It's in the...Cards!
Printers, mailers, and binderies are always on the lookout for a new business opportunity. With the continued growth and format diversity in packaging and retail, one overlooked item may be gift and membership cards. There are over three BILLION gift and membership cards mailed out every year.
Each and every one has to be encoded, personalized, verified, and attached to a carrier of some sort. This is a far cry from a simple addressing and mailing operation. Each gift card is real money that must be delivered to the right party, activated, and tracked. Now there are a "core" group of providers that run millions of these. And the equipment needed for this kind of finishing operation is not cheap. But the right machinery at the right price could allow one to offer card services at a competitive price. Enter Cross Core Technologies.
Assembled from key employees of Ga-Vehren Engineering, Cross Core takes Ga-Vehren's unique label application, plow-folding, and system control technology and updates it for the present market. Their G and TK-series machines will feed a card, encode the magnetic stripe, verify the encoding, attach an activation peel-off label, personalize the card with UV inkjet, camera inspect and verify (with a line-scan camera), and automatically reject any faulty cards. All of this at speeds of up to 30,000 cards per hour.
The Crossover system (pictured to the left) starts with a high-speed card feeder, and can incorporate a range of added modules. A great feature is its "flipping" module which turns the card and/or carrier over for additional processing. For years, these have consisted of fixed belted systems that require a fair amount of adjustment for different sizes. Cross Core's is a simple slide-in, or out unit which can be activated in a few minutes. Company founder Wally Long also stressed that lots of money and development went into the system controllers for each of their models. These are the "guarantors" of data integrity for each and every card produced.
Cross Core is now introducing their TK-series, which starts with two different vacuum base transport options, and the ability to totally customize feeders, cameras, inkjet, and so on. The idea is to offer a machine capable of putting out 25,000 cards per hour at a very competitive price. So perhaps card processing is worth a serious look as another potential finishing profit center.