BLUF: SLES helps determine if shelf life Type II items are eligible for an extension.
The Shelf-Life Extension System (SLES) is used to determine if a shelf life (SL) Type II item is eligible for an extension. Proper management of SL materials prevent units from having to replenish expired, but properly stored, items that are still in useable condition. Also, using the SLES and proper SL management can help eliminate wasted stock and save your unit money. The SLES uses two data systems to determine extension eligibility: the Materiel Quality Control Storage Standards (MQCSS) and the Quality Status Listing (QSL).
The MQCSS contains the storage standards and provides guidance on visual inspection, type of testing, and storage requirements for SL Type II items. Using these storage standards helps to determine materiel serviceability and the degree of degradation of the item. Storage standards are prepared by Inventory Control Points or other organizations responsible for the management and coding of SL Type II items. These standards are used by DOD customers to determine if the items have retained their original characteristics and justify an extension.
The QSL is the DOD’s recognized source and central listing of test results for SL Type II item samples that have been tested in a DOD-approved laboratory. QSL test results are paired with Type II shelf-life items by matching NSN, lot or batch number, contract number, and when available, date manufactured. Type II shelf-life items that don’t have matching identification data in the QSL have either:
- not had samples submitted for testing.
- pending test results.
- no requirements for laboratory testing.
- or are items, such as electronics, which require 100 percent testing or restoration.
To gain access to the SLES, you’ll need an account from the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) Account Management and Provisioning System (AMPS), a computer with .mil domain access and this link:
Click View Registration Guidance
and follow the instructions to request the proper SLES role in AMPS. After you register, you’re ready to log on to SLES.
To look up an item:
- Choose the SLES tab and then click on SLES Search. Select the MQCSS button unless you only want the QSL test results. Search using the NSN or the NIIN and click on the appropriate hyperlink.
- Take note of the SL Code and the Shelf Life Item Type in the MQCSS data. If the one-position SL code is a number 1 through 9 or an X, the item is a Type II extendable item. If the SL Code is a letter A through V, Y or Z, the item is a Type I non-extendable item and should be processed for disposition. Keep in mind an exception can be made for pharmaceuticals. If the SL Code is a 0, then the item is a non-SL item and displays a watermark.
- Check the type inspection code.
- If the code is a V, the item only requires a visual inspection for possible SL extension. Personnel with SL training can conduct the required visual inspections outlined by the Defect Characteristics Code. If the item passes all of the inspection criteria and was packaged and stored properly, it qualifies for an SL extension.
- If the Inspection Type Code contains L, M or R, the letter indicates the type of inspection that must be accomplished. L stands for laboratory testing, M stands for machine testing and R stands for restoration. L, M and R inspections are accomplished by qualified testing or maintenance activities. Click on Test Labs under the SLES tab to find test laboratory contact information or check the Supply of Source (SOS) code for the item-managing activity.
For L codes, check for any available QSL test result data and attempt to match your item’s NSN, lot or batch number to the QSL listing to see if the materiel has already passed a laboratory test. If there’s a match and your item was packaged and stored properly and passes any required visual inspections, the QSL test results allow you to extend the SL of the item. If there isn’t a match in the QSL for your materiel, either request disposition instructions or perform an analysis to decide if submitting the item for testing is more cost effective.
During the analysis consider the item’s age, quantity-on-hand, price, and sample collection, along with transportation costs, materiel disposal costs, availability and delivery time of resupply and the criticality of item’s application. If you decide to submit an item for testing, contact the appropriate test laboratory for instructions. If any of the MQCSS data is missing, confusing or appears to be incorrect, press the red Feedback button in the MQCSS data to request assistance and clarification.
Have questions about SLES, MQCSS or QSL? Click HERE
to find your service or agency SLES administrator.