a MIL‑STD‑130 compliant label.
If you have a non‑compliant character, you have two options. (1) You can simply remove those non‑compliant characters altogether. (2) Replace them with either a number, letter, dash, or forward slash.
Wondering how many characters you can use? For a total UID, you can use up to a maximum of 50 characters. If you’re using your CAGE Code, that will leave you with 45 characters to play with. Starting with your part number, you can have up to 32 characters to make up a part number. On the serial number, you can use up to 30.
Traditionally, Construct 2 is used more often than Construct 1. Typically, a Construct 1 format is used to mark GFP, or government furnished property. And the Construct 2 format is used for new acquisition or end-items.
If you would like to learn more about staying compliant to the MIL STD 130 requirements watch the on-demand recording of our recent webinar here.