Mil-Std-129R RFID with PDF417

RFID with 2D Symbol (IAW Mil-Std-129R)

Mil-Std-129R compliance covers a wide range of labeling situations. MIL-Comply/Labeling supports:

See more examples of Mil-Std-129R labels.
Need to know more about labeling? See the Mil-Std-129 Compliance Guide.

MIL-Comply Labeling is a robust standalone solutions for Mil-Std-129R labeling. However, its capabilities are integrated throughout the MIL-Comply product footprint making it a powerful solution for both single users and enterprise-sized teams that need to do:

  • WAWF Receiving Report (DD250) / Combo transactions
  • VSM Automation (for DLA Vendor Shipment Module)
  • GFP Container Labeling (for shipping IUID-marked Government Furnished Property)
  • GSA Order Labeling for shipping to
    • End Users (Fed-Std-123H)
    • DLA Depots (Mil-Std-129R)
  • Automated RFID Labeling (from import data files)
  • Automated Container Labeling from IUID Item Scanning

Linear Barcodes vs 2D Symbols for Mil-Std-129 Labels


The use of linear bar codes on defense shipment containers goes back to the LOGMARS

Unit Container with Linear and 2D Bar Codes

standard, which was leading edge in the 1980s.    Linear bar codes have, and continue to, serve an important purpose.   And just like the linear UPC labels found on everything we buy in the private sector, they may continue to serve a purpose.

The downside of linear barcodes, at least with their traditional Mil-Std-129 use is that they require context in order to be useful to automated systems.   At one point, MS-129 Revision P required up to nine linear barcodes on a package (that contained five serialized items).   Designing automated systems to process such a label depends on reading them in the right order or recognizing the characteristics of the data (number of digits in an NSN versus a contract number).

The advantage of the PDF417 symbol is that encoded data is laid out in a specified data structure, each prefixed by a standardized Data Identifier.

The downside of PDF417 is that requires more complex, sensitive and expensive scanners than linear barcodes, along with software that can extract the desired data from the complex data of a 2D symbol.  Comply/Labeling offers formats with linear barcodes and/or 2D symbols to meet your customer’s requirements.

Mil-Std-129R RFID Exterior Container Label

RFID Container Labels

Printing RFID labels is pretty easy. The challenge is collecting and organizing the data describing the contents, starting with the CLIN and quantity. And if there are IUIDs in the box, all of those must be associated with the RF Tag, along with the pallet each container is placed on. All of this data must be submitted to Wide Area Workflow (WAWF).  MIL-Comply does all of that automatically, and can submit in an EDI Receiving Report (DD250) or Pack Update.

Mil-Std-129R defines the technical requirements for compliance with the DoD RFID Mandate.  It also talks to how RF Tags should be deployed on containers.   However, it falls short of defining what an RFID label should look like, primarily because there is no requirement for any visible indication that containers are RFID tagged.   Tags may be integrated into the Military Shipment Label, Exterior Container Label or a Generic RFID label, or simply stuck on the box (usually under a label for protection).

More information is available: RFID in the DoD supply chain
and Mil-Std RFID Labeling.

IUID Part Mark Labels

Item Unique Identification (IUID) marking of items is controlled by Mil-Std-130.  While that specific task is entirely separate compliance container labeling, the Unique Item Identifiers (UII) themselves are central to a system that performs container marking because Mil-Std-129 compliance requires that UIIs appear on both the Unit Container and Exterior Container Labels.  If more than five UID items are in a container, the UIIs must appear on a Barcoded Serial Number List.

UIIs in RFID containers must be associated with their RFID tag.  This combined information must then be submitted to Wide Area Workflow (WAWF).   All of this makes a case for a company’s Mil-Std-129 labeling system to either drive IUID part marking, or have efficient methods of inputting or collecting them.