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Metal Nameplates Various Colors and Information

What Are Asset Tags?

Most industrial organizations want to increase efficiency, keep track of their physical assets, and ensure safety.

One of the most effective solutions to accomplish these goals is asset tagging. Metal asset tags are attached to a piece of equipment, machine, or tool, and provide an added layer of traceability.

These tags typically include a barcode to scan, allowing for integration with tracking software.

Uses for Asset Tags

Inventory Management

Many organizations need to keep track of inventory levels. This may include simply monitoring stock levels, or even automatic reordering systems when quantities get low. By using a scanning system, the inventory control process becomes considerably easier.

This can be beneficial for insurance reasons, valuating inventory, and more.

Asset Tracking

The main application for these tags is asset management. It helps decision makers know if their fixed assets are being used efficiently.

Modern barcode scanning systems are able to incorporate a ton of data. For example, location, last inspection, installation date, if a machine needs repaired, and more.

This helps determine bottle necks, areas to improve on, and other issues that may arise.

Theft Prevention

Another great benefit is theft prevention. When your business invests thousands of dollars in expensive machinery, tools, and equipment, the last thing you want is for it to be stolen.

First, nameplates act as a deterrent to theft. Few will attempt to take something if they know it’s being monitored.

If theft does occur, your organization will be aware of it sooner and have resources in place to find out how it happened.

By integrating a tracking system, your assets will be safer from internal and external theft.


Outside of barcode scanning, customized asset tags are also used simply for identification purposes. Information on the marker can clearly identify a machine, piece of equipment, or asset. This can include safety info, manufacturer info, or a combination of data.

Identification products provide clear information on safety guidelines, prevent mistakes, injuries, and damage to equipment.

Industries That Use Asset Tags

Asset labels and tags are not just for large warehouses or manufacturing firms. There are nearly an unlimited number of industries which utilize asset tagging.

A few examples of industries which rely on asset tagging include:

  • Manufacturing
  • Oil and Gas
  • Aerospace
  • Defense
  • And Many More!

Types of Asset Tags

Barcode Tags

The most common type of asset tags are barcode tags. Organizations across the globe utilize bar code scanning systems for everything from inventory management systems to asset tracking. Barcode scanners make information easy to access.

These nameplates can incorporate any type of code your application requires. The most common are QR codes or traditional 2D Line barcodes (like product UPC codes at the supermarket).

Metal Quickpull Barcode Tags

Scanned codes are able to provide any information the company requires:

  • Location
  • Date of Manufacture
  • Year of Manufacture
  • Price
  • Quantity in Stock
  • Last Inspection Date
  • Anything Else the Organization Wants to Track


The United States Department of Defense sets forth very strict guidelines for identifying and tracking military property. MIL-STD-130 establishes a specialized system called UID (IUID).

This Item Unique Identification policy maintains that every item within their criteria is consistently and accurately tagged. They use one-of-a-kind codes on each tag to ensure no errors or duplicates.

UID IUID Mil Std 130 Example Tag Property of US Government

Serialized Tags

What if my organization doesn’t use a barcode scanning system?

Asset tagging is not exclusive to barcodes. For firms that prefer a more economical solution, serialized embossed tags are the perfect choice. Serial number sets can be used for machinery, job pieces, or anything else your company requires.

Plus, the raised characters in the metal are incredibly durable, meaning they won’t fade or rub off over time.


For nameplates with barcodes, specialized processes are required.

Photo anodization provides the most durable solution of the bunch. 20+ year outdoor durability with information embedded in an anodized aluminum. This means your code isn’t going anywhere. This includes water, chemicals, and more.

Screen printing on metal is also an effective solution, with the ability to print high quality imaging. The downside is a major drop in durability. Since ink is printed on top of the material, it is subject to scrapes and wear. Your barcode may not last for a significant amount of time if exposed to difficult environments. This can be cost effective option for high volume, low abuse environments.

Printed decals and labels provide similar abilities, but the plastic or vinyl material will not hold up to wear and tear.

Serialized embossed tags can’t feature barcodes, but are extremely durable and perfect for applications that don’t need a code to scan.


Asset tags are a must for any organization that wants to become more efficient. Scanning systems open up a whole world of insight into your operations to see how it can be improved. While durable serialized tags provide a simplified way to keep track of equipment or machinery.


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