Your IUID verification system checks for barcode scanability, quality, and IUID syntax compliance before an item goes out the door. It determines that your IUID markings are in compliance with MIL-STD-130N w/ Change 1 for property owned by the Department of Defense (DOD). Without barcode verification, you cannot ensure that the markings, tags, and labels are meeting the DOD’s guidelines, and therefore, you cannot ensure your manufacturing quality is under control. The same applies to any marking hardware in service. Do you have backup options if critical equipment goes down?
All it takes is one Single Point of Failure (SPOF) to bring down your entire production process.
Imagine what happens when one part of your manufacturing process fails. A single point of failure can be very small but may lead to a complete halt of production. SPOFs are undesirable in any process. These obstacles may include software, hardware malfunctions, cybersecurity attacks, aging equipment, lack of critical supplies, and more.
Unexpected failures and extended delays could force you to completely shut down, halting delivery of parts or equipment to the DOD. If your company only has one verifier and it goes down, you’re stuck. Due to current supply chain disruptions and manufacturing slowdowns, your wait time to receive a new verification system, or other hardware, could take months. Fast replacements are rare today due to worldwide delays of electronic device production due to the present computer chip shortage.
We recommend completing a thorough risk assessment of your manufacturing process to identify, classify, and remediate all SPOFs revealed through internal analysis. Once you identify a critical SPOF, you’ll want to put it in one of three classes:
• Easily and directly resolved within a sensible time frame and budget.
• No direct resolution but reliable workarounds exist and/or can be developed.
• Not able to be remediated and there is no sensible workaround to resolve.
Once all SPOFs have been identified and classified, you can work on remediating them.
If you identify a SPOF that can be resolved, develop a plan to implement the necessary changes based on priority. This may require the purchase and implementation of backup equipment, staff training, and software or network adjustments to ensure full remediation.
In some cases, you may assess a SPOF where a workaround could be implemented. It is important to document the action plan for such a workaround and train staff for the alternative plan. You will also need to ensure that all dependent processes, software/hardware, and staff are ready and in place.
You’ll find some SPOFs that will be fixed easily, some will take more effort to remediate, and some you will only reduce in severity without eliminating their impact.
How do you know when the time has come to replace your verifier or get a backup?
If your IUID verification system is past its prime, now is the perfect time to replace it. Many older verifiers have reached their end-of-life with some having reached obsolescence back in 2015. When this happens, the hardware is no longer compatible with the latest networks and software presenting increased cybersecurity vulnerabilities. Additionally, if you only have a single verification system, you may wish to purchase an additional backup or put a second verifier in service to offset the potential damage of this area of production becoming a Single Point of Failure (SPOF).
Examine the status of all relevant marking hardware with a similar lens. It may make sense to upgrade equipment to modern standards or purchase backups to have in place should disaster strike. As an alternative, you may wish to explore potential workaround plans to mitigate risk.
Cybersecurity is another cause of SPOF critical vulnerability, and few recognize this directly impacts barcode readers today.
All it takes is a malicious code embedded within a barcode to expose critical access to your entire network and bring production to a screeching halt. Download “Is a Barcode Security Threat Looming in Your Company’s Future?” for a deeper dive into why data security against barcode cyber-attacks requires constant vigilance.
Here at ID Integration, our IUID specialists offer solid solutions that avoid the disastrous effects of a single point of failure:
• IUID Scanning and Verification Systems—Our up-to-date IUID Fixed Station 2D Data Matrix Verification systems and Handheld 2D Data Matrix Scanners ensure accuracy.
• BarCodeOS® Enabled Scanners—Our barcode readers boast the world’s only patented barcode scanner firewall to thwart malicious attacks to your operating system.
• Marking Hardware—Our laser, polymer bond, dot peen, and high-res stencil marking systems meet the grade for DoD compliant markings. Our thermal label printing systems also create MIL-STD-130 and MIL-STD-129-compliant labels.
And we also provide solutions for breezing through DCMA Audits. Quality control requirements and DCMA audits are not going away despite the challenges of the present supply chain issues. Our white paper, “Easy IUID Audit Prep with High Tech BarCodeOS® Scanners” details the ease of validating IUID labels and nameplates with our patented scanners.
Protect your business, your bottom line, and your reputation. Guard against an IUID disaster. Contact us for a no-obligation consultation today: (425) 438-2533.