Identifying Equipment by Part Number, Serial Number & CLEI/HECI Codes: A Brief Guide


Have you ever looked at a telecom card to find information on it, and all you see are a bunch of letters and numbers that mean absolutely nothing to you? Well, you are certainly not alone. Even some experts can have difficulty trying to locate the specific info they need on equipment. Here are some general pointers that may help some of you out there.

The three main sources of information on a piece of equipment are the faceplate, serial number, and the CLEI/HECI Codes. Here is a brief guide on how to look for these:

1.       Start with the faceplate:

Faceplates are the most insightful place to start.  Every manufacturer has their own unique way of marking or identifying information on their cards.  Usually the part number, description, HECI/CLEI code and/or series will be marked somewhere on the face plate. It’s most often the quickest and easiest way to determine what the piece of equipment is.

HECI number part labels

2.       Where to find the Serial Number:

Serial numbers are critical to locate in cases of emergency replacement or redeployment.  SN’s are typically located on the bottom left of the card when looking at the front of the card.  The SN usually consists of letters and numbers totaling between 6-9 characters depending on the manufacturer.

3.       CLEI/HECI Codes:

CLEI/HECI codes are 10 character alpha numeric codes that have a 1:1 relationship to a product identifier (part number). These codes are used to identify network equipment and typically identify all field replaceable units. However, they provide much more information as well. If you want to know more about CLEI codes Click Here  for some more depth.


  • So how did you get a card with one of my barcodes on it?

  • Bill, I really appreciate the information. I want to add a comment and that is the very first picture shows two different styles of CLEI(TM) Code Labels, some within the industry also may refer to these as HECI, but these are CLEI Codes. The very top CLEI Code label that has the 2D symbol) is the current label and it is to have encoded within the 2D symbol two data elements, the CLEI Code and the item’s Unique Serial Identifier (USI). Using bar code readers (a scanner) the end user can pull both pieces of valuable information from the 2D symbol thereby reducing errors that often occur with direct human intervention. The second item that appears directly under it has an older linear bar code CLEI Code label. Linear labels are still in use today but they are to be only used on product packaging. Today’s physical products are to be shipped with a 2D CLEI Code product label, which the symbol is to be a microPDF417.

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