Let’s assume that you’ve got your compliant data organized and you’ve also determined the appropriate IUID label material that you are going to use. Now you are ready to start the process of creating the IUID label! In order to do so, you must shift your attention toward the concepts of validation of these MIL‑STD‑130 labels, and of the 2D barcode itself.
There are two processes that absolutely have to take place in order to achieve MIL‑STD‑130 compliance ‑‑ that’s validation and verification. These two probably get misunderstood more than anything in the entire process for MIL‑STD‑130 compliance. In this blog post we will take you down the path to distinguish the difference between validation and verification.
The validation process is essentially checking the spelling on the IUID label. Validation refers to the data elements in the 2D matrix barcode and ensures that the elements in your label meet the obligations of MIL-STD-130. Meeting the MIL-STD-130 guidelines means that your data is comprised entirely of alpha uppercase (A to Z) or numeric (0-9) characters. You can also use a dash (-) or forward slash (/) character.
If your data is comprised of any other character it would then be considered non-compliant against MIL STD 130. Examples of non-compliant characters would be a “&” “#” or “@”. A space in your part or serial number would also be considered non-compliant. In order to meet the compliance requirement you would need to replace the non-complaint character with a compliant character or simply remove it altogether.
When the data that you provided is all compliant and has passed validation – it’s time for the verification process. This requirement checks the quality of the 2D Data Matrix bar code.
The bar code needs to meet a specific quality grade. According to MIL‑STD‑130, it’s a grade of “B” or better. When the mark achieves that quality, it assures you that the mark will be readable for the life of the asset. The only way to make sure that this happens is to create a quality mark that has been verified against MIL-STD-130 guidelines. The use of a verifier is essential to identify that this mark has met this quality grade.
To simplify the difference, validation is checking your data and verification is checking the quality of the mark.
VERIFYING THE IUID MARK
Whether you’re going to make MIL‑STD‑130 compliant labels, or you’re going to outsource them through an outside vendor, the verification process must be done using a tool called a “verifier”.
The verifier will validate you can read the label, the syntax has been checked, and the quality of the printed bar code is meeting ISO standards, and of course, MIL‑STD‑130.
As you see in the above picture, the labels are being done one at a time under the verifier. When you place the labels under the verifier, it will check the two requirements ‑‑ your validation and your verification.
Once it’s checked, the software will tell you if the label’s grade has met the standard. If it fails, you cannot use the label. It’s possible there is something wrong with the data, the printing process, or the quality of the mark.
Anything marked “C” grade or below is not going to be acceptable. A “C” is only acceptable for a pre‑existing IUID already on an asset in the field. But, when you’re putting a new IUID on an asset, it must be at least a “B” grade or better.
A handheld scanner can also do the validation, but it will not be able to do the Verification process. Don’t assume a “Scanner” can do both validation and verification. You need a verifier to do the verification, which also has the capability to do validation.
A2B Tracking offers free software called “UC! Web Validator”. This software gives you the capability to validate IUIDs and the check registration status. Again, we want to stress you need a separate piece of hardware to do the actual verification.
To learn more about MIL-STD-130 compliance and the requirements of verification and validation watch this video from our recent webinar here: