Flexible and efficient printing and encoding solutions for card and ticket personalisation
What will a solution for personalising an as-ofyet unspecified card look like? If you are not in possession of a crystal ball, providing an answer to this question is almost impossible. But Rinas sees a way for companies to realise their card personalisation systems with enough flexibility to accommodate future requirements.
The manufacturing equipment provider offers a cost-effective modular system that allows clients to shape their own processes, according to their own requirements. In 2018, Rinas is expanding the capabilities of this toolbox with a fast and precise Drop-On-Demand module, a robust and flexible thermal transfer printing module, and a new encoder for RFID and NFC smart cards.
Armin Rinas, Managing Director, Rinas Gerätetechnik, in an interview with RFID & Wireless IoT Global
Modularity is the key to full process control
Today, card personalisation companies can only see the broad outlines of the tasks they will be required to do tomorrow, according to Managing Director Armin Rinas: “For these clients, standardized solutions do not lead to efficient processes. This is why the Rinas product portfolio is a modular toolbox. Clients can choose different modules for printing, scanning, encoding, stacking, flipping, or selecting, and combine them into a complete solution. Rinas modules can also add specific functionalities to existing solutions. Modularity allows clients to take their processes into their own hands.”
Making use of existing client RFID hardware
A modular system not only has to deliver high performance, it also has to facilitate software and hardware integration. To create additional ease of use, Rinas offers clients the possibility of integrating their own RFID readers into Rinas modules. “Customers using their own readers can keep their existing encoding processes and do not have to integrate a new encoding device into their IT system.”
“The focus of our product development is always to integrate the customer’s ideas into the process. This can be achieved in two ways: customers can either define their process in such a way that we supply them with a device that is 100 percent customised and fully programmed, or our customers can use the standard TCP/IP socket to create their own processes.” - Armin Rinas
TCP/IP socket for direct control by client software
The software portfolio from Rinas encompasses a variety of prevalent RFID standards – and more can be integrated. Alternatively, all Rinas modules can be directly controlled via the TCP/IP socket. Every module contains a separate microcontroller. The client can assume direct process control by linking the individual commands required and combining them with their software. All low-level commands are executed by the TCP/IP socket.
“As soon as a card is in the encoding position, the encoding module returns the prompt ‘card ready for programming’ to the client’s software. The RFID reader embedded in the encoding module then writes the card. This reader does not have to be a Rinas reader – clients can use their own RFID reader modules. After that, the client software issues the command to continue the process to the module. If the card returns an error, it can be separated from the batch through the use of another module.”
Secure integration into individual software environments
Rinas is providing a complete command library for all modules to support clients in integrating the device into their individual software environments. For Armin Rinas, this enables additional security: “The simplified transfer of information to printing and encoding modules also creates cryptographic security. The client’s software does not have to hand over any sensitive data to the Rinas software or middleware. The modules receive the finalized printing or encoding data directly. Companies offering highly secure card applications gain an additional advantage.”
1. Drop-On-Demand replaces standardised printers
In 2017, Rinas presented its new Drop-On-Demand printing module (DOD) with state of the art piezoelectrical technology. The DOD offers a printing width of 54 millimetres for borderless monochrome printing of ID-1 cards. The module‘s main advantage, in addition to its high print volume of up to 15,000 cards per hour, is its adaptability to various production processes.
The DOD unlocks new market segments for Rinas: “The DOD expands systems with cost-efficient options for fast, high-quality printing. Customers in the mid-range segment who are currently making do with standardised devices are now able to deploy devices of a proven quality from a mechanical engineering company.”
2. Flexible ID-1 thermal transfer printer for continuous operation
The second addition to the Rinas portfolio is a monochrome thermal transfer printer for 300 dpi printing on ID-1 plastic cards, such as banking cards, loyalty and customer cards, or identification cards. This printing module expands the Rinas CS-LWR encoding solution. “Due to its robust construction and its metal frame, the Rinas thermal transfer printer is designed for a long service life and continuous operation,” Armin Rinas explains.
Modular construction for efficient printing and 100 percent quality
Another marquee feature: The encoding device contains a separate encoding module and thermal transfer print module. “While one card is being encoded, the next can already be printed. For single-side printing, this allows processing up to 1,600 cards per hour,” Armin Rinas says. “In addition to increasing process speed, this feature also increases process quality: A postprocessing scanner verifies whether all products have been 100 percent correctly printed.”
3. Versatile encoder with RFID and NFC scan function
At the end of 2017, Rinas officially presented the Rinas SRM coding module, which is already in use by several clients. It is aimed at companies who only need RFID and NFC encoding instead of magnetic stripe encoding. The combination of one RFID reader and up to two scanners makes it possible to safely identify and encode cards, Armin Rinas reports: “The SRM combines three functions: scanning from the top, from the bottom, or from both sides, as well as RFID encoding and contact chip coding.
This unlocks new applications: for example, companies can verify the security features of the card from above with an infrared scanner. Then the name or number on the bottom of the card is scanned and passed on to the system. The system then searches for the data and writes it on the chip.” The time for contacting the chip is less than 200 milliseconds. Thus, the SRM has an accelerated card throughput.
Two RFID readers for higher card processing speeds
Clients can also integrate their own RFID technology into the encoding module instead of using the universal RFID reader from Rinas. Optionally, a second reader can be installed. With programming times of several seconds, writing to two RFID cards at the same time almost doubles the overall processing speed.
Rinas integrates the customer’s ideas into the process!
Armin Rinas is convinced that the expanded modular system will enable users worldwide to take responsibility and full control of their processes: “The focus of our product development is always to integrate the customer‘s ideas into the process. This can be achieved in two ways: customers can either define their process in such a way that we supply them with a device that is 100 percent customised and fully programmed, or our customers can use the standard TCP/IP socket to create their own processes.”