US 3716439 A
A method of manufacturing credit cards and the like, wherein a card having necessary information visibly recorded therein is interposed between a pair of plastic films each having one surface coated with a layer of adhesive which is activated when heated, with the adhesive coated surface of each said film in contact with one surface of said card, and the card and films are passed between a pair of heated pressure rollers so as to form them into a unitary laminated construction.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 Maeda [451 Feb. 13, 1973 METHOD OF MANUFACTURING CARDS  Inventor: Sanetaka Maeda, Kyoto, Japan  Assignee: Omron Tateisi Electronics Co.,
Kyota, Japan  Filed: Dec. 10, 1970'  Appl. No.: 96,888
 Foreign Application Priority Data Dec. 15, 1969 Japan ..44/101105  US. Cl ..156/269, 40/2.2, 40/142 A, 156/306  Int. Cl. ..B32b 31/18, C09j 5/06, G091 3/02  Field of Search ..156/278, 306, 309, 320, 321, 156/322, 269, 264; 40/142 A, 2.2, 159
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,622,417 11 1971' Gray ..156/309 x 3,657,038 4/1972 Lightfoot.... .....156/309 X 3,660,200 5/1972 Anderson ..l56/322 X 3,684,615 8/1972 Kuhns ..156/306 3,582,439 6/1971 Thomas ..161/5 R25,998 3/ 1966 Silverschotz 209/1 1 1.8 2,835,993 5/ 1958 Whitehead ..40/2-.2 2,51 1,303 6/1950 Stevens et al.... 156/269 X 3 ,574,026 4/1971 Kucheck 156/264 2,653,819 9/1953 Roberts.... ..274/4 2,932,913 4/1960 Hann0n.... ..156/306 X 3,413,171 11/1968 Hannon.... ..16l/6X 3,455,770 7/1969 Dahl ..161/36 3,566,521 3/1971 Conner..... ..156/309 X 3,581,417 6/1971 Andrews ..161/6 Primary Examiner-Harold Ansher Attorney-Christensen & Sanborn  ABSTRACT A method of manufacturing credit cards and the like, wherein a card having necessary information visibly recorded therein is interposed between a pair of plastic films each having one surface coated with a layer of adhesive which is activated when heated, with the adhesive coated surface of each said film in contact with one surface of said card, and the card and films are passed between a pair of heated pressure rollers so as to form them into a unitary laminated construction.
1 Claim, 4 Drawing Figures PATENTEDFEBI 3W 3;? 16.439
ISA/V E TA FYA MAED/l INVENTOR Wm aim ATTORNEY METHOD OF MANUFACTURING CARDS This invention relates to a method of manufacturing credit cards and the like which are provided with a protective cover.
Cards such as credit cards used in a credit sales system or commutation tickets used in an automatic ticket examining system generally comprise a sheet of a suitable plastic material on one surface of which the necessary characters and/or symbols are visibly embossed or printed and the other surface of which is covered by a magnetic film for magnetically recording the information thereon. In some cases, the card has recorded therein the necessary information in the form of punched holes or tranlucent or transparent areas, so that the information may be read by a photoelectric device scanning the holes or areas. In either case, it is necessary to provide the card with a protective cover and it is customary to cover the opposite surfaces of the card with a protective film of a suitable plastic material.
In one prior art method of forming a plastic cover on the card, a pressure sensitive adhesive material is applied to one surface of a plastic film, which is then applied to each side of a cord to be adhered thereto by applying pressure thereto. In another prior art method, no adhesive material is employed, but a card is sandwiched between a pair of thermoplastic films, to which heat and pressure are simultaneously applied to fuse or bond them together. In the former method, however, as the card is repeatedly used, the peripheral edge of the protective films is likely to be peeled off from the card, with resulting short life thereof. In the latter method, a particular device such as a heating press is required for manufacturing the card. Moreover, the latter method includes the step of heating the card and films to bond them together and it is necessary to hold them in a pressing device until the card and films become cold enough to have a sufficient mechanical strength. This requires, however, a longer time than otherwise for finishing a card. In addition, the heating and pressing step may well cause the card to be softened and deformed, with resulting damage to the characters, symbols or punched holes in the card and also to the magnetic layer.
Accordingly, it is one object-of the invention to provide a method of manufacturing cards such as credit cards and the like, which requires a simple machine and which makes it possible to manufacture cards hav ing a good quality and durability easily and quickly.
Another object of the invention is to provide a method of manufacturing cards such as'credit cards and the like, which is capable of covering a card with a protective film without causing any damage or deformation to the characters, symbols or punched holes in the card or the magnetic layer thereon.
In accordance with the invention, a protective film of a suitable plastic material having one surface coated with a layer of a suitable adhesive material which is activated upon application of heat thereto is laid on each side of a card, and the films and the card interposed therebetween are passed between a pair of heated pressure rollers so that the protective films are adhered to the card. As the'card and films are passed between the heated rollers, the adhesive on each of the films is activated by the heat and then cooled to solidify thereby adhering the films onto the card. Since the amount of the adhesive coating the film surface is relatively small and the adhesive has a relatively low softening point, the time required for heating and cooling the card and films is greatly reduced, and the required adhesion between the card and the protective films is completed by merely passing them between the heating rollers, with resulting decrease in the time required for the whole manufacturing process. The pressure required for the rollers to press the card and films together is relatively small so that the device may be of a relatively simple design. Since the card and films are passed between the rollers, despite the small pressure applied thereto there is no pneumatic foams remaining between the card and films. Since the card receives no great thermal influence, little or no damage or deformation is caused to the characters, symbols or punched holes in the card or the magnetic film thereon. Therefore, the finished product has a good quality and appearance.
The magnetic layer may be formed either on the card or on the protective film beforehandln the latter case, a magnetic layer is first formed on one surface of the protective film and then coated with an overlay of adhesive material.
The invention will be more clearly understood by reading the following description with reference to the accompanying drawings, wherein:
FIG. 1 is a somewhat exaggerated, cross-sectional view of a card manufactured by the method of the invention;
FIG. 2 is a view similar to FIG. 1 showing the component layers of the card before they are laminated together;
FIG. 3 is a schematic view of an apparatus suitable for carrying out the method of the invention; and
FIG. 4 is a top plan view illustrating one of the steps of the method of the invention.
Referring to FIG. 1, there is shown a card 10 made of a suitable plastic material or strong paper. The necessary informationis visibly recorded on the card by means of embossment, printing or punched holes in a well known manner. A protective film ll, 12 of a plastic material is adhered to each side of the card. For adhesion, the protective film 11 has its one surface coated with a layer of adhesive 13 which is activated upon application of heat thereto. The other protective film 12 has its one surface covered with a magnetic layer 15 and thereon with an overlay of adhesive 14 similar to the adhesive 13 on the film 11. The adhesive used may be a thermoplastic material and has a lower softening point than the materials of the card 10 and the films 1 1 and 2.
As shown in the exploded view of FIG. 2, the protective film 11 is laid on one surface of the card 10 with the layer of adhesive 13 being in contact with the surface of the card. In like manner, the protective film 12 is laid on the other surface of the card 10 with the layer of adhesive 14 being in contact with the other surface of the card. The card sandwiched between the two films is passed between a pair of heated pressure rollers so that the adhesive is activated by the heat and then solidified when cooled, thereby securely adhering the films 11 and 12 onto the opposite surfaces of the card 10.
FIG. 3 schematically shows an example of an apparatus suitable for carrying out the method of the invention. A continuous sheet of plastic film 11 having one surface coated with a layer of adhesive 13 is wound on a bobbin 31 and another continuous sheet of plastic 'film 12 having one surface coated with a magnetic layer 15 and thereon an overlay of adhesive 14 is similarly wound on a bobbin 32. The two sheets of film l2 and 13 are withdrawn from their respective bobbins 31 and 32 and are passed between a pair of heated pressure rollers 33 and 34 including an electrically heated wire not shown, and a stamping device 37 and then over a guide roller 35 so as to be finally wound onto a take-up bobbin 36. The device 37 comprises a'die 39 and a punch 38 between which the films 11 and 12 are passed.
A card 10 is interposed between the films 11 and 12 before they are nipped by the two pressure rollers 31 and 32, so that the rollers heat and press the films and card into a unitary laminated structure. Then the laminated structure is conveyed onto the device 37 to be placed on the die 39 against which the punch 38 is struck to stamp out the structure along the peripheral edge 41 of the card 10. The remaining laminated films are wound onto the bobbin 36.
A few examples of the method of the invention will now be given.
EXAMPLE 1 Paper is used as the card 10 and a film of a polyester resin, as the protective films 1 1 and 12. As the adhesive an emulsion containing polyvinyl chloride is used. The films ll'and 12 are coated on one surface with the adhesive and then dried. The films are passed between the rollers 33 and 34 heated to 140C at a speed of 1.5 cm
per second. In this example, one card can be finished in about 4 seconds. Polyvinyl acetate or a polyurethane resin may also be used as the adhesive.
EXAMPLE II Polyvinyl chloride is used as the card and the films 1 1 and 12, and ethylene vinyl acetate is used as the adhesive. The rollers 33 and 34 are heated up to C and the speed of feeding the films is 2 cm per second.
In accordance with the invention, the adhesive used is in unactivated condition at normal temperature, so that it is possible to coat the films with the adhesive before hand and keep them set in the apparatus'at room temperature, and then issue a card with a protective cover immediately upon request by a customer at a ticket window of a railway station or the like places.
What I claim is:
1. A method of manufacturing laminated cards comprising interposinga card having information visibly indicated thereon, between a pair of sheets of plastic material, each of said sheets having the surface thereon facing said card, coated with a layer of adhesive which is activated upon the application of heat thereto, and which has a softening point lower than those of said card and sheets, and one of said sheets including a layer of magnetic material beneath said adhesive layer, compressing said sheets and card between a pair of heated pressure rollers, so as to activate said adhesive to bond said sheets and card into a laminated structure, stamping out said laminated structure about the peripheral edge of said card, and relatively removing the laminated card from the she ets