Credit card Manufacturing, gift card, and even the hotel key card is an important part of daily transactions. Nevertheless, they are often ignored and things like material selection and optimal performance requirements are often overlooked.

Each type of card has different requirements in terms of printability, durability, and the likes, and various manufacturers of these cards too are slightly different in terms of process parameters.

Among the different materials used today, plastic card manufacturing is one of the quickest and the most efficient type of cards available.

Standard Procedure of Card Manufacturing

Standard bank cards can go through to the following manufacturing steps, depending on card design:

Arts> Pre-press> Print> Sheet Collation> Lamination> Shear Cut> punching> Single Cards> Inspection> Hologram> Signature Panel> Cavity Milling> Personalization.

Some of these steps are carried out with sub layers of the card before you get a specimen of the final card.

Material is used in Card Manufacturing

PVCs are common material used in card making. Various colors and thickness of PVCs, transparent and/or metallized nature are extensively used. Cards made from PVCs are both durable and aesthetic.

Polycarbonate, although it is expensive, but has been proven to provide some optimal durability. The adhesive layer of these cards can be a solvent or a water-base, hot melt, urethane, acrylic acid, and a number of combinations.

Material used to Enhance Card Characteristics

Special products – such as infrared-blocking ink, thin film, fluorescent ink, ultraviolet screen reflect inks, touch coating and tactile sensation effect, even odor and fragrance are used to enhance the card design. One of the most popular methods is the form of metallized pets, with various hologram patterns and designs, catching the eyes of the consumers.

Preferred Method of Printing in the Card Industry

Digital printing is more prominent in the card market due to a shorter operation applications with multiple images and customizable graphics. The ability of each card with different printed patterns is not feasible with the more traditional screen printing or offset Litho print. Although the screen printing is more economically used in a large scale, the offset printing process allows the desired image to transfer from the printed plate to the offset cylinder, and finally on the plastic sheet constituting the card structure. The four colors of cyan, magenta, yellow and black are mixed with a specified ratio to form a final card product with good color resolution.

The selected polyester grade can vary, but usually there is some preprocessing on the material – whether it is acrylic chemical treatment, corona or plasma treatment. An easily ignored factor with holographic image is the production of the image itself. Some options generate images through analog procedure, while others choose to create a digital route for hologram. The digital process allows for more controlling pixels, which leads to brighter and clearer images.

From the normal perspective, a person usually cannot tell the difference between material generated by digital manner and the material produced by analog method. However, some exceptions may occur through various printing techniques.

So, that was, in brief, some interesting facts about plastic card manufacturing. As you can see, there are really a lot of different options when it comes to the material and the process you choose for card manufacturing. PVCs form the major part of the different types of cards used today.  

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