Whether it is an annual mandated check of valves, or a periodic in-house evaluation of machinery, inspections are important to most industrial organizations. While they might not be everyone’s favorite part of the industrial business, inspections are crucial in maintaining safe operations.

Custom inspection tags and nameplates provide information to make inspections a quick and accurate process.

Types of Tags

There are tags for nearly any application that requires inspections. From embossed utility pole tags, to color coded valve tags, there is a solution for every need.

Process Options

Metal tags used for inspections can be made with any process which fits your needs. Two of the most popular processes for these applications are embossing and photo anodization.


Embossing is the preferred choice by many due to its durability and simplicity. These tags are best suited for basic information such as text or numbers. Embossed tags are excellent at providing simple but effective traceability.

The embossing process uses a die set to raise a design upwards in the material.

Serialized Embossed Tags

This impression is very durable and will not be removed unless the metal material itself is removed or destroyed.

Steam trap valves are often marked with these tags, as they need simple identification that will hold up to potential exposure to steam and water. They are often produced with anodized aluminum to allow for color coding.

Photo Anodization

Another commonly used process for inspection tags, photo anodization is a highly durable solution with the flexibility to add nearly any design and/or information.

The process embeds a custom design underneath layers of aluminum. Unlike topical printing, this design cannot be simply scraped off the metal material.

UID IUID Mil Std 130 Example Tag Property of US Government

These tags are rated for 20+ outdoors, including exposure to weather and sunlight. As many inspection tags are used in an outdoor environment, photo anodized nameplates are a viable solution.

For example, international shipping requires the marking of containers with a CSC plate. Photo anodized plates allow for the addition of any information the end user needs, without the fear of wear from exposure to seawater or other weather.

Photo anodization is also perfect for factories and other plants. The anodized aluminum material is resistant to corrosion, wear and tear, and chemical exposure.


If you can name an industry, there is a good chance they utilize inspection tags.

Here are just a few of numerous examples:


Selecting the best inspection tag for your equipment or valve is important if you want it to be an effective solution. Choosing the right material coincides with that. If your tag needs to be durable and lightweight, aluminum is probably a better choice than stainless steel.

Some of the most commonly used materials include:

All of these choices really come down to the environment and application in which you use the tag. If you know your tag will be exposed to harsh conditions, choose a process and material which are suited for it. If your nameplate needs to be a specific color to match a federal specification, then selecting a process or material which can accommodate that is the best choice.

Wrap Up

Preparing your organization with custom inspection tags can make a lasting impact on the safety of your business. A nameplate with accurate information about a machine or tool might seem simple, but the end result is the difference between a valve malfunctioning or getting serviced on time.

Whether you are obligated through regulations, or you just want to maintain the safest workplace you can, custom inspection tags are an excellent solution.