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Making a Window in a Card: It Doesn't Have To Be a Nightmare

Window in a PC document: A new trend that is here to stay

The first polycarbonate identity document with a window was launched into the market in 2007. Over the last decade, windows in polycarbonate documents have become progressively one of the most demanded security features alongside rainbow printing, OVI or CLI/MLI.

Maximize a level 1 security feature with a window

Windows offer many benefits: they provide superior protection to the document and data, they constitute an additional technical obstacle to fraudsters and they are easier and faster to check than many other security features. A window is a perfect container for additional strong security features and can also be used to protect personalized data like the secondary portrait of the ID card holder. HID Global’s Mirage™ security feature is the perfect example of how the presence of a window in an ID document can be optimized.

Traditional way of making a window for a card manufacturer

For a polycarbonate identity document manufacturer, making a window using traditional supplies is very cumbersome. The manufacturer will need to punch a hole in the card pre-laminate while assembling and laminating transparent layers of polycarbonate from which he will punch coupons; coupons that will then be used to refill the hole that was previously punched in the pre-laminate. After having modified this pre-laminate to incorporate the window(s), the manufacturer will need to laminate the final card using transparent layers of polycarbonate.

This time-consuming process produces multiple disadvantages and adds costs to manufacturing cards as it requires that a new production line (mostly manual) be set-up. This involves hiring and training people, establishing that production line in a manufacturing facility, and investing in new equipment. On top of all this, the cost related to longer production time (and incidentally smaller production throughput) plus the waste of expensive pre-laminate (particularly if they contain micro-controllers) can be considerable.

Benefits of supplying a pre-laminate with a window

One of the best ways for the card manufacturer to avoid these costs is to source a pre-laminate that already incorporates the window(s). The pre-laminate manufacturer will be responsible for the process of creating the window in the pre-laminate. The card manufacturer then only needs to use transparent layers of polycarbonate to print the security background and laminate the finished card. The same process and equipment needed to laminate a card without a window can still be used, saving the card manufacturer significant time and money.

Benefits of HID Skylam™

HID Global’s pre-laminate, Skylam™, incorporates window(s) and is available in contactless, dual-interface and non-electronic interfaces. With Skylam, any card manufacturer or national printer already working with polycarbonate would be able to produce high-end and secure cards with windows in a record time, while meeting the most stringent international durability standards. Thanks to an innovative manufacturing process, Skylam can be delivered with multiple windows, including those with complex shapes and angles, in a very cost-effective manner.

Skylam pre-laminates perfectly accommodate additional security features such as HID Global’s Mirage™, arguably the most unique level 1 security feature on the market today, making top-notch security more widely available on a global scale. Learn more about HID Skylam. Browse HID's extensive line of card printers and encoders.