uid, unique item identification

What is IUID? Item Unique Identification, or IUID, is a required asset identification program set up by the US Department of Defense (DoD). Formulation of the globally unique identification number often depends on coding expertise, which Metalcraft has been doing since IUID was implemented. Our IUID specialists know the DoD guidance and directive, as well as MIL-STE-130 specs, customizing a UID label or UID tag solution that guarantees verification of print standards.

uid polyester labels

Digital printing ensures bar code readability as well as crisp, clean company logos while subsurface printing protects the logos, copy and bar code against extreme solvents, caustics, acids and moderate abrasion – ensuring the mark with last the service lifetime of the item being identified.

Round metal tag

Metalcraft’s Foil 2D Dot is an ideal identification solution for small parts tracking.

Metal UID Tags

Our Photo Anodized Aluminum IUID Plates provide excellent durability and barcode readability, making them the ideal choice for a wide range of outdoor and industrial applications.

ceramic on stainless steel

Printed using ceramic ink on a thin ceramic layer that is fired and fused to a heat-resistant stainless steel substrate. Withstands moderate to harsh chemical conditions and extremely high temperatures.

polyester iuid labels

Our Polyester IUID Labels are a superb general purpose option for industrial applications where durability, excellent adhesion and cost is a factor.

Foil UID Labels

Our Photo Anodized Foil IUID Labels easily conform to curved surfaces while specially matched adhesives ensure maximum adhesion.

uid label

Our laser-etched 3M 7847 Polyacrylic IUID Labels provide an excellent alternative for applications that require high-contrast images, reliable readability, long-term durability and flexibility. Extremely resistant to thermal shock and temperature extremes.

What is IUID?

IUID stands for Item Unique Identification. A system of marking and tracking items, typically used in the context of government and defense contracts. This initiative aims to enhance asset visibility and accountability across the supply chain and throughout the life cycle of items.

What are the components of IUID?

The system comprises several key component designed to facilitate the unique identification, tracking, and management of items. These parts work together to give each item a unique ID and to update important information as needed. Here are the main components of the system.

  1. Unique Identifier - A unique code made up of characters or numbers that is assigned to each item to identify it within the system.
  2. Data Matrix Code – A two-dimensional barcode encodes a unique identifier, making it easily readable by machines for efficient data capture and retrieval. Once you have generated the two-dimensional barcode, you have the option to print it on a UID label. This label can then be affixed to the item or product for identification and tracking purposes.
  3. IUID Registry or Database – A centralized database or registry stores unique identifiers and associated information. This makes it easier to organize, retrieve, and share data related to each item in the system.

What is the difference between IUID and UID?

IUID stands for Item Unique Identification, while UID stands for Unique Item Identification. The main difference between the two lies in their scope and application:

IUID: This system is primarily utilized in government and defense contracts to assign a distinct identifier to each item. This helps in tracking and managing the item throughout its entire lifespan. Government agencies often mandate its use to enhance asset visibility and accountability.

UID: Just like IUID, UID can be used in many different industries and situations, not just government contracts. The main goal is to ensure that each item has a unique identifier that can be put on a UID tag for easy tracking and management. This applies to all systems and standards.

Why is IUID important?

The Item Unique Identification system is important for several reasons, particularly in industries where precise tracking, accountability, and efficient management of items are critical. Here are key reasons why IUID is important.

  1. The IUID system assigns a distinct identifier to each item, guaranteeing that no two items have the same code. This allows for accurate and clear identification of items, minimizing the chance of mistakes, misunderstandings, and difficulties in management.
  2. IUID improves traceability by allowing organizations to track items from manufacturing to delivery and use. This enhances transparency and tracking in the supply chain by providing information on the location and status of items.
  3. IUID helps improve asset visibility by providing a standardized method for identifying and tracking items. This makes it easier to locate, monitor, and manage assets, reducing the chances of losing or misplacing items.
  4. Data Matrix codes in IUID help capture data quickly and accurately. This reduces errors that can occur when entering data manually. It also speeds up the process of identifying and recording item information.
  5. Government rules often require the use of IUID in government contracts, especially in the defense industry. This helps contractors meet standards and fulfill their contract obligations, making sure everything runs smoothly in the supply chain."

IUID is important because it helps identify and track items consistently. This leads to improved efficiency, accuracy, and accountability in various industries and supply chains.

What requires an IUID label?

Organizations typically require an IUID label for important items that are valuable or essential. This is especially true for government or defense contracts. These labels help in uniquely identifying and tracking individual items throughout their lifecycle, ensuring better inventory management, asset tracking, and compliance with regulations.

Items that may require an IUID label include:

  • Military Equipment: This includes various types of military hardware, such as vehicles, weapons systems, aircraft, and communication devices.
  • Government Property: Tangible assets owned by government agencies or departments, such as laptops, servers, and other equipment.
  • Sensitive or High-Value Assets: Important items for an organization's operations, like medical equipment in healthcare or specialized machinery in industrial settings.
  • Contractual Requirement: Some contracts, especially those with government entities, may need items to have IUID labels. This is necessary for the procurement or supply chain process.

In essence, any item that requires unique identification and tracking for accountability, maintenance, or security purposes may be a candidate for an IUID label.

What is the IUID number?

The IUID number is a unique identifier given to a specific item in the IUID system. It is also known as the Item Unique Identification number. It serves as a means of uniquely identifying and tracking individual items throughout their lifecycle, from acquisition through disposal.

The IUID is a unique identifier made up of letters, numbers, and symbols that represent an item. Data is usually kept in a barcode or RFID tag for simple tracking and identification. Barcodes have lines that hold information that machines can read. RFID tags, on the other hand, send data wirelessly using radio waves. 

The number is kept in a central database. This allows organizations to easily access and update information about the item. They can do this at any point during its lifecycle.

Ensuring IUID Compliance: A Comprehensive Guide for Defense Contractors

This resource provides an easy-to-follow guide to IUID compliance for Department of Defense (DoD) contractors.

Download Now

From The Asset Tracking Blog

Metalcraft adds three new labels to product line

Metalcraft Adds Three New Labels to Product Line

We're pleased to add 3M Polyacrylic Labels, Tesa® 6973 Polyacrylic Labels and Schreiner Color Laser Film to our comprehensive product line.

Read Blog

Joint Press Release: Metalcraft Acquires UID Label Division of A2B Tracking to Expand Market Presence and Enhance Service Offering

Joint Press Release: Metalcraft Acquires UID Label Division of A2B Tracking to Expand Market Presence and Enhance Service Offering

Metalcraft and A2B Tracking announce the successful acquisition of the A2B Tracking UID Labels and Plates division by Metalcraft.

Read Blog


In High Demand: The Growing Popularity of Photo Anodized Metal Tags in Asset Management

Learn why Metalcraft's Photo Anodized metal asset tags and foil products are in such high demand and find out more about our PHA 5 Point Promise.

Read Blog

Item Unique Identification and Valuation Solutions | UID Labels | UID Tags | Metalcraft Case Studies

McNeilus Steel photo

Strong As Steel

Listening to a customer’s needs is key to many successful partnerships, especially with complex government defense jobs. Learn about our UID application solutions for our customer in this case study.

Read Case Study

Static-Free UID Compliance

Static-free UID Compliance

Discover how Metalcraft's flexibility and knowledge of UID helped a customer needing a non-conductive UID label.

Read Case Study

UID Labels - Ensuring UID Compliance

UID Labels - Ensuring UID Compliance

MAC Packaging and Metalcraft create UID label for hard-to-fit hose

Read Case Study