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Metal Tags: Frequently Asked Questions


Metal tags are used for various applications, including industrial, military, aerospace, commercial, and educational uses.

Identification: Metal tags with serial numbers are great for identification purposes such as identifying different assets, valves, industrial products, luggage, valuables, parts of equipment or machinery, or electrical boxes at a glance.

Information: Metal tags inform the people about the tagged product. It may contain product information like product name, model number, address, contact information, date of manufacture or expiry, weight or capacity, barcode/EAN.

Organization: Color-coded tags can be used to organize similar stuff. Key tags can be used to organize your keys and prevent them from getting lost.


Following are some of the significant advantages of metal tags:

  • Metal tags are very durable and last for decades. They can withstand harsh environments, extreme temperatures, & subsea conditions.
  • Unlike paper or cardstock, metal tags are tearproof.
  • Metal tags come in a variety of material options like stainless steel, aluminum, brass, etc.
  • Tags can be printed, paint-filled, engraved, or embossed and made to your specs.
  • Metal tags can come with pre-drilled holes for mounting or can be chained to machinery, pipes, or equipment.
  • They require minimal maintenance and take abuse effectively.

Plastic and metal are the two main material choices for tags. Before selecting the suitable material for your tags you need to consider the application, environment, and budget. You must calculate your requirements based on the following factors:

Exposure of the tag

Think whether tags will be exposed to harsh conditions and inclement weather? If that is the case, consider using more sturdy and durable metal tags instead of plastic. Equipment that needs to be tagged for inventory and asset tracking purposes should carry tags that will last longer for proper tracking till life, no matter what conditions it faces.


Plastic tags do not last as long as metal tags and cannot withstand extremely harsh conditions, but they are more affordable than metal ones. When a bulk quantity of tags is required, affordability plays a vital role.

Printing or engraving

Consider whether you want the text or design to be printed or engraved on the tag. Some designs may require special printing methods like etching or engraving associated with metal tags. Others may simply need digital printing or screen printing, which can be easily done on plastic tag material.


Using valve tags correctly is highly important for compliance and safety. While most of the standards developed for valve tags are just recommendations by ANSI and other organizations, there are some best practices for valve and pipe marking made mandatory for certain industries by government bodies such as OSHA or the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE).

Private safety groups come up with the best practices first for valve safety and valve tags. Businesses often adopt these best practices because of their effectiveness. Some of the private organizations that develop valve tag and pipe marking requirements are:

  • American Petroleum Institute (API)
  • American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)
  • American National Standards Institute (ANSI)
  • Manufacturers Standardization Society (MSS)
  • International Organization for Standardization (ISO)
  • European Committee for Standardization (CEN)

A luggage tag should carry as much information as required to identify your luggage quickly and easily so that it reaches you in case of misplacement. You can have your email address, full name, address, and phone number where you can be reached out. For privacy reasons, many people don’t include their home address on luggage tags. Instead, you can use the address of your destination or your work address for safety. Many travelers also shorten their first name to one letter. In the case of email addresses, you can use a secondary e-mail address to avoid phishing attempts if your bag gets lost. Professional-looking luggage tags are a great way to find back your lost luggage at airports, stations, in a taxicab, or a hotel. If you’re traveling internationally, you should avoid writing anything that shows your nationality. And on your children’s luggage tags, you should write your own name and contact details and avoid writing their names so that strangers do not know the identity of children.


Embossing utilizes a male and a female die set to press a raised design into a metal substrate. Embossing is used to manufacture a large number of tags with the same design or text. While embossing creates characters that are raised upward, debossing imprints the design downwards. It means that the design is pressed outwards toward the reverse side. It involves creating an indent in the metal being used. Debossed tags are not commonly used as identification tags. In fact, debossed parts are often used as a marking tool for products like rubber tires. Embossed tags and nameplates, on the other hand, are used as asset tags, utility pole tags, valve tags, and more.

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