Scodix has identified the Plastic Cards application business as an
important market segment to be involved with. Its customers are using
Scodix SENSE to enhance plastic cards for differentiation purposes, as
well as to ensure card security. A membership card for a store, or a
loyalty airline member card enhanced with Scodix SENSE is unique,
difficult to duplicate, and easy to authenticate.

Some informative statistics about a few segments in the plastic cards industry:

Credit Cards:

US market – 176.8 million credit cardholders in 2008 – The average
credit card holder has 3.5 credit cards – The average consumer has 2.7
cards each (including cardholders and non-cardholders) Source: The
Survey of Consumer Payment Choice, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston,
January 2010.

Gift Cards
– Business in the US – R609 billion
($87 billion) in 2009. Sources: Bain & Company, First Data, National
Retail Federation, Tower Group, Venture Beat)

Most print service providers specialising in the printing of plastic cards support the following applications:

  • Gift Cards
  • Loyalty Cards
  • Membership Cards
  • Phone Cards
  • Gaming Cards
  • Promotional Cards
  • Custom Cards
  • Combo Cards
  • Photo ID’s
  • Staff Cards
  • Access Cards
  • Event Passes
  • Conference Passes
  • Luggage Tags
  • Gift Card Carriers
  • Key Tag/Ring cards

many cases of premium plastic cards, the cards form part of a larger
package that includes a manual or informational document, promotional
content and sometimes even actual gifts. The main idea is that customers
ordering such kits are actually investing in a valuable and prestige
package. Scodix technology is a great tool to support this type of

There are many types of cards, each with different
characteristics that define them. Most membership and plastic credit
cards are standard in size of 85.60mm x 53.98 mm (3.370 x 2.125 in).
Materials, such as PVC, PET, paper, opaque or transparent materials are
all options for cards. A plastic card eventually ends up at approx. 760
micron thick. The cards are 100% waterproof, tear-proof, and durable
enough for the massive number of times it is planned to be used. Colour
is printed using digital, screen or offset processes.

The Scodix
SENSE process is similar to any Scodix process. In the design process,
it is required to perform the Scodix separation and include the OPA
marks on both the colour and the Scodix layer. Scodix enters the process
after lamination but before cutting the sheets into single cards. While
still in full size sheets (either of 21 or 48 cards) they are processed
through a Scodix S Digital press to enhance their look and to add
security elements that differentiate them from other card types.

Scodix SENSE is applied on plastic cards in a standard process on the Scodix S digital Press, without any special adjustments:

  • Loading of the thick materials (the cards sheets are now 760 micron thick).
  • Strong polymer adherence to the PVC lamination.
  • The Scodix high gloss is obvious and adds to the print quality, especially when using matte lamination.
  • The different height levels of the Scodix SENSE add to the cards look and security factor.

The plastic cards creation process includes the following steps:
1. Printing of colours and information on both sides of the material (duplex printing).
2. Collecting and aligning the printed sheets with magnetic stripe sheets between two PVC lamination sheets.
3. Laminating all four sheets in a special high pressure system (120 tons of pressure).
4. Enhancing the sheets – with Scodix.
5. Finishing – cutting all the sheets into single cards
6. Personalising the cards – laser marking of numbers, entering the data onto the magnetic stripe

Scodix SENSE supports plastic card applications in the following ways:

  • Print
    enhancement – adding value to the look of the cards and transforming
    them into premium cards. The Scodix SENSEs high raised impact, high
    gloss and different densities all increase the value and the experience
    gained from plastic cards.
  • Security – adding Scodix SENSE
    differentiates the card from others, creating a major challenge for
    duplication and supports brand authentication.
  • Scodixs high gloss level and the wow impact.
  • Scodix applies different heights or densities enabling a high level of security, making it hard to duplicate.
  • Scodix
    supports both offset and digital output with a unique CCD camera
    registration system. For digital card manufacturers, for example those
    using HP Indigo S2000 or the new HP Indigo 5600, and also for the offset
    B2 size sheets.
  • Scodix is a digital press designed for
    short to medium runs. In the case of small plastic cards, a small amount
    of sheets is a big job volume; therefore there are more digital jobs in
    plastic cards than with general commercial applications.
  • Being a digital press, Scodix supports enhancements on the variable data of the plastic cards (VDP).
  • Scodix
    is an in-house solution for plastic card manufacturers therefore
    eliminating the need to outsource jobs. This brings the benefits of
    controlling job quality, controlling delivery time, and having the
    ability to protect the end-user’s confidential information. End users
    prefer not to transfer their jobs between different suppliers.