The New Wave! Plastic Recycling in the Banking Industry

Plastic Recycling in the Banking Industry

Taking back some of the plastic that litters our planet and re-using it for Banking Cards is a small but positive step in addressing increasing environmental concerns.


Processing and manufacturing cards using reclaimed materials is not without it’s challenges. The characteristics of these materials are different, with more variability than ‘virgin’ polymers such as PVC and PC. This has led to an element of blending or compositing – mixing reclaimed and virgin materials to get an acceptable result or sandwiching the reclaimed material between thin layers of fresh polymer.


This is akin the common claim of “80% recyclable” or “largely recyclable” – not perfect, but a step in the right direction.


The aim is to create a product with the familiar Credit Card look and feel, but with as much reclaimed material inside that the manufacturing process can manage, while also bearing in mind, Credit cards are normally required to have at least a three-year life, so the quality standards and durability must be maintained.


One of the key areas affected is the cutting of the cards – the Credit Card shape and feel is distinctive – pick up a card that’s stiffer (polycarbonate) or heavier (metal) and you will immediately notice the difference. The same applies to the edges – the “classic” PVC Credit Card has a smooth cut feel and edges are that rough or uneven, even slightly, stand out. Banks who consider the Card as one of the key connections to clients do not want an inferior impression.


Reclaimed materials are fundamentally harder to cut than say Virgin PVC – they need different tooling and cutting parameters to maintain a finish that is close to customer expectation.


However, the reward for taking back and reprocessing some of these dumped plastics (on their way to the Oceans in many cases), is that response amongst cards users is very positive. Most people view a card from recycled plastic as positive, wishing to associate with the intent behind the initiative and in many cases willing to pay for that.


So next time you use a card it may just contain a little plastic that avoided being an extra on one of David Attenborough’s documentaries…


In providing some of the key technology behind the manufacture of plastic cards Oasys have been working to adapt and develop its machines to suit the ‘New Wave’ of upcycled cards and now provides specific versions of Assembly, Lamination and Cutting systems for recycled and reclaimed plastics – for further details contact Guy or Elliot on

The Card Sandwich Conundrum: How Many Layers Are Too Many?

Credit cards and smartcards used to be like BLTs, consisting of printed card images on sheets with three or four layers. Now they are more like super club sandwiches with eight, nine or even 10 layers—particularly in the identification credential arena.

Identity credentials, such as ePassport pages and ID cards, have security features contained in the layers of their structure. As the number of security features increases, the layer count increases. So what?

These layers need to be in a certain order, orientation and accurately aligned—all of which can make the assembly process rather slow.

A person can typically assemble the four layers that make up a typical bank card sheet (set) in the correct order and orientation in around 30 seconds (without taking accuracy into account). So, based on a typical card sheet (48 cards to view), the simplest card structures can be assembled at rate of around 5,000 cards per hour.

Card production systems typically need to produce five to 10 times that amount. So, if assembly is not to become the bottleneck in the process, five to 10 people per shift would be required for that single stage of production.

Increasing the number of layers to eight (that’s one big sandwich!) takes more than twice as long. That’s before accuracy, mistakes and scrap are taken into account. You can now start to see the issue.


Assembling the ‘Super Sandwich’

More layers—holographic layers, laserable layers, antenna layers and window structures to name a few—mean more functionality and more security in ID products. Assembling all these layers accurately slows the assembly process down. So, how does manufacturing technology keep up and how many layers are too many?

At this level of complexity, automatic assembly/collation is the only practical solution as ID and smartcard-style products require accurate alignment and a high level of consistency. ID cards or licences with variations are always subject to the question, “Is this genuine?” At the same time, many millions of cards or passports need to be issued within a particular timescale to meet national rollouts.


The ‘Super Sandwich’ Assembly System

A modern automatic assembly system is typically six to 12 times faster than manual collation with a much higher yield. Automatic machines that assemble card and ID sandwiches (collation systems) have been around for a while, but recent advancements have considerably improved their speed and accuracy.

Like any sandwich, the layers vary in thickness and consistency. The layers in ID card structures have become much more challenging and require a new level of automated technology to assemble them reliably and fast. There are three main challenges:

  1. Alignment: As the number of layers increases, “drift” occurs. Whereby the more layers that are added, the greater the overall error in the set/stack. As you layer your sandwich, it inevitably starts to lean to one side. This happens when each layer is not stacked correctly on the previous layer.
  1. Material: Different layers need different alignment solutions. For example, registering (aligning) the position of a transparent hologram needs a different sensor than positioning a buried RFID antenna layer that you can’t actually see.
  1. Thickness: The sandwich in this case must also be within ISO standard thickness. And so, the more layers there are, the thinner each layer will need to be; 25 microns is now not uncommon. This thickness is notably harder to feed, register and position with the same accuracy, speed and consistency. Try picking up a very finely sliced piece of onion without it tearing, folding or breaking up!

These challenges have mostly been overcome with the advancements of automated collation systems using a combination of print, induction and optical sensing systems.


How to Increase Layer Count

Having a machine that handles eight to 10 different sandwich layers simultaneously is possible, but it is not practical for most security printers. There are more practical ways to handle the “super sandwiches” and increase the system’s flexibility.

One way around this issue is to run sub-assemblies in which you assemble two to four layers in a “first run” process and then run them back through the machine as a “single” layer in combination with more outer layers to complete the build. Handling a project this way, the system can cope with more layers when necessary but can still be small enough to carry out more standard card assembly runs (four to six layers). Additional technology is needed to enable this process to work successfully and maintain quality and accuracy throughout the whole layer count. This is where state-of-the-art ID and card “sandwich making” is these days.

So, maybe spare a thought the next time you “tap and go” while buying your lunch—the card you use may have more layers than the club sandwich you just bought.


Author: Elliot Lamb – OASYS Technologies (08/02/2021)

New Sales Manager Joins the Oasys Team!

We are pleased to welcome a new member to the Team at Oasys

We would like to welcome Guy Boomer to Oasys Technologies fulfilling the role of Sales Manager!

Coming from a bespoke engineering background and having seen great success across an array of industries and multi-million-pound CAPEX projects; Guy is a great addition to our expanding team.

You can contact guy on +44 1767 600232 or

Guy says:

“I am delighted to join the team here in Biggleswade and I am really looking forward to getting to grips with the innovative machines and solutions.

Despite the “virus that cannot be named” still prevailing; Oasys have continued to serve its customers throughout. Testament to the fact that our clients are at the very heart of what we do.

Feel free to contact me at the office or join me on LinkedIn for regular updates on what we do here at Oasys and the new solutions we develop.”

Oasys Technologies launch new website….

At Oasys Technologies we felt it was long over due for a complete overhaul of the website. Now you should find a smoother, more refined browsing experience with the ability to dig deeper into our advanced card construction technology. We hope you like the new look and feel.

SPS and Oasys combine their forces

Following substantial joint development work, Smart Packaging Solutions (SPS), a major developer of smart card technologies, and Oasys Technologies UK, a leading smart card manufacturing tool vendor, are proud to announce an exciting new industrial solution for smart card production – making production of dual interface cards easier, faster, more accurate and more accessible to smart card manufacturers of all sizes.

ROUSSET, FRANCE, October 24, 2018 – Considering new dual interface cards manufacturing techniques should be made available to all smart card vendors, Smart Packaging Solutions (SPS) and Oasys Technologies UK are entering in a collaboration to offer to the market an always easier access to new technologies. Thanks to this collaboration, smart card manufacturers will benefit from Oasys offer combining the best-in-class production
tools with the most innovative processes and SPS offer allowing to build contactless, hybrid and dual interface cards suitable for all applications (payment, identity, mass-transit, etc). The partnership between SPS and Oasys builds upon a long-standing collaboration has already seen many of these production tools delivered to smart card producers in Europe, Middle-East and Africa.

The Oasys machine range goes from semi-automatic for smaller volumes and budgets up to larger format fully automated solutions allowing smart card industrialists to integrate dual interface manufacturing technology into their process more easily than ever and at a lower processing cost.

Now smart card vendors can benefit from the most advanced manufacturing technologies as Oasys introduces a new series of semi-automated production equipment, specially adapted to handle the SPS 40μm PET inlays, thus guaranteeing a quick setup and an optimal yield. This especially comes on time with the evolution of market demand with the ongoing migration to dual interface cards in the Americas, requiring more cards with colored S-Lams®, in order to satisfy specific marketing demands from card issuers.

Regarding the fully automated solutions, the process in the new machine (equipped with specific detectors) allows an accurate alignment between the different layers using the aluminum structure already in the inlay, thus eliminating the need for print marks – this provides maximum accuracy and for the first time eliminates the additional print processing and cost. A further key factor in the market is the growing use of colored SLams (inlays) which need equally accurately aligning in the card sheet assembly (collation). This process allows S-Lams of almost any color to be handled with similar yield, speed and flexibility.

Jean Baptiste Leos, Banking Product Manager at SPS declares: “With this combined solution with Oasys we bring an integrated solution to smart card manufacturers of all sizes, enabling them to integrate our process while getting the highest yields. Thanks to this joint offer smart card vendors will be innovative and remain competitive in conquering new markets.”

Paul Holloway, Sales Director at Oasys adds: “The combination of the unique SPS technology and a machine that allows easier and more cost-effective manufacture of their solution is a key step in the growth of dual interface technology and we look forward to helping our clients take advantage of this…”

About SPS
Smart Packaging Solutions is specialized in the design, manufacturing and sale of contactless solutions dedicated to ID cards, e-passport and dual interface banking cards. Headquartered in Rousset, France, with a subsidiary in Singapore, SPS employs 140 people. Part of the French IN Groupe, the company specializes in contactless and dual-interface products, with a recognized micro packaging expertise. SPS has filed over 120 patents supporting its exclusive technologies. More information at

Olivier BRUNET, Product & Marketing director, SPS,
Phone: +33 4 42 53 84 44


SPS is part of the IN Groupe.

IN Groupe is a global leader in secure identity solutions and digital services.

In a mobile and digital world where data security has become the major issue, the IN Groupe  offers States, governments and businesses trusted solutions including added value electronic components for banking, identity solutions including electronic components, cutting-edge secure credentials and safe and reliable interoperable systems, but also innovative and efficient digital services, and secure solutions for complex printings and workflows.

Real engineering company, the IN Groupe is specialized in the integration of electronic and biometrics in identity documents and in polycarbonate cards. Thanks to its innovative new products and its strengthened security, the IN Groupe has become a worldwide leader with major customers in over 68 countries.

Based in Paris, the IN Groupe has two production centers and employs more than 900 employees, of which over a third is dedicated to technology development.

Contact: IN Groupe
Romain Galesne-Fontaine, Communication and Public Affairs Director,
Phone : +33 1 40 58 30 00


About Oasys
Oasys is a leading designer and manufacturer of highly innovative plastic card production machines. With a heritage in the industry dating back to the late 70s it continues to provide a range of automated production systems for Banking, Smart, Dual interface and ID cards and EID products in over 60 countries and to many of the world’s leading Banking and Smartcard manufacturers.

In the area of Collation (gathering) Oasys has an unrivalled record of innovation and is considered a preeminent supplier of precision, automated collation systems in the global Banking and Smartcard industry.

Contact Oasys
Colin Stokes or Paul Holloway,
Phone: +44 1767 600232


New Compact Punch Machine OCP333

Oasys are pleased to announce the launch of a new compact Punch machine which provides combination printing product handling.

The OCP333 Series provides either manual sheet feeding or fully automated sheet feeding possibilities.

Fully automated print registration to produce ISO standard size cards.

The concept of the machine is to take printed card sheets directly from the lamination stage without any intermediate processing and convert each sheet using a system of print registration in 3 axes to create high accuracy cut-to-print, individual cards compensating for the movement of the printed plastic sheets which occurs in the prior processes of printing (U.V.) and lamination.

The machine delivers punched cards into 3 separate shingling conveyor channels enabling combination printing within a sheet.

Some of the unique features of the OCP333A Series include:

• Combination printing process capability
• Complete automation from sheet loading to card output
• Processing of sheets direct from lamination to cut stacked cards without intermediate cutting or trimming.
• The ability to independently adjust each individual punching step throughout the sheet punching process.
• Cutting speeds of up to 17,000 cards per hour subject to sheet size.
• Processing thicknesses of 0.3mm – 1.5mm (see technical specification)
• Flexibility of processing a variety of materials, e.g. PVC, ABS, PETG etc.
• Precision cutting tolerances to +/- 0.1mm to better than 95%
• Optional guillotine facility for larger format processing
• Optional card stacking into magazine facility

New OASYS Managing Director – Mark Taylor

Oasys Technologies Ltd are pleased to announce the appointment of Mark Taylor to the role of Managing Director effective from the 1st January 2018.

Mark takes up the reins of his new appointment following the recent retirement of Glenn Dimmock, co-founder of Oasys, who has decided to step down after twenty years in the role.

Mark has over 15 years of Senior Management experience, some of which has been undertaken within the card industry, covering a broad range of responsibilities. His management and technical skills will be a key asset in the ongoing development of Oasys and we look forward to a progressive and exciting future.


Oasys launch revolutionary card sorting facility…

Oasys Technologies are pleased to announce that they have successfully launched a new method of handling and sorting punched card products. The card sorting facility can be incorporated into the well proven Oasys OCP440 and OCP 310 series of punch machines.

As an example, an 8 x 6 sheet format would be guillotine cut into two 8 x 3 strips. ISO cards would then be punched on a 3-Up tool with the resulting cards fed onto a 3 channel tooth belt conveyor. The individual cards are then indexed along this conveyor where an optional turnover device is then used to provide the facility for the visual inspection of both card surfaces. Following this process a further option can be incorporated for testing the RF Contactless operational feature of the card.

The key feature is that the punched cards are then indexed into a unique sorting system. Cards which pass the previous tests are then individually removed by a vacuum pick up process from the tooth belt conveyor, in this case, 24 cards at a time. These cards are then automatically fed into 24 separate magazines. Card sorting can be arranged so that both halves of the 48-Up format are fed into the same 24 magazines, or alternatively, 2 sets of 24 magazines can be fed so that all 48 cards can be loaded into separate magazines.

This feature provides card manufacturers with the ability to have complete control of multiple card artwork presentations on the same printed sheet. This will provide the potential for manufacturers to have combination printing of the complete sheet presentation resulting in potential savings in the print preparation and print set up processes.

This new capability has now been supplied into the industry and is available as a feature on the complete Oasys OCP440 and OCP 310 series machines.

To view the view of a OCP443GIS Punch with this unique Card Stacking facility please use the following link….

For more information please email:

New OCL 624 “compact” version

The unique Oasys 600 series Oasys Collator incorporating the pioneering “print to print registration has been an industry leading card production machine since its launch in 2001 – now widely considered the leading industry collation machine and used by many of the leading global card manufacturers.

About the only technical drawback in certain cases has been its size and after continued customer demand that has now been addressed with the launch of the new OCL 624 “compact” version.

With a smaller footprint, equal performance, accuracy and speed the 624 can produce 800+ “lamination ready” collated sheet sets per hour – designed for the smaller, digital print sheets, ID cards, inlays and eID data page formats.

The sheet formats include the digital / inlay formats of 7×3 and 8×3 cards up to 8×6.

Options of up to three core stations and two overlay reels provide up to 5 layer constructions with full automation and further models are envisaged.

For further information, video and a free machine to the first applicant who correctly predicts the Euro lottery numbers and when Brexit will actually happen, please contact 01767 600232 or email