Plastic Card Inspection: Able Card — Top Quality Equipment Makes Top Quality Product

Challenge
When Able Card (www.ablecard.com) of Duarte, California tripled their floor space to the 4500 square foot facility they work out of today, Hector Dominguez (VP of Production) and Herman Ho (President) looked for additional equipment that would help them deliver the high quality product for which they are known.

Ho explains, “We are a small business that has grown a lot. This growth has depended on the loyalty of our customers. We don’t advertise, rather, our growth has come through word-of-mouth with our older customers introducing us to newer customers. We deliver on pricing, service, and quality. We’ve been able to grow our business volume with the same manpower we had 8 years ago because we have invested in machines that enable us to create high quality product with bigger volumes with greater efficiency.”

Actions
The Spartanics 930 Automated Plastic Card Inspection System that Able Card purchased in the fall of 2005 is a big part of the Able Card’s ability to create high quality product at top efficiency. Able Card offers a range of CR80 cards products— ATM cards, library cards, hotel key cards, gift cards, membership cards, ID cards and more—and the equipment that Able used must be versatile to handle a wide range of job requirements. Dominguez comments, “The Spartanics 930 Automated Plastic Card Inspection System is extremely easy and quick to set up. It trains on a set of 20 “good” cards in about 10 minutes to completely set up a job.”

Results
“Because the 930 delivers a 100% inspection standard, we’re able to ensure top quality for our customers. Before we invested in the Spartanics 930 we used manual human eye inspections. Our human inspectors were good but not very efficient. Each shift we had 12 persons on inspection, each of which was able to inspect about 1500 cards/hour. In contrast, the Spartanics 930 is able to fully inspect both sides of cards at the rate of 30,000 cards/hour.”

“By our estimate, we’ve cut inspection costs by 65% and achieved an unfailing 100% quality standard for our customers. This gave us a complete return-on-investment in less than two years.”

“If our customers have the time and ability to visit us they are always impressed by the Spartanics 930 when we give them a tour.”

Quick set up time was also a driver in Able Card’s decision to equip their plant with a Spartanics M500 Card Punching System. Ho recounts, “We’ve purchased many machines in the last decade and the Spartanics 500 Card Punching System is precisely the kind of equipment that matches our needs. For the wide range of cards that we manufacture, we sometimes use hard tools and at other times use steel rule dies. The Spartanics 500 gives us the flexibility to interchange steel rule die and hard tooling. We can complete such changeovers in about an hour. Hard tools account for 90% of our work but our number of short run steel rule die jobs is consistently growing and we need this ability to move back and forth between different types of tooling.”

“The Spartanics 500 accuracy is very important to us and gives us considerable advantage. It adjusts each cut in 3 axes—X, Y, and Rotation—for a cut-to-print registration of 0.1 mm.”

“Spartanics loaner module program also helps us keep to production schedules. The 500 has a modular design and whenever it needs to be serviced we simply arrange to get a loaner module from Spartanics such that our downtime is minimal.”

“The machines we have—the Spartanics 500 and Spartanics 930 included—help us grow and deliver the top quality product our customers expect. We know that as we continue to grow there will be additional Spartanics M500 Card Punching Systems and Spartanics 930 Automated Plastic Card Inspection Systems on our floor.”

 

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