This section provides information on the data matrix, what needs to be marked, and guidance on how to mark.

Quick Compliance Tool Suite (QCTS)

This automated tool has been designed for users to check the compliance of IUID marks via a web-based application. The QCTS can be accessed from:

What is a Data Matrix

The technology used to mark an item is 2D Data Matrix ECC 200 Symbol.

The 2D Data Matrix

2D Data Matrix ECC 200 Symbol

Click on the Data Matrix (left) to learn more about how it is read and the UII it contains

Data Matrix is a two-dimensional barcode that can store from 1 to about 2,000 characters. The symbol is square or rectangular and can range from 0.001 inch per side up to 14 inches per side.

Data Matrix supplements the first and second generation bar codes used to track packages by expanding automated data collection into the manufacturing, operations, repair and overhaul environments. The Data Matrix can be applied in three ways as long as it remains permanent through the life and not damaged or destroyed in use:

  1. Embedded directly to the item surface;
  2. Through a plate affixed to the item surface; or
  3. Attaching a label.

Some of the benefits of using 2D Data Matrix Technology verses a standard barcode are as follows:

  • Can contain 100 times the data as the same space in a barcode;
  • Can be read omni-directionally;
  • Can be damaged but still return accurate data;
  • Can be scaled up or down to fit within available marking space.

Data Matrix symbols require a 2D scanner; they cannot be read using an ordinary linear barcode laser scanner.

The data matrix will contain data represented in a uniquely identified code assigned to an individual item. The code can represent an already existing commercial item marking or can be constructed using DoD acceptable identification requirements.

What to Mark

The unique identification of items is driven by an integrated set of logistics, acquisition and financial requirements to track and identify item information. The following decision tree defines the business rules for determining what items should be uniquely identified. The DoD UID Policy Office issuing the solicitation is responsible for identifying items for IUID.

IUID Marking Decision

How to Mark

As marking guidelines are developed and/or identified, more information will be added to this section.


The PM J-AIT office's reader demonstration testing is complete and the use-case results have been compiled for the UID readers demonstrated. Please contact or 269-961-4745 (Hours of Operation are 0800-1630 EST) with questions regarding which devices best satisfied certain scanning scenarios. Complete test results only available to DoD personnel.

Data Matrix Use Cases (this file may require an unusually long time to load)

Quality Considerations for Unique Item Identifiers (June 30, 2005)

The Ohio University Center for Automatic Identifications the nation's first university-based research center devoted solely to the study of automatic identification and data capture (AIDC). To visit their site click here.

The Ohio University Center for Automatic Identifications conducted a test to establish base line reliability data for the first two-dimensional bar code symbologies. To read the executive summary of the Code 16K and Code 49 Data Integrity Test click here.

The Ohio University Center for Automatic Identifications conducted a test to evaluate the robustness of the data matrix and the PDF 417. Results of these tests corroborate and extend the results of previous testing by showing that newer bar code symbologies have error rates of less than one in 10,000,000 characters. To read the executive summary of the Data matrix and PDF 417 Data Integrity Test click here.

Please visit the Association for Automatic Identification and Mobility and use their Buyers Guide to find vendors of 2D Data Matrix Readers.

Quick Compliance Checker

The Quick Compliance Checker is a web-based tool that has been developed to ensure that any IUID marks are formatted correctly, and are not duplicates of existing IUID marks.



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