Mil-Std 129R Labeling

DOD Compliance Articles

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Exterior Container Labels

Mil-Std-129R Exterior Container Label with 2D PDF417

Mil-Std-129R Exterior
Container Label

Mil-Std-129 Revision R greatly simplified exterior container labels by encouraging the movement of all linear bar code data into the 2D PDF417 symbol. This eliminates up to ten linear bar codes from the exterior container.

The MS129P(4) format may still be used, but this latest revision of Mil-Std-129 states a preference for use of the two-dimensional PDF417 symbol. This eliminates a label when more than one serial numbered item is packed, and makes possible the use of automated data collection.

Exterior container markings are required unless specifically exempted in the contract or solicitation, or the standard itself, on each of the following:

When a palletized unit load of containers or items is formed, the individual containers or unpacked items shall be marked with exterior container identification text marks or unpacked item identification text marks, subject to exceptions noted in 5.3.2.7. [¶5.1.2]

Required Exterior Container Markings

The minimum text information required for exterior container marking are as follows, appearing in the order listed:    [¶5.1.2]

Bar coded Information

Exterior containers require several data elements to be encoded in a machine-readable format, with either a 2D (PDF417) bar code(s) and/or linear (Code 39) bar codes [¶5.4],[¶5.4.1.2].

The use of a 2D PDF417 symbol for unit and intermediate containers is optional, required only if the item(s) are UID. The standard [5.4.1.1.1] allows for the use of linear and/or 2D symbols.

RFID Information

RFID Exterior Container Label with Mil-Std-129R 2D PDF417

Mil-Std-129R RFID
Exterior Container Label

RFID tags do not have incorporated into the identification or shipping labels, nor does the RFID need to be printed anywhere. However, it makes sense to do both to simplify handling and data collection during printing.

The exterior container label is a logical choice for RFID-tagging. Because the CLIN, quantity and UIIs in the container (if any) are known at label print time, it is simple to collect this data for submission to Wide-Area Workflow(WAWF).

It is not required to print the RF tag ID and container level, but doing so simplifies preparations for shipping. If these are printed on the label they should appear below the identification information required by the standard.