Q: We sometimes rework a GFE UID assembly from one part number to another. This occasionally creates a duplicate UID serial number situation for our PDM database and when registering to the BPN.GOV database. Do we have any options for re-serializing the assembly (changing the original UID)? – Jim F.
A: The Unique Item Identifier (UII) can’t be changed anytime during the life of the item according to ISO, US DoD, ANSI, A4A, GS1 and NATO requirements. Also re-serialization is not encouraged by the general serialization standards of industrial associations.
In particular, the encoding schema by ANSI, Airlines for America (A4A) [formerly known as Air Transport Association of America, Inc. (ATA)], and GS1 don’t have a data qualifier for “current serial number.” For example ANSI defines serial number as “a code assigned to an individual entity for the life of the product such as a computer serial number.” Packages can also be serialized through life, however their life is more limited.
The way this is generally handled is to retain the original part number and original serial number at the time of UII assignment along with the UII, but assign a “current part number” that differs from the original part number. The current part number DOES NOT change the UII and all 3 systems above have a data qualifier to allow a current part number to be encoded in addition to the original data. Please also note that MIL-STD-130 has the same requirements and recommends current data (e.g. current part number) be encoded in a separate 2D Data Matrix on the item identification.
The fact that this is GFP does not impact the rules and in fact I might argue it is more important to retain the same UII for traceability as the item transits across government and contractor information systems. All systems need to carry forward the UII through the life of the item regardless of maintenance, modification or upgrade.
I hope this helps. I would be happy to discuss this further with you if you like, or other Item Unique Identification (IUID), marking or packaging questions.