Some of the most basic items used in tagging or identifying people have remained unchanged through years of use. These are inexpensive and does not require more than a printed cardboard or synthetic form that is laminated. For many institutions these remain highly useful but today there may be more things added on to them to make them better.
These could include bar codes, more user or owner details, passwords, RFID chips and the like. Plastic name tags may at base be simpler and more utilitarian, but they could also become more complex products. When security levels go up, for instance, these can be made over into items with added security items on them.
An organization, a government agency or a business establishment may have better use of plasticized materials. These are things which are handier, more able to withstand pocketing or pressure and other stuff that can damage cardboard. These are less flexible but their harder cases also means that they are less likely to be ignored or simply left anywhere.
Also, lanyards are excellent to pair with these items, and anyone with IDs like these might secure both as a permanent item they need for work. Going into and out of buildings may need these, and folks who have left their IDs can be barred from entering if they left it too many times at home. The need here is for their versatility.
A piece of laminate plastic is the blank card on which things like company or organizational info are printed on. There are special digital printers that can do this, and they could use a lot of different colors, anything that might be needed. Designs are also things that are printable and the vinyl printing process is often more durable.
Lamination protects the print from being scratched or erased easily. Things like RFID or GPS chips and magnetic strips which have their own imprinted codes can be glued on to the piece of plastic. These transforms the item into one of the most advanced personal security items that is in use in many kinds of establishments.
Banks, for instance, can load up on a lot of security features for these. There might be receiving gadgets that will register all the things which are on your card or tag and then confirm these with a database. When all details match, you are let in, and for the most part, it is very hard to copy your personal ID card.
When lost, your report about the loss can make it invalid, although the materials there might be copied in general terms. However, for the codes and passes and other personal items, for all intents and purposes, you could change these as you like. This makes security processes more foolproof and working all the time.
The upshot here is that while plastic tags are not expensive, they can provide very expensive measures for all consumers. Processing them though depends on what is needed and the stuff that is supposed to be on them. They are templates on which anyone and any organization is able to make his or their own.