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What is Embossing?

May 16, 2011

Embossing, by definition, is to mark or decorate a surface with a raised design or symbol.  The opposite of embossing is debossing, which is to mark or decorate a surface by creating an indent in the material.

Embossing can be done on many different materials – everything from paper, plastic, and leather to various types of metal, including stainless steel, carbon steel, titanium, aluminum, copper, brass, and gold.

Objects that we see and hold everyday are embossed with information.  For example, birth certificates, credit and debit cards – any object with raised text or graphics, such as your name, card number, etc. have all been embossed.  Embossing is done mainly to mark an object with important information that won’t easily be lost due to harsh environments or wear and tear over time.  That is the beauty of embossing and what sets it apart from other marking and personalization machines such as printers, engravers or lasers.

Different types of machines are designed to emboss different materials, but, in the end, it’s the same concept.   For a visual explanation of exactly how an embossing machine works, below are two videos – one of a machine that embosses on metal plates, and one that embosses on plastic cards.

This first video shows how a very standard metal tag embossing machine operates.  This embossing machine is a compact, portable solution for dog tag and metal plate marking.

Embossing machines range from standard machines to more complex, automatic machines that can emboss 2D data matrix codes on metal plates.  For more examples of metal tag embossing machines, please see our complete line of metal tag solutions.

This video shows how a standard plastic card embossing machine operates.

This embossing machine personalizes plastic cards for use by industries such as bank and credit institutions, insurance companies, resorts, retail stores, etc.  For more information check out our complete line of plastic card embossers and personalization solutions.

Hope this was helpful!  If you are in need of more detailed information on part identification, part marking, product traceability or plastic card personalization, please feel free to visit our website

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