What Is a UID Code?

by Len Taylor ; Updated September 26, 2017

The Unique Identification Program is a global asset tracking system for hard products. UID tracking ensures asset location and operational quality data integrity for the life of the tracked asset.

Usage Requirements

The U.S. Department of Defense requires use of UID program technology as a component of all supply solicitations submitted after January 1, 2004. The requirement applies to supply solicitations where the cost exceeds $5,000, can be managed serially, is essential to a Defense Department mission, is a material or a consumable item requiring permanent identification and tracking and is a part of Defense Department controlled inventory.

How It Works

UID tracking may use several types of global two-dimensional bar codes such as PDF417 or Data Matrix ECC 200. The latter format allows storage of as many as 2,000 characters. Compared to a linear bar code, a 2-D bar code can store 100 times the data, can be read from any direction, can be easily scaled to the application and can supply data even if damaged.

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Code Format

Tags contain bar code and human-recognition information with specific data formats, including an approved enterprise-specific code, a unique serial number and the original serial number if serialized.

UID Management

UID tag creation may be managed via the manufacturer or user-created. Tags may be attached via adhesive, rivets or welds depending upon usage.

About the Author

Colorado-based Len Taylor has been a professional writer since 1974. His published work includes novels, non-fiction, news and commentary articles, product launch materials, human interest and sports stories, user manuals and technical documents. His work has appeared in many publications, including "Sports Illustrated for Kids" and the "Guinness Book of Sports Records."

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