E4-CC Plastic Card System Resources

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The Malahide E4-CC Plastic Card Machine is able to hot stamp plastic card blanks.  This machine is used to apply dazzling foil stamped graphics, security holograms, signature strips, sequential numbers, and scratch-off patches onto plastic cards.

THE PRINTING PROCESS

Cards begin their journey through the E4-CC by first being stacked into a vertical stack mechanism (figure 1).  This stack holds about 300 @ CR-80 cards.  Cards are grabbed from the bottom of the stack and then individually moved down the tracks to a pre-stamp staging area.  On the next cycle, the card is moved beneath the print head (figure 2), registered and then hot stamped.  The E4-CC employs a highly effective registration system that registers each card to its’ own top-left corner.  By registering each card to itself, the E4-CC gains the ability to re-register a card to the same position on subsequent passes.  This enables the machine to stamp tightly registered multi-color graphics.  After stamping, the card is discharged from the print area onto an incremental conveyor belt (figure 3).  At this stage all of the cards remain uniformly oriented, an import consideration should you wish to later apply additional colors or foil effects.

THE PRINT ENGINE

One central CAM mechanism supplies mechanical power to the entire machine (figure 4).  Smooth and precise, all bearings and parts are purposefully oversized to ensure long life and durability. The E4-CC generates up to 8 tons of pressure, more than sufficient power to produce dazzling foil stamped chips.  An all-electric machine, the E4-CC uses an electric motor as its power source, not pneumatics like most other hot stamping machines.  This means that with the E4-CC, you don’t need a high-end air compressor, plus you eliminate 100% of the many inherent issues of pneumatic equipment.  Furthermore, the E4-CC runs cleanly and quietly, making it suitable for use in a home or office setting.

THE PRINT HEAD

The CAM mechanism powers the print head, pulling it down from all four corners.  This results in an even dispersion of pressure.  A central heater runs the full length of the head to ensure even heating (figure 5).  Four leveling screws on the top of the head allow for fine adjustment (figure 6).  A central pivot allows one to rotate the head 5 degrees each way for fine alignment.  The E4-CC’s print head flips up to reveal the chase area.  Equipped with our X / Y Chase system, one is able to center the print on the card by incrementally adjusting the chase left or right, up or down (figure 7).

The advantages of the X/Y Chase Include:

  • Micro-positioning of the die related to the card
  • Mounting screws to securely affix the die to the heated platen
  • The 2 above features facilitate a faster set-up with less waste, especially on multi-color artwork

The E4-CC is delivered with a 2″ x 3.5″ die holder.

THE CONTROL BOX

All electronic components are brand-name (mostly Omron) and solid state (figure 9).  A modular control box design allows for quick repair in the unlikely event of a component problem.  The control box (figure 10) of the E4-CC features the following electronic controls:

  • Jog / Set-up button
  • Power Switch
  • Run button
  • Stop button
  • Motor speed control
  • Reverse button
  • Analogue heat control
  • Digital batch counter with auto shut-off

FOIL FEED

The E4-CC’s standard foil feed accepts foil rolls from 1 ~ 3″ wide, and up to 1,000 feet long.  Foil should be wound on a 1″ core (figure 11).  The foil feed offers adjustable spacing between images.  To maximize foil consumption, the E4-CC can pull as little as 1/8″ between images (figure 12).

Hologram Foil Feed is an available option (+$2,500).

SEQUENTIAL NUMBERING

When equipped with the sequential numbering head, the E4-CC has the ability to stamp progressive numbers such as :

1001 , 1002 , 1003 , 1004 , 1005 . . .

Using a center-driven numbering unit (figure 13), these devices are available in Gothic or Roman fonts @ 2, 3, 4, 5 or 61/2 Cicero tall, and 6 or 7 digits long.

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Figure 13

DIE MAKING

Although the chase of the E4-CC can be configured to accept a wide variety of existing die making systems, we recommend you use 11 point magnesium or copper dies.  Dies are trimmed to 2 x 3.5″, drilled with locator holes, and then screwed onto the heated platen in 2 places.  The purpose of screwing plates to the chase is to enable one to precisely locate multi-color artwork in relation to the mounting holes.  This rigidity of location significantly simplifies the set-up and registration of multi-color jobs, while also keeps the die securely in place during stamping.

The E4-CC is designed to use 11 Point Magnesium or Copper die plates. Produced by an outside die maker, die plates are chemically etched in vats of acid.  Durable for up to 50,000 impressions, and lasting for years, dies plates cost between $1.25 ~ $3.50 sq”.

Hologram Dies: Hologram dies are typically made of steel and need to be highly polished.

CARD STYLES

The E4-CC is built to feed CR-80, Paper and Plastic Cards from 20 ~ 30 mils thick (.02″ ~ .03″).  Using the E4-CC, one can apply:

  • Metallic, Pigment, Holographic and Effects foil
  • Custom logos
  • Scratch-off patches
  • Signature panels
  • Sequential numbers (optional)
  • Security holograms (optional)

FOIL STAMPED GRAPHICS

Nothing quite matches the appeal of brilliant metallic foil.  Emblazon your customer’s image with the premium look of gold, or dazzle the eye with modern effects foils like sparkles, rainbows and light diffractions.  Looking for the simple ability to print a plastic card?  Pigment foils apply a permanent flat colour print and are suitable for low and high volume jobs alike.

SCRATCH-OFF PANELS

Do you have a PIN # or variable data to conceal?  Using scratch-off foil, one can apply an opaque coating of non-permanent foil on top of the data to securely conceal it.  Once sold, the consumer simply scratches the coating off to reveal the data.

SECURITY HOLOGRAMS

Ensure authenticity with Holograms!  When equipped with the Holographic Foil Feed and a Hologram Die, the E4-CC is also able to register and hot stamp holograms.

SIGNATURE PANELS

What’s the first thing you do when you get a new credit card?  Sign it!  Using signature panel foil, one can apply signature strips to the back of the card.  Permanent and durable, this value-added finishing process sets-up on the E4-CC in minutes.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

For more information on how Spartanics can provide a solution for your specific needs, please contact us by filling out our ‘Contact Form’ or call us today  +1 (847) 394 – 5700.

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