Metalphoto Nameplates

Metalphoto Certified Printer.

Data Graphics Inc. Is One of the Top 10 Metalphoto ® Converters in the Nation1

Data Graphics Inc. is pleased to announce that as of February, 2016 we are a Metalphoto Certified Converter, capable of producing metalphoto nameplates that meet MIL-STD-130 n, ASTM B209 -10 standards.

High Resolution Metalphoto Nameplate

The Highest Resolution Metallic Print Solution is a Metalphoto Nameplate. It meets mil-std-130 n, ASTM B209 -10, and UL 969 Standards

Cross-section of Metalphoto Nameplate

Cross-section of Metalphoto Nameplate. The Imbedded Image Makes Us mil-std-130 n, ASTM B209 -10, and UL 969 compliant.

While we can digitally print, screen print, etch, and engrave metallic prints in a wide variety of ways, we recognize the metalphoto process to be the highest quality and most durable way to create a metallic print. In harsh environments, durable substrates are required. Rugged anodized aluminum is the obvious choice, and the metalphoto process provides the highest quality printing options. The metalphoto process is vastly superior to stainless steel or traditional anodized aluminum. It combines beautiful, fine detail not available through other methodologies, with durable functionality, and is 25 Year Exposure Certified. The metalphoto process uses a digital-capable machine to develop a photo on the inner layer of a sheet of photosensitive anodized aluminum. The silver halide image is permanently sealed within the anodic layer, making it nearly impervious to the elements. Metalphoto nameplates have great features, combining the durability of anodized aluminum with the highest resolution, photograph quality printing. If you are unsure whether the metalphoto process is the right printing methodology for you, please feel free to phone our knowledgeable team at 800-639-4316, or select the relevant tab. We will cover:

  • The Advantages of the Metalphoto Process
  • Noteworthy Applications
  • How the Metalphoto Process Works
  • Metalphoto Nameplate Specs
  • Why Choose Data Graphics for Your Metallic Print Needs?

Why Choose DG?

Why Choose Data Graphics for Your Metallic Print Needs?

  • Quality – Highest Quality Metallic PrintWe are proud to announce that we are one of the Top 10 metalphoto nameplate printers in the nation, and the only Certified Converter in the Southeast. Data Graphics also is an UL Approved, AS 9100, and ISO printer. We are accustomed to having our work scrutinized. Every day we manufacture labels and metalphoto nameplates that meet mil-std-130 n, ASTM B209 -10 standards. Our standards are so high that more than four out of five customers repeat order with us. Moreover, we average 99% approved order rates.
  • Speed – We are fast. Really fast. Call 800-639-4316 now for a free quote to see how fast our process is. We are an industry leader in metalphoto nameplate manufacturing, with turn-around times of 2-10 working days. More than 60% of our custom metalphoto nameplate orders are shipped ahead of time.
  • Problem Solving – Our genuinely friendly and extremely helpful staff has literally hundreds of years of collective UL 969 , mil-std-130 n, ASTM B209 -10 schematicexperience. With that level of experience, we know how to solve any metalphoto process or fabrication glitches. We do whatever it takes to help our clients’ solve their printing problems and find the most cost-effective solution, whether that be the metalphoto process, etching, engraving, or another alternative. You won’t find a metalphoto nameplate manufacturer who you enjoy working with as much as Data Graphics.
  • Security and Confidentiality – We are an ITAR Registered (International Traffic in Arms Regulations Compliant) firm, upholding the highest standards of security and confidentiality.
  • Size – We are large enough to have a variety of the most modern and high tech machines. We can handle all of your metallic ASTM B209 -10, UL 969, mil-std-130 n, aerospace control panelprint needs, and indeed, almost any label, nameplate, overlay or sign that you need. While the metalphoto process is one of our specialties, we will be sure to recommend the methodology and substrates that are best for each of your projects. In spite of our wide capabilities, however, we are still small enough that our customers aren’t numbers, but valued clients. You won’t find a metalphoto nameplate manufacturer as committed to your success as Data Graphics.
  • Getting It Right the First Time – We have 100% inspection standards, examining every one of your custom metalphoto nameplate, not just random samples, like most other companies. We know it’s vital to get your metalphoto nameplate done right and on time.
  • Trusted – Data Graphics has a hard-earned reputation to uphold as the nation’s top metallic print manufacturer. We are an American owned and operated company using only proven American made metalphoto nameplate material.  Our clients include Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, and Boeing. Each of the thousands of metalphoto nameplates we create is manufactured to the same high standards as if it were going on a submarine or fighter jet. Our happy clients include a “Who’s Who” of Fortune 1000 manufacturers. Read their reviews.

    Collage- Metalphoto Nameplates and Control Panels

    Collage- Metalphoto Nameplates and Control Panels Meet mil-std-130 n, ASTM B209 -10 Standards


The Advantages of the Metalphoto Process

  • Metallic Print-Placard

    Highest Quality Metallic Print – Use a Metalphoto Certified Converter

    Photo Quality Images – The metalphoto process creates the highest graphic resolution printing possible on metallic print substrate. This high quality metallic print methodology can reproduce graphics, pictures, codes, and text images onto rugged photosensitive anodized aluminum. The remarkably high resolution of the metalphoto process makes it especially useful where label space is limited.

  • Variable Data – Because the metalphoto process uses a digital capable machine, each metalphoto nameplate can carry unique variable data, such as barcodes, UID’s, QR codes, and sequential serial numbers. No other methodology for creating a variable data metallic print is even close to providing the durability guaranteed through the metalphoto process.
  • Durability – The National Association of Graphic and Product Identification Manufacturers (GPI) has declared metalphoto nameplates to be the most durable of aluminum identification plates ever manufactured. The Naval Surface Warfare Center conducted tests on several UID materials and determined that metalphoto nameplates developed on photosensitive anodized aluminum achieved the highest score environmental survivability of any UID material evaluated. In addition, the metalphoto process provides the highest resolution printing, for an ultra-sharp, photograph quality appearance. When choosing an aluminum print methodology, remember that both the quality of the substrate and the printing method effect performance. Methodologies such as engraving or etching alter the substrate and potentially reduce performance. Engraved or etched portions of a nameplate expose raw aluminum, which are susceptible to corrosion and debris accumulation. Each metalphoto nameplate is designed to withstand the most extreme environments (-65 degrees C to 125 degrees C). It is capable of resisting wide temperature swings, abrasion, acid corrosion, salt spray, fungus, stains, UV exposure, as well as most solvents and chemicals. Metalphoto nameplates are virtually impervious to the elements, specially engineered to withstand decades of whatever Mother Nature dishes out. Because the image is developed into the anodized surface, under the protective anodic layer, the details remain sharp, crisp, and clean over time, and you get virtually no image degradation on a metalphoto nameplate.
  • Durable Metallic Print

    The Metalphoto Process Creates a Metallic Print That Meets mil-std-130 n, ASTM B209 -10, and UL 969 Standards

    Versatility – A wide variety of proven 3M adhesives are available on metalphoto nameplates. Although it is not common knowledge, metalphoto nameplates can be two-sided and we regularly process metalphoto nameplates for clients with images on both sides. While the metalphoto process is limited to black “printing,” the base color of the anodized aluminum can vary. The photosensitive aluminum used in printing metalphoto nameplates is currently available in gold, copper, and silver. Additionally, we can screen print on a metalphoto nameplate to add virtually any color, though that surface level metallic print will not be as durable as the sealed photographic image. Metalphoto nameplates have a smooth, cleanable, fully anodized surface so grease and dirt can be easily removed and abrasion or corrosion cannot cause scan errors. The metalphoto process is an excellent and cost-effective choice for small and medium sized orders, or when a large volume of unique parts is required.

  • Trusted – Horizons Research Inc. essentially invented Type 1 photosensitive anodized aluminum printing in 1950. There is a running joke in the industry, of whether the metalphoto process was designed to meet mil-std-130 n, ASTM B209 –10, and UL 969 standards, or whether the standards were created to compel manufacturers to utilize metalphoto nameplates. In any event, each metalphoto nameplate is trusted to meet the most demanding standards. Because of its growing popularity, several companies have attempted to manufacture photosensitive anodized aluminum, but they have all had difficulty creating consistently high quality metallic prints. Other imitators sometimes experience delamination, or image degradation through sublimation. Data Graphics exclusively uses the metalphoto process for creating these types of metallic prints.
  • Certified – Each metalphoto nameplate made by a certified converter meets an array of government, military and industrial specifications including:
    • MIL-STD-130 n
    • MIL-DTL-15024F
    • MIL-P-19834B
    • ASTM B209 -10
    • A-A-50271 Class-2 Composition C
    • Federal Specification GGP-455B(3)
    • UL PGGU2
    • UL 969 Standard
    • Find complete certifications in our metalphoto nameplate specs


Noteworthy Metalphoto Nameplate Applications


Metalphoto nameplates meet many of the Department of Defense’s toughest requirements

The Metalphoto Process

The Metalphoto Process

Commemorative Metallic Print

A Metalphoto Nameplate is the Highest Quality Metallic Print


Because the metalphoto process is truly photo processing, it takes place in our “yellow room” which filters out all white light. Our substrate, Type 1 photosensitive anodized aluminum, is carefully stored in protective sleeves in the “yellow room.” This substrate is the essence of the entire metalphoto process. The metalphoto process, utilizes the porous nature of unsealed anodized aluminum to create a sub-surface image. Type 1 photosensitive anodized aluminum has been impregnated with a silver compound which creates an activated latent image when exposed to light, much like traditional black and silver photography. This photosensitive layer is embedded beneath a nearly impervious, clear anodic layer. Fully developing the metallic print is a nine step process:

  1. Exposure – Our digital Controller/Integrator Metal Halide Exposure System exposes the substrate with bright light, activating the photosensitive anodized
    Metalphoto Certified Converter. mil-std-130 n, ASTM B209 -10, and UL 969 Compliant

    Metalphoto Certified Converter. MIL-STD-130 n, ASTM B209 -10, and UL 969 Compliant

    aluminum. This is also the stage at which the Exposure System would create any barcodes, serialization, QR codes, etc.

  2. Developer –  Each metalphoto nameplate is then submerged in a chemical developer for a set amount of time to allow the image to fully emerge. Once through the exposure and development stages, a clear black image is formed inside of the metal.
  3. Fixer – This is a separate chemical treatment, designed to remove the unexposed silver halide from the plate, so that UV exposure does not cause photosensitive darkening.
  4. Rinse – The metalphoto nameplate is given a quick bath in deionized water.
  5. Intensifier – This is a specialized chemical treatment to enhance the contrast between the image and the anodized aluminum.
  6. Rinse – The metalphoto nameplate is given another quick bath in deionized water.
  7. Check – Our staff uses the twenty-one shade Stouffer Sensitivity Guide to ensure the intensity of the color and the contrast meet our high standards.
  8. Sealer – Each metalphoto nameplate is then sealed in boiling water, which we affectionately call the “hot dog cooker.” The boiling treatment hydrates the aluminum oxide surface, closing the anodic layer on the top. The image is now permanently sealed and protected beneath the anodic layer of the plate
  9. Fabrication – The metalphoto process is now complete. The metalphoto nameplates are hung on the drying rack and air dried. Once dry, they are sent to fabrication for cutting and shipping.


Metalphoto Nameplate Specs

Finishes Metalphoto nameplates are available in a variety of finishes:

Collage of Metalphoto Nameplates

Collage of mil-std-130 n, ASTM B209 -10 Compliant Metalphoto Nameplates

  • Matte FInishMatte – non-reflective with dull finish, recommended for most data matrix, UID barcode, and asset tag applications.
  • Satin FinishSatin – semi gloss medium reflective material, recommended for most metalphoto nameplate and equipment panel applications.
  • #4 (Brushed) Finish#4 ( “Brushed”) – brushed to resemble stainless steel finish, recommended for most metalphoto nameplate and equipment panel applications.
  • Gloss FInishGloss – reflective and mirror like, recommended for decorative displays, awards, plaques, donor recognition placards and similar applications

Colors – Gold, copper and silver anodized aluminum are available. Screen printing on the anodic layer is not technically part of the metalphoto process, but is possible in any color.
Dimensions – Metalphoto nameplate sheets are available in a variety of sizes: 10” x 12”, 12” x 20”, 20” x 24”, 20” x 40”, and 24” x 40.” Metalphoto nameplates can be cut from these sheets to any size desired.
Thicknesses – Metalphoto nameplates also come in a range of thicknesses” .003”, .005”, .012”, .020”, .032”, .063”, .090”, .125”
Certifications: It is pretty common knowledge that metalphoto nameplates meet mil-std-130 n, ASTM B209 –10, and UL 969 standards, but that is just the tip of the iceberg. Here are the current certifications met through the metalphoto process:


ASTM Standard Practices (ASTM B209 -10) ASTM B209 -10
Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Technical Paper Series 2000-01-2437
Underwriters Laboratories (UL 969) Standard UL 969
European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) EC 1907/2006
Dept. of Navy CARDIVNSWC-TR-62-00-05
EC Directive on Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) RoHS Certification
Canadian Standard Association (CSA) CSA Approval Doc. 1 | Doc. 2
Pacific Biolabs AAMI/CDV-1 ST79:2010/A2.06
US Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC), Corona Division IUID Environmental Survivability Test
Underwriters Laboratories (UL File # MH17767) UL PGGU2
Detroit Testing Laboratory A-A-50271 (~MIL-P-514D)
Boeing Commercial Aircraft Company BMS-26J
Boeing Commercial Aircraft Company BAC5875
Honeywell, Inc. Satellite Systems Operations Memo A3-J024-M-9501786, Case 161311
Lockheed Martin LMA-PN010
Northrup Grumman GA105G
Sikorski SS9048-R08
BF Goodrich LGMS 3001
BF Goodrich SMT0022
US Federal Government Federal Specification GGP-455B(3)
US Department of Defense MIL-DTL-15024F>
US Department of Defense A-A-50271 Class 2-Composition C
NASA, Johnson Space Center Texas SSP 50007
US Dept. of Defense (DOD MIL-STD-130 n) MIL-STD-130 n
US Department of Defense MIL-A-8625F
Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) SAE AMS-QQ-A-250/1
US Department of Defense MIL-DTL-19834C
US Department of Defense MIL-STD-13231>
US Department of Defense MIL-P-514D
US Department of Defense MIL-PRF-61002
US Department of Defense NSA-2J

The metalphoto process is so effective that this list as continually evolving.  At the time of publication, this list of certifications for the metalphoto process is complete.

Let Data Graphics Help You With Your Metalphoto Nameplates and Special Projects Today

Landscape Metallic Print

Contact Data Graphics Today for the Highest Quality Metallic Print

For many applications, the metalphoto process is the superior metallic print methodology. There are a host of reasons that the aerospace, medical, telecommunications, manufacturing, and military industries have counted on Data Graphics Inc. to create superior, high quality metalphoto nameplate products that last. We are proud to be recognized as one of the only metalphoto certified converters in the nation, and would love to share with you why that makes us the right firm to help you with your metalphoto nameplates. Please call us today at 800-639-4316 to discover the DG difference.

Data Graphics Inc Metal Photo UIDData Graphics is one of only 8 firms in the nation to receive the auspicious certification as a metalphoto certified converter. At the time of this publishing, Data Graphics is the only metalphoto certified converter in the Southeast. Trust only metalphoto certified converters, because they get the metalphoto process right!

  • Employee Spotlight

    Jennifer Mullins

    Roll Label Engineer | Employee Since 2003
      "Data Graphics would like you to meet one of our Roll Label Engineers, Jennifer Mullins! In June, Jennifer will be with DG for 16 years, and has been involved in the success of numerous departments throughout her tenure. Prior to Data Graphics, Jennifer worked in the printing industry for 7 years, providing her the platform to support our production functions with ease. Jennifer's fondest memories of Data Graphics include Bobby Welter and the inspiration of the Welter family. In her free time, Jennifer spends time with her grandchildren, Hope and Hank (pictured below), along with rehabilitating pit bulls. She also has a knack for DIY Home Improvement and is currently working on remodeling her home!"

    Data Graphics Inc Team Member - Shianne

    Shianne Conn

    Sales Engineer | Employee Since 2007


    "Shianne Conn is one of our five inside sales representatives. Shianne has nearly two decades of sales/customer service experience. Shianne is responsible for working directly with our customers in all quoting, order entry and follow-up situations. She has grown her customer base during her time with our sales team because of her excellent customer service. Her customers and co-workers adore her."

    Data Graphics Inc Team Member - Cathy

    Cathy Hutcheson

    Sales Engineer | Employee Since 1997


    "Cathy Hutcheson started with DG by working on the production side, with various roles in the screening department. She spent seven years in inspection, and was even our Inspection Supervisor for a time. In 2004, Cathy found her way into the Sales Department where she truly found her love working directly with our customers."

    Data Graphics Inc Team Member - Dave

    Dave Gerberich

    Screen Operator | Employee Since 1996


    "After retiring from his own textile printing business, Dave Gerberich decided he needed more to keep him busy during the day. Dave is currently one of our main screen press operators. Dave has been married for more than four decades to his lovely wife Merry. They have two children, a daughter, Dawn, who lives in North Carolina, and a son, Patrick, who recently became a Pharmacist and lives in Jacksonville. They also have two grandchildren. Dave has served in the US Army. Dave's motto is that it is always 5 o'clock somewhere!!"

    Data Graphics Inc Team Member - Eric

    Eric Yelvington

    Fabrication Department | Employee Since 2004


    "Eric Yelvington has become multi-talented in our Fabrication Department. Eric currently runs our CNC, laser and die presses. There is rarely an opportunity he allows our sales team to turn down, always willing to try new things. Eric is a native Floridian. Born in Daytona, he eventually made his way to Lake County in December 2003. Eric is an Eagle Scout, the highest attainable ranking through Boy Scouts of America. He enjoys hunting and fishing on the weekends, and of course hanging out with his wife."

    Data Graphics Inc Team Member - Jennifer

    Jennifer Mullins

    Roll Label Department | Employee Since 2003


    "Jennifer Mullins is a versatile, veteran printer. She came to us with five years experience in the printing industry before joining the Data Graphics Team. Jen has worked in several departments, initially in the Screen Printing Department, the ink room, and as a screen press operator. She now runs our Roll Labels Department, and primarily operates our Flexography presses and digital roll press. She is also trained on our hot stamp and thermal presses. Born and raised in Central Florida, Jen enjoys spending time with her family, especially the furry ones. Jen has one son, Tyler, and a grandson, Hank, as well as her rescued pets, which include three dogs, three cats, a horse and a parrot. Growing up on Lake George, she enjoys being on the water and all of the activities to go along with the outdoors."

    Data Graphics Inc Team Member - Tim Shphard

    Tim Shephard

    Color Analyst and Press Operator | Employee Since 1984


    "Tim was Data Graphics first employee and had been an extraordinary color guru for decades. Tim's fondest memory while being employed at DG is when he was trained by the infamous "Aunt Marie" (the owner's Aunt) on mixing colors. It was all trial and error back then, he recalls. Upon celebrating our 30th Anniversary as a company, Tim was rewarded with an all-expense paid trip of his choice. He chose “Viva Las Vegas.”

    Data Graphics Inc Team Member - Adam Rodriguez

    Adam Rodriguez

    Shipping Department | Employee Since 2008


    "Meet the man behind the packages, Adam Rodriguez. Adam started with Data Graphics in 2008, working in various departments. He has assisted in Sales, and various Production Departments. Adam ultimately landed in our Shipping Department. Now the head of our Shipping Department, Adam makes sure your packages make it to the right place, at the right time. Adam was born and raised in Key West, Florida. When he was 16, his family moved to Eustis, where he currently resides with his wife and two children. His daughter will be off to college in the fall and his son is very active in baseball. Adam’s fondest memory working at Data Graphics was working with Bob Jenkins (now retired), “Man that guy had some great stories!” Overall the biggest highlight is “being able to interact with the rest of the great employees here at DG."

    Data Graphics Inc Team Member - AJamar Barriner

    Jamar Barriner

    Screen Operator | Employee Since 2007


    "Meet one of the men behind the printing of your labels and overlays, Jamar Barriner. Jamar joined Data Graphics with extensive printing experience. Jamar has been trained for the Yellow Room which is where all of our screens are burned, and he was also trained on our hand table presses, which are used for small production runs. He currently resides in Mount Plymouth, Florida and enjoys working in his yard and home in his spare time. Jamar also has two brothers that work here at DG. Jamar is the father to two daughters, Hazzelyn and Jazzelyn, and is a doting father."