Innovation in Contact and Contactless Smart Cards from Thuringia / Germany
Thales DIS BPS Deutschland GmbH is a chip card manufacturer based near Eisenach. The company develops, produces and sells contactless and contact smart cards in the NF, HF and UHF range and combinations thereof. The cards are used worldwide in various markets, e.g. public transport, secure physical and logical identification and in industrial settings.
German Pioneer for Smart Cards
Thales DIS BPS is a pioneer company in the field of chip-integrated card production in Germany. Although Thales has been in the market for ‘only’ 20 years, most of the company members have more than 30 years of experience in the card market. Some of them developed contactless cards using wired antennas as early as in 1996 and laid the foundation for production. Due to connections to the Trueb Group, a leading supplier of international identity cards as well as credit and cash cards in Switzerland, a high-volume production a contactless inlays has been in place for many years. Many of the Thales DIS BPS machines and all material compositions for cards in a wide range of applications are in-house developments.
In-house Production with a Wide Product Range
The starting point for many Thales DIS BPS products is the card in ID-1 format, same as access cards or cash cards, which is manufactured in a fully automated production. Specific antennas are also developed and manufactured on site. NF-, HF and UHF cards that can be read at near, medium and long ranges are complemented by Dual-interface cards and hybrid cards that are read by using contact or contactless interfaces are part of the product range.
The multifunctional cards are mainly used as company ID cards, in public transport, for ticketing and for other security applications. One product innovation is an HF transponder the size of a key fob. The transponder is manufactured in card format and, like all other cards in the Thales DIS BPS product range, is hermetically sealed by lamination. Only then is the final shape, the size of a coin, punched out. It is finally inserted into a housing ring that protects the finished transponder, e.g. from abrasion.
Competent, Flexible and Fast Production On-site
Thanks to the high level of vertical integration at the production site, specific customization of a series is possible quickly. By using specific PVC- and poly-carbonate foils, the cards can be made suitable for a wide range of applications from very high (up to 120 °C) to very low (down to -30 °C) temperatures at the end user's premises. Thales DIS BPS can also do the programming for the chips itself. "For a relatively small company, we have a rather big and competent IT team," says Steffi Lasch, Sales and Marketing Manager at Thales DIS BPS. Customer specifically programmed cards can therefore also be produced and delivered at short notice.