MIL-STD-130 states only that UID labels be permanently attached to the item and readily visible, but DOES NOT specify what kind of UID label to buy … and most contracts don’t either!

This makes YOU responsible for buying UID labels which

  • Last the life of your item, enduring all environmental conditions and contaminants seen by the item
  • Fasten so they don’t fall off for the life of the item
  • Sized so Human and Machine Readable information can be read by a person and a barcode reader


We walk you through our multi-step process to

  1. Pick the right MATERIAL and FASTENING METHOD for your conditions and budget
  2. Pick the right LABEL SHAPE and SIZE for your item
  3. Pick the right DATA for you or help you create it

ATTRIBUTES Titanium Stainless Steel
with CerMark™
Photo Anodized
tesa™ Secure® Polyimide Polyester
Performance Ultra Heavy Duty Extra Heavy Duty Heavy Duty Moderate-Heavy Duty Light-Moderate Duty Light Duty
Marking Method Cermark™ Cermark™ Photographic Laser Etch Thermal Transfer Print Thermal Transfer Print
Distinguishing Features Light-weight and Strong Corrosion Resistance Broad Performance and Value Flexibility and Chemical Resistance High Temperature Resistance Low Cost
Exterior Exposure > 20 years > 20 years > 20 years > 4 years 1 year < 2 years
High Temperature 775° F 750° F 750° F 400° F 575° F 300° F
Conforms to Curves No No .003″, .005″, .008″, .012″ Yes Yes Yes
“Peel & Stick” No No 003″, .005″, .008″, .012″, .020″ Yes Yes Yes
Mechanical Fasteners Yes Yes .020″, .032″, .064″ No No No
Resistant to –
– Abrasion Ultra Extreme Excellent Very Good Good Good
– Acids and Bases Ultra Extreme Excellent Very Good Good Good
– Oils, Fuels, Solvents Ultra Extreme Excellent Very Good Good Good
– Salt Spray Ultra Extreme Excellent Very Good Good Good
– Direct Impact Yes Yes Yes No Limited Limited

1. Material and Fastening Method Selection

In order for you to pick the right Material and Fastening Method for your conditions and budget, we ask about the following:

  • The Operating Environment of your item…temperature range, impact, abrasion, and contaminants such as acids, bases, oils, salt spray, and salt water
  • The Substrate Material to which the UID label will be fastened
  • The Flatness or Curvature of the substrate
  • Whether the substrate can be Drilled for screws or rivets

We offer a full selection of UID materials with a complete range of durability and cost. Some are ‘Peel-and-Stick’. Others are fastened with screws or rivets. Others are suitable for use as hang tags.

2. Shape and Size Selection

Most UID labels are rectangular with radius corners to eliminate sharp corners and peel stresses. Custom shapes are available as needed.


UID label size is determined by the amount of data you want and the font size of the text. In addition, the label size must fit the available space on the item.

3. Data Selection

A. We ask how you serialize to find the best DATA CONSTRUCT for you

  • Do you Serialize within the Part Number? For example: Part Number ZZ45 has Serial Numbers 001, 002, 003, 004. And Part Number WW56 also has Serial Numbers 001,002, 003, 004. This is serializing within the Part Number. We will guide you to Construct 2 for your 2D Data Matrix barcode and it will encode your CAGE, Part Numbers and Serial Number. If space is available, we will inform you that MIL-STD-130 prefers the Human Readable Information to also include CAGE, Part Number and Serial Number.
  • Or do you Serialize within your company:? For example: Serial Number ZZ45001 is made at 7:00 am and the next part, made at 8:30 am, is ZZ45002. No other part of any type shares these Serial Numbers. This is serializing within the company. We will guide you to Construct 1 and your 2D Data Matrix barcode will include CAGE and Serial Number. If space is available, we will inform you that MIL-STD-130 prefers the Human Readable Information to include CAGE and Serial Number.
  • If you don’t have a Serialization scheme, we’ll help create one!

B. We guide you to the best ENCODING FORMAT for you

An Encoding Format tells a barcode reader the type of data it’s about to read: CAGE, Part Number or Serial Number. There are 3 options:

  • Data Identifier (DI) – – Format 06 ISO/IEC 15434. We find this format the most widely used and understood and therefore recommend it.
  • Text Element Identifier (TEI) – Specified in ATA Spec 2000, TEI is also called Format 12.This is the next most widely used format.
  • Application Identifier (AI) –Format 05 ISO/IEC 15434. This format is very rarely used and we do not recommend it.

C. We guide you to select the right DATA and evaluate it for compliance with MIL-STD-130

We’ll guide you when to use your CAGE, or your supplier’s, or your Prime’s; Or, whether to use your Part Number or DoD’s NSN; Or, whether to use your SERIAL Number or your supplier’s.

We’ll also check your data against the limited character set allowed by MIL-STD-130. It accepts only upper case letters A thru Z, numbers 0 thru 9, and special characters forward slash / and dash -. It does not accept periods, spaces, or any other special characters!

D. We check your contract or SOW to see if other data is required

Although most DoD contracts don’t, some contracts or SOWs do require additional data. This may include Company name, DoD contract, linear barcodes, Lot number, Date of Manufacture, Voltage, Power, Warranty dates, etc.



Call 617-314-7700 or Contact Us