Technologies for the production of plastic cards
A plastic card is a great way to attract customers and build their trust. The world is developing rapidly, you need to keep up with the times and improve your activities. Ordering plastic cards is the right decision for any businessman. Give your customers the opportunity to save money and they will buy even more. And with a good card it is much more convenient to do it – after all, it is compact, versatile and aesthetic.
Types of plastic cards
In the Plast Print company you can order plastic cards for any business sector:
- Bonus and savings for stores. Owners of retail outlets order the production of a plastic card to attract the attention of buyers. They are issued to customers during promotions, when several conditions are met, or when buying for a certain amount.
- Club plastic cards. Relevant for different types of clubs (sports, book, night, etc.).
- Gift plastic cards. With the help of such a card or certificate, you can pay for the purchase. An interesting marketing ploy – your buyer gives someone the opportunity to buy from you.
- Insurance. Card as an insurance policy.
- Business cards and badges. They serve as a way to identify a person, have brief information about him, in particular, name, contact information, job title, etc.
- Mini-maps. Reduced size plastic cards are produced to complement the main card. They are more convenient – they can be used as a keychain.
- Key cards. The owners of hostels and hotels often order their production. Plastic cards are used as a key to a door to a room or other room.
- Fuel. With their help, drivers refuel at gas stations.
- Advertising. Instead of various types of promotional products, you can order the production of plastic cards. Their price will be higher than for a regular leaflet, but the benefits are much greater.
A stylish and high-quality plastic card is the key to the success of your business!
The production of plastic cards at Plast Print is carried out at a high level. We take our business seriously, because the first impression of customers about your company depends on our products, which is very important for a successful and developing business.
An important element of the card is its design – a stylish and attractive plastic card will not leave anyone indifferent. She will be in the wallet in a place of honor, reminding of the company. To make the design more effective, innovative methods of plastic card production are used. The price of these works in “Plast Print” is the most optimal. Only here you can order products using:
- matte and glossy finish;
- different types of finishes, etc.
Let your business become more successful with Plast Print.
Methods for printing plastic cards:
We distinguish between 2 types of offset printing available in our production: offset printing with subsequent lamination and offset printing with subsequent varnishing of cards.
Offset printing with subsequent lamination.
The peculiarity of this technology lies in the fact that large-format sheets of plastic from A3 and more are used for the production of cards, on which 24 blanks are placed on A3 and more on large formats, printing is performed on a large-sized offset machine.
This method of making plastic cards requires a solid set of production facilities and high production costs. However, this method of production provides a significant advantage – high productivity and lower cost of the plastic card. The entire process of making plastic cards by offset printing with lamination can be conditionally divided into the following stages:
- Preparation of equipment and materials
- Printing, drawing an image
Offset printing of varnished cards
Varnished offset printing is used for the production of plastic cards on small-format printing machines. This method is optimal when it is necessary to issue small editions of plastic cards, but the cost price of a card made in this way is slightly higher than that of a laminated one.
Offset printing technology with varnishing assumes borderless printing on finished cut-out plastic cards. Offset printing with varnishing is less common than lamination and has its own advantages and disadvantages.
Among the main advantages of varnishing, it is worth noting the minimum “package” of necessary equipment. If lamination requires at least a large-sized offset machine, a cutter, a press-laminator, then for this technology a small-format offset unit is sufficient, which is capable of independently printing and varnishing the workpiece. There are also savings on materials – there is no need to buy expensive laminate flooring.
But the weaknesses of this method cannot be ignored either. First of all, this is a shorter service life of the varnished coating compared to laminate, and therefore, such plastic cards wear out faster and fail.
The process of making a plastic card by offset printing followed by varnishing is almost identical to the same procedure with lamination, with the exception of some small details. A significant difference is only the fact that the final procedure, varnishing, does not take place separately, but as an additional stage of staining. Only instead of another layer of paint, a glossy or matte varnish is applied to the card surface.
Printing on customer blanks is available, as well as printing on cards with a contact chip.
The digital printing method has become one of the most popular among customers and widely used by plastic card manufacturers. Like any method of producing plastic cards, it has its own strengths and weaknesses.
One of the main advantages of this method is the very high resolution, excellent quality of the resulting image, which makes digital printing ideal for applying photographs.
The printing procedure is carried out using an inkjet printer, which allows printing small runs of plastic cards with a simultaneous change in variable data (a large-sized offset press does not provide such an option). Using this method, you can always make a test card, and, if necessary, correct tasks on the go, which, again, is impossible with other methods of plastic cards production.
The weak point of digital printing of plastic cards is the higher cost of production and materials, limited reproduction of some colors, the inability to use pontoons and white paint. Technical limitations have an impact on the field of application of this technology, the cost does not play a significant role, it is an advantage and the main technology for small runs when ordering small runs, but it is noticeable when it is necessary to issue a larger number of plastic cards. When printing more than 5000 copies of cards, it is more profitable to produce cards by offset method.
Digitally produced cards need a strong protective layer, and laminate flooring does the job best. The protective laminated coating prevents abrasion of the card during use and provides it with a long service life.
The digital printing method is often used to produce small print runs of contactless plastic cards. For this, a thin plastic is selected, during lamination of which a microchip is mounted between two layers.
Silk screen printing of cards
Silk-screen printing is used when the surface of the card needs to be coated with any color before printing the image, especially with glitter metallized inks and saturated colors. The most commonly used shade is gold or silver.
However, when applying several colors at once, the procedure becomes more expensive and technologically limited, therefore, most often it is practiced to cover a standard sheet for offset printing with one color.
After the paint is applied, it is fixed to the material during the drying process or by UV curing.
Silk-screen printing is used for design plastic cards, as well as for applying images, signature fields, scratch-off coatings, signature stripes, and selective varnish.
With this printing method, you can cover the surface of the card with a special fluorescent or metallized layer.
The technology of the silk-screen printing process consists in forcing the dye composition through a special mesh form, the special design of which allows the ink to lie flat.
When applying complex patterns on the surface of the mold, a stencil is made using varnish. In places that are covered with varnish, the pigment is retained, so a drawing is created on the surface of the card.
Dye-sublimation card printing
For this method of printing plastic cards, a thermal sublimation printer and CR-80 plastic forms are used.
In the event that it becomes necessary to apply colored fragments, a special ink ribbon is used. It has four color zones: magenta, yellow, blue, black and the fifth zone is transparent lamination. The thermal print head is responsible for transferring ink from the ribbon to the workpiece.
The weak point of this printing method is the relatively high cost of materials for the production process, a relatively small resource and a high cost of the thermal head.
Most often, the method of thermal sublimation printing is used for the prompt production of single copies of full-color plastic cards and for personalization of a plastic card.
For this, a black monochrome cartridge is used, with the help of which personal data is applied to the surface of the card, both in letter and digital form, according to the wishes of the customer.
In the same way, the application of inscriptions in gold and silver colors is practiced, for which a suitable cartridge is selected.
The advantage of thermal sublimation printing can be considered the possibility of prompt production of single copies of plastic cards and monochrome personalization of information printed on a plastic card.
Sublimation printing is one of the methods of personalizing the circulation of plastic cards.
UV printing of plastic cards on formats А-3, А-4
One of the most effective ways to print an image on plastic cards is printing with UV inks, which are cured under the influence of ultraviolet radiation.
Their use on sheets of A4, A3 and large formats used for the manufacture of plastic cards allows you to achieve excellent results in product quality.
UV printing is vastly superior to all current printing technologies in the following areas:
- Extremely high quality of the final image
- A vibrant, natural palette of natural colors and shades
- The invariability of the composition and the same staining of any circulation of products, the minimum presence of “different colors”
- Thinner lines, fonts and elements than any other coloring method
- Use in grease and waterproof environmentally friendly pigments
In addition, UV inks make it possible to protect a plastic card from counterfeiting due to the detailed elaboration of image elements using a large gamut of colors and shades.
Each printing process has its own layout requirements. To make sure that you provide us with the data for printing in a suitable form, contact our specialists for advice!