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Page Title: Federal Catalog System
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CHAPTER 4 MATERIAL IDENTIFICATION This chapter discusses what is meant by material identification.  Why  it  is  necessary.  The  way  material is identified, and the tools that are available for you to use in identifying material. The problem of material identification is not peculiar to the Navy nor to the military.  You  probably  have  had  occasion  to  purchase a part for your car or for an appliance or to use a mail order  catalog.  These  items  were  all  identified  by  a catalog   or   part   number.   This   is   the   material identification  system  used  by  that  manufacturer  or supplier. They use it for the same reason the Navy does. It is a brief, accurate means of identifying one specific item  of  material.  Each  company  develops  a  system  to meet  its  own  needs. There are over four million supply items in the Department  of  Defense  (DOD)  Supply  System.  The Navy  Supply  System  alone  stocks  over  one  million items  When  requisitioning  a  specific  item  from  a supply activity, you must use the common language that has been developed to accurately identify the item. This tool is known as the Federal Supply Catalog System. FEDERAL CATALOG SYSTEM The  Defense  Logistics  Agency  (DLA),  administers the Federal Catalog System. This includes naming, describing, classifying, and numbering of all the items carried  under  centralized  inventory  control  of  the Federal   Government.   The   publication   of   related identification  data  is  also  part  of  this  task.  The  Federal Catalog  System  also  is  used  by  North  Atlantic  Treaty Organization  (NATO)  countries. FEDERAL SUPPLY CLASSIFICATION SYSTEM The Federal Supply Classification (FSC) system is designed to classify all items of supply used by the Federal  Government.  Each  item  of  supply  is  classified in one, and only one, four-digit Federal supply class. The first two digits denote the group or major division of commodities the last two digits denote the class or subdivision   of   commodities   within   a   group.   As presently established, the FSC consists of 76 groups (some currently unassigned). These stock groups cover rather broad categories of material. Therefore, they are subdivided  into  classes.  There  are  approximatey  600 classes assigned to the 76 groups. The  number  of  classes  within  each  group  vary. Each  class  covers  a  particular  area  of  commodities,  in accordance   with   their   physical   or   performance characteristics, or based on the fact that the items in the class are usually requisitioned or issued together. You will learn the frequently used classes within the groups by  using  them.  Examples  of  how  the  classes  are  used to divide types of material as shown in figure 4-1. Together, the stock group and class are known as the  FSC. The   Defense   Logistics   Agency   Cataloging Handbooks,  H2-1,  H2-2,  and  H2-3  contain  a  complete listing of assigned federal supply classification classes. You will notice that the Federal supply groups starts with group 10. The Navy uses the groups 01 through 09 for forms and publications which are not included in the  Federal  Catalog  System. NATIONAL STOCK NUMBER The national stock number (NSN) for an item of supply consists of a four digit FSC group and class, and Figure 4-1.-Classes of material within stock groups. 4-1

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