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Technical FAQ

Buying Questions

Yes, currently we are able to provide contactless ISO card with 300 oe, 650 oe (JIS), 2750 oe, 3600 oe and 4000 oe magnetic stripes. The following figure 1.1 is the magnetic stripe position on our ISO Card.

Coercivity :
A technical term used to designate how strong a magnetic field must be to affect data encoded on a magnetic stripe. Coercivity is measured in Oersteds (oe).
LoCo :
A standard bank card has coercivity of approximately 300 oe and is considered to be low coercivity. In Japan there is a second stripe on the credit cards with a coercivity of 650 oe.
HiCo :
The trend is to move towards higher coercivity with value of 2750, 3600 and 4000 oe being common. HiCo magnetic stripes provide the highest level of immunity to damage by stray magnetic fields. They are more difficult to encode than LoCo magnetic stripes because the encoding requires more power. The easiest way to determine visually if a stripe on a card is HiCo or LoCo is by the color. LoCo stripes are a lighter brown and HiCo stripes are black.

Yes, customers can either order contactless ISO card with slot punch marks (laser engraving) or punched. The following figures are the positions of slot punch marks.

* Do not order slot punched cards for use in dye sublimation printers. Slot edge may damage the printer ribbon. Slot should be punched after dye sublimation printing.
* Slot punch marks will appear on the back side of the card only.

Yes, the following figure shows the standard location. The character height is approximately 2.5 mm (0.1") and the # only be printed on the back side of the card.

Internal Number: Every single EM format transponder (card) has one unique Internal ID number which is a 10 digits of hexadecimal number (10H). The Internal Number is divided into three parts:
Version Code [V]: H9    Customer Code [C]: H8    ID Code [ID]: H7 ~ H0
External Number: The number printed on the surface of transponder (card) is External Number. External Number is converted from Internal Number. The following are the most popular External Number formats.
10H>13D: Convert [V]+[C]+[ID] to 13 digits of decimal number.
08H>10D: Convert [ID] to 10 digits of decimal number.
08H>55D: First divide [ID] into two parts (4H+4H), then convert each part to 5 digits of decimal number.
*Or named WEG32.
06H>08D: Convert lowest 6 digits of [ID] to 8 digits of decimal number.
2.4H>3.5D(A): Convert [V]+[C] to 3 digits decimal number.
Convert lowest 4 digits of [ID] to 5 digits of decimal number.
2.4H>3.5D(B): Convert highest 2 digits of [ID] to 3 digits decimal number.
Convert lowest 4 digits of [ID] to 5 digits of decimal number.
2.4H>3.5D(C): Convert H5 and H4 of [ID] to 3 digits decimal number. Convert lowest 4 digits of [ID] to 5 digits of decimal number.
*Or named WEG24.
Example: Supposed the Internal Number is 01013EB28D (10H)
then10H>13D: 000431585345308H>10D: 002088615708H>55D: 00318,4570906H>08D: 041089412.4H>3.5D(A): 001,457092.4H>3.5D(B): 001,45709

The following steps should be followed when ordering ISO card with custom artwork?

  1. Submit artwok to Securitag Assembly Group (SAG)
    The best way to send artwork is electronically, in PC or MAC platform. Please send artwork in .eps or .tif files. Artwork created in Adobe Illustrator is preferred. PhotoShop images must be high resolution (300 dpi minimum). Color images should be converted from RGB to CMYK. And the artwork (including logos, graphic art and texts) should be also converted to paths/outlines. Finally, please incorporate about 2.54mm (0.1」) of overwork for all bleed artwork. Any portion of the artwork that extends to the edge of the card is considered a bleed. Please refer to the following figure 4.1 as an example.
  2. Submit your purchase order and pay the set-up fee
    The minimum order quantity for silk-screen and offset (lithographic) printing is 1000 pcs. After all questions are resolved about the artwork layout and customer pays the set-up fee of USD500 (including the plates fee), Securitag Assembly Group (SAG) will produce sample printed cards. This will normally take about 7~10 working days. The sample printed cards will be sent to customer for approval via Express Courier, such as FedEx.
  3. Sample card confirmation
    Once the sample printed card is approved with no changes customer must sign the document of 「SAMPLE CONFIRMATION」 and fax or e-mail back to us as confirmation. If changes are required, such as changing the texts or logos, a new printed sample card will have to be made and we will charge another set-up fee.
  4. Job completion
    The typical lead time to complete a custom card order is 2~3 weeks after the confirmation of printed sample card.
  5. Reorder with the same artwork
    The minimum reorder of card with the same artwork is 500 pcs and a set-up fee of USD250 will be charged. Be aware, we will discard customer artwork that goes unused for more than one year.

Basically, there are several ways to improve the printing result.

  1. Choose a better dye-sublimation printer
    Dye-sublimation printer prints directly onto the surface of the card by laying down layers of ink in the primary colors (Yellow, Magenta, Cyan and blacK) to create all  of the colors in your design. However, there are a great variety of dye-sublimation card printers in the market. Some of less expensive card printers do not work well with contactless ISO card due to the cards are not perfect flat. The slightest bump or dip in the card can cause an imperfection in the printed artwork.The higher quality card printer can accommodate these slight variations in contactless ISO card. Moreover, dye-sublimation printers do NOT do full bleeds, a full bleed is extending the artwork all the way to the edge of the card. It is very important to try printing some sample contactless cards, with a design similar to the one you plan to use, BEFORE purchasing a dye-sublimation printer. 
  2. Use reverse transfer printer
    Reverse transfer printing is an amazing technology that allows you to print full photo-realistic color, full bleed artwork (images) in perfect color without the pitfalls of traditional dye-sublimation card printing. Like dye-sublimation, reverse transfer printing uses YMCK colors but instead of directly printing the artwork on the card, the printing is reverse artwork printed on a laminate (transfer film) that is then adhered to the card. However, the cost for reverse transfer printer is much expensive if compared with dye-sublimation printer. 
  3. Choose better quality of ISO card
    Our Premium contactless ISO cards have flat and clean card surface. Therefore, even you use low cost dye-sublimation printer, the printing result is relatively better than our regular (low cost) contactless ISO cards.  

*Except EM4102 ISO card, the IC module inside our Premium contactless ISO card is made with metal lead frame (similar with MOA2 and MOA4). And the IC module of our regular contactless ISO card is made with PCB lead frame.  Contactless ISO card with metal lead frame module, not only have better printing result, it also has much better resistance to bending and torsion.

  1. Chips: SAG use EM4102 chips that originally from EM-Marine. They are exactly the same with Sokymat's UNIQUE chips.
  2. Technology: SAG EM4102 with the "direct bonding technology", we could offer quite flat card surface. And the technology could make SAG contactless smart card's surface have great printing performance.
  3. For the EM ISO Cards produced from other country, although the pricing is cheaper, we are very sure the chips which are used are either EM4100 or EM4100 compatible chips.

Technology Qestions

In terms of electrical function, there is no difference between EM4100 and EM4102. Both RFID chips work at 125 KHz and with 64 bit RO (read only) memory size. The major difference is that EM4102 chip has gold bumps on the die, and because of this reason coil (antenna) can be directly connected to the die.

From Figure 6.1, EM 4100 die is first packed in a lead frame IC module then connected to the coil. The thickness of lead frame IC module is about 0.4mm. For EM 4102 as shown on Figure 6.2, the coil is directly connected (direct bonding) to EM 4102 die.  The thickness of die is about 0.2mm only and in order to do direct bonding task we have to use thinner coil.  In short, EM 4100 card needs to embed thicker coil and lead frame IC module.  

Since EM 4102 ISO card does not need lead frame IC module and use thinner coil so the card surface will be much flatter than EM 4100 ISO card. The flatter card surface means better printing quality especially when using dye-sublimation printer. 

  • The difference between EM4450 and EM4550 is that EM4550 has gold bumps.
  • EM4150 and EM4350  have been replaced by EM4450 and M4550.
  • EM4100 and EM4102 are the same as SOKYMAT UNIQUE.
  • EM4450 and EM4550 are the same as SOKYMAT TITAN.

Some customers are using the T5550, T5551, T5554 proximity card and tag for their RFID applications. Due to the change of technology recently, above three RFID chips have been replaced by the T5557. The T5557 has a T5550/51/54 compatible mode. This mode will support nearly all features of the T5550/51/54 family. In addition, customers have the benefit of using the extended mode of the T5557 which will provide a lot of additional features. There are some small differences between the T5550/51/54 family and the T5557, because Atmel has improved the communication between reader and tag and this will give higher security level and an easier encoding of the data on the reader side. For more information, please click here.

*Q5 card, tag and transponder from SOKYMAT include Atmel / Temic T5555 RFID chip which is similar to T555X products.

ATA5567, designed for use in low-frequency cards and key fobs for access control in office buildings, hospitals, animal management and the like, complies with the ISO 11784 and 11785 FDX-B standards. The ATA5567 is more stable than its predecessor T5557 chip, to which the ATA5567 is backward-compatible. The ATA5567 measures less than 1 square millimeter and operates between 100 and 150 KHz.the. The ID enables the retraceability of the product in case of problems with illegal duplicates or counterfeiting and prevents unauthorized access to secured areas.

Click here for technical details about ATA5567.

*ATA5567 is successor of T5557

In order to achieve longer reading distance, we could design the oscillating circuit differently and this is so called LEGIC Supertag technology. Supertag technology increases the reading range of the standard LEGIC chips and enable considerably improved performance at most LEGIC readers. This is a major advantage for RFID contactless smart card and tag with a small antenna due to their size, for example, keyfob tags and tokens. Currently, Securitag Assembly Group (SAG) is able to provide LEGIC Supertag MIM256 and LEGIC Supertag MIM1024 contactless ISO card.

PETG is known as glycolised polyester (PET). The 「G」 means glycol modifiers which are incorporated in order to minimize brittleness and premature aging that may occur if unmodified polyester is used in the production of cards. However, currently PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) is still the major card body material on the market.   

Due to the following reasons, PETG card will gradually replace PVC card.

  1. PETG is a material that can be recycled, causing no pollution to the environment.
  2. PETG card is easy for printing with strong thermal stability.
  3. PETG material has a wide range of tailor-made specifications, for example, high Vicat PETG card could work on the temperature of 90 degree in Celsius so the proximity card could be put inside the car.

*Securitag Assembly Group (SAG) is able to provide PETG proximity contactless smart cards and RFID tags with the following technologies: EM 4100, EM 4102, EM 4105, EM 4450, EM 4135, T5557, HITAG 1, HITAG 2, HITAG S, MIFARE 1K (MF1 IC S50), MIFARE 4K (MF1 IC S70), MIFARE ULTRA LIGHT (MF0 IC U10), MIFARE DESFIRE (MF3 IC D40), INFINEON MIFARE 1K (SLE 66R35), ATMEL AT88RF020, SR176 (ST), SRIX512, SRIX4K, I.CODE SLI (SL2 ICS20), Tag-it, LRI64, LRI512, LRI2K, SRF55V02P, SRF55V10P, SRF55V02S, LEGIC MIM256, MIM1024, FELICA, etc.. The above RFID technologies are 125 KHz or 13.56 MHz RFID frequency.

ISO 14443 has two variants, Type A and Type B. ISO 14443A was accepted by the ISO committee in 1997. It is the first ISO standard for 13.56 MHz frequency contactless card which was developed by Mikron Austria and acquired by Phillips in 1996. Currently, ISO 14443A is the most widely used contactless standard in the world, mainly in transport applications.

ISO 14443B was approved by the ISO committee in 1998. ISO 14443B has a number of advantages over ISO 14443A:

  1. Unlike ISO 14443A uses 100% modulation depth, it means that the reader stops emitting the field for defined periods of time. The modulation depth for ISO 14443B is only 10% which preserves the continuity of the clock.
  2. No patents on communication coding.
  3. Communication speeds of up to 847 KHz.
  4. Adopted as a national standard by many countries, such as US, China, Japan, etc.

A third variant of the ISO 14443 standard, Type C, was developed by Sony, however, it was abandoned by the ISO/IEC committee and now is renamed as Felica. Please click here for more information! 

*Securitag Assembly Group (SAG) is able to provide ISO 14443 proximity coupling smart cards and tags with the following RFID technologies:
ISO 14443A: Mifare 1K, Mifare 4K, Mifare Ultralight, Mifare DESFire, SLE66R35
ISO 14443B: AT88RF020, SR176, SRIX512, SRIX4K
Felica (ISO 14443C): RC-S919 

In 1998, Philips (NXP) and Texas Instruments (TI) presented ISO 15693 for vicinity applications. The aim of this standard is to increase the reading distance. Its predecessor, ISO 14443, only has a communication of 10cm, ISO 15693 expands the communication range for vicinity operations to around 1.5m in gate configuration.  However, its drawback is its limited communication speed which is offset by the communication range. 

*Securitag Assembly Group (SAG) is able to provide vicinity coupling smart card and tag with the following RFID technologies: I.CODE SLI, EM4135, SRF 55V02P, SRF 55V10P, SRF 55V10S, LRI64, LRI512, Tag-it HF, Tag-it Pro 256, Tag-it Plus 2048 ...etc.

Printing Questions

SAG provides 5 printing methods, as following(View Table)

  1. Offset printing

    Offset printing is a widely used printing technique which is printed on PVC (PETG) or paper is made up of a combination of the 4 process colors of printing-Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and black. The ink is spread on metal plate with etched images, and then transferred to another surface such as rubber blanket. The final stage of printing is apply the image to PVC (PETG) or paper by pressing it against the surface (such as the rubber blanket). For advantage of offset printing, there is a consistent high quality of color images and can print realistic photo images , complicated pictures(contains multiple colors). Images are also sharper and cleaner. In opposite of Screen printing, Offset printing is not unable to print out the high-definition colors. The type of printing is most efficient and economical when printing a large volume and printing the same design image. Offset printing, there is the overlay(the protection layer), can protect the proximity card from cutting, also can be used in a long time.

  2. Silk Screen printing

    The process is known as screen printing. A screen is made of a piece of porous, finely woven fabric (originally silk, called Silk Screen printing, but nowadays made of polyester or nylon) stretched over a wood or aluminum frame. Firstly, no using area of the screen is blocked by a non-permeable material where wont to be printed; that is, the open spaces are where the ink will appear. Secondly, the silk screen is placed above PVC sheet, Ink is placed on top of the silk screen (one color once), and use machine pressure method to push the ink evenly into the silk screen openings. Ink passes through the open of silk screen is printed onto PVC sheet. If more than one color, the process is same as above. Compare with Offset Printing, Silk Screen printing can print out high-definition colors, but not able to print like photo reality. Silk Screen printing also have the overlay to protect the proximity card surface to keep using in a long time.

  3. CP20000-Multi Color Offset Press-M.C.O.P. (Single card printing)

    M.C.O.P ( CP20000 ) feeds cards one by one from the bottom of the pile by air suckers. Smooth feeding with constant and small quantity is available regardless of the volume of cards. The printing process principle is same as Offset printing, the difference only is lies in offset printing is at the same time one sheet printing , but CP20000 is single card printing. There is difference between offset printing and single card printing, that is there is no overlay for single card printing , so the damage will be damaged by cutting or other ways. The advantage for single card printing: preparing the blank card in advance, and just print the work after receiving the image from client. Fast and efficient, and also cost less than the offset printing on printing set up fee.

  4. Reverse Transfer printing

    Reverse Transfer printing (Re-transfer printing) is an amazing technology in plastic card printing. Re-transfer printing allows you to printing full photo-realistic color , full bleed artwork ( images) in perfect color without the pitfalls of traditional dye-sublimation card printing。Alike Dye sublimation printing prints directly onto the card surface, Re-transfer printing uses CMYK colors that is reverse artwork printed on a laminate (transfer film) that is then adhered to the card. There is principle in Re-transfer printing that has an 『over the edge」 bleed to ensure 100% card coverage. However, the cost for reverse transfer printer is much expensive if compare with dye-sublimation printer.

  5. Dye Sublimation printing

    Dye sublimation ("Dye sub" for short) printer prints directly onto the surface of card by laying down layers of ink in the primary colors (CMYK) to create all of the colors in your design, However, there are a great variety of dye-sublimation card prints in the market. Some of less expensive card prints do not work well with contacless ISO card due to the cards are perfect flat. The slightest bump or dip in the card can cause an imperfection, in the printed artwork. The higher quality card printer can accommodate these slight variations in contactless ISO card. Therefore, dye-sublimation prints do not do full bleeds, a full bleed is extending the artwork all the way to the edge of the card. It is very important to try printing some sample contactless cards, with a design similar to the one you plan to use, before purchasing a dye-sublimation printer.

Advantage of Offset printing

  1. fast printing speed
  2. high image quality
  3. overlay (protect card surface)
  4. be able to print realistic photo

Disadvantage of offset printing

  1. not able to show up high-definition and gradation colors
  2. printing set up fee: high

Advantage of screen printing

  1. fast printing speed
  2. high image quality
  3. overlay (protect card surface)
  4. be able to print high-definition and gradation colors

Disadvantage of screen printing

  1. not able to show up high-definition and gradation colors
  2. printing set up fee: high

Advantage of single card printing

  1. fast printing speed
  2. high image quality
  3. be able to print realistic photo

Disadvantage of single card printing

  1. not able to show up high-definition and gradation colors
  2. printing set up fee: high
  3. no overlay

Dye sublimation printing is to print directly onto PVC (PETG) or paper, not able to border to border printing. It is usually used for serial number printing.

Reverse transfer printing is border to border printing to ensure 100% card coverage. Usually used for personal photo. Both of them can make a re-personalized printing.

UV (Ultraviolet) ink is invisible under regular illumination. By viewing the card under UV light, all logos and texts become visible either in blue, red or green/yellow. It is one of ways to reduce counterfeiting problem. Please contact us if you have needs for contactless card with invisible UV printing.