Thames Card Technology has completed an overhaul of its production facilities, replacing continuous feed printing and upgrading its cut sheet fleet with four new Xerox machines offering both colour and mono printing.
These feed a brace of MBO T460 folders, supplied by Friedheim International, which deliver folded and prepared mailers for card application and enclosing. Card production had been upgraded earlier in the year with two Atlantic Zeiser Persomaster inkjet lines, three Entrust Datacard MX6100 card issuance systems and an AutoFeeds Cartan card encapsulation system, a shopping list that amounts to £2 million investment.
“Our previous production platform had both cut sheet and continuous feed printing,” says operations director Ché Colford. “We’ve looked at our whole paper printing platform. We have a lot of double handling at the moment and we wanted to increase the speed and flexibility of what we can do and also our capacity, especially with the growth in the loyalty market.”
Currently the output of the Xerox machines is collected and fed into the compact all buckle folders. The cutsheet delivery provides greater flexibility than delivery from a web press, says Colford. “Previously we have had to cut the web before folding.”
There are also space advantages. The reorganisation has freed up space in the 3,700m2 premises in Rayleigh, Essex, helped by the compact nature of the new folders.
The real gain however will be increased automation, a journey that Colford says will continue into next year. As a result the company can handle a greater variety of work with greater flexibility over numbers than before. He adds: “Importantly, reducing the handling of the product enables us to deliver a better service to our customers and the ability to capitalise on the different market opportunities that are out there.”
Thames Card Technology handles both membership cards and secure cards, including EMV compliant secure chip cards. It obtained the necessary accreditations in 2004 and has extended this to be able to manufacture and personalise these cards alongside prepaid, promotional, health, transport, identification, top up and other cards, shipping to 60 customers across 60 countries.