Toyota uses Zebra Card Printers to print and encode Mifare Contactless Smart Cards to deliver Access Control and Cashless Vending in one card - August 30, 2007


Typically, when we think of plastic cards we look to our overburdened wallets and think of the many bank cards, office access, gym membership, and even video store cards contained within. In fact, many of the cards we carry have a single use and are primarily for identification purposes only. However, an increasing number of new smart card solutions enable single cards to be used in a variety of ways and for multiple applications.

Car manufacturing giant, Toyota, now utilizes Mifare contactless cards in its UK manufacturing facilities to provide improved speed and efficiency of staff movement, as well as introducing the use of cashless vending.


As thousands of employees move around the extensive Toyota car manufacturing facility, security, efficiency, speed, and ease of movement are all critical considerations. Cash being the only currency accepted at the site’s 150 plus vending machines and five restaurants was a daily hassle for employees, but also had administrative implications, as well as being an ongoing security concern for the company.

Toyota recognized the need to introduce a new smart card solutions that would enable a single card to be used for multiple applications meet their quality and security requirements and fulfill all their needs. Following a consultation with a specialist reseller, a solution was devised that involved integrating card technologies from several companies to meet the company’s ultimate needs.


The solution utilizes best of breed card technologies from Zebra Card Printers, DigiOn24 (D24 encoders), Mifare Contactless Smart Cards, and a vending system supplied by Mechshop. This solution was brought together by DED ltd a UK distributor of ID soluions. Ultimately, the key requirement was to provide Toyota with the ability to produce a single card that would allow fast access and control for workers to allow them to move quickly around the site and eliminate the need for cash, by introducing cashless vending.

The specialist reseller recognized that the Mifare Contactless Smart Card is an ideal solutions for multiple applications, unlike the conventional and purely visual ID card. Normal magnetic cards also wouldn’t have been effective as they take too long to swipe, causing queues of people and vehicles at doors, gates, and barriers – particularly during peak movement times around the site. Moreover, although the manufacturing plants have very high standards in terms of cleanliness, there are certain areas where large amounts of dust and dirt are unavoidable and this would cause a magnetic card to wear out quickly.

It was important that the cards were able to be printed and encoded on the spot at each facility, enabling fast enrollment and easy replacement of lost cards. Zebra’s P430i dual sided printer was selected for the task. The new cards are printed using Zebra’s P430i printers, designed to work in demanding environments, which are fitted with DigiOn24 encoders by DED and enabling proximity cards to be printed and encoded in one process. A number of ‘proximity readers’ speed up the movement of people and vehicles throughout Toyota’s manufacturing facilities allowing cards to be read quickly across the site.

Mechshop, who manages the vending for Toyota, installed the cashless vending system, operating 150 drinks and snack machines across the main manufacturing and engine manufacturing sites. The five on site restaurants are also now cash free and use Mifare readers linked to cash tills to enable employees to purchase meals fast. At least 15-20 top-up machines are also situated across the sites to allow workers to add money to their card on a regular basis.

The Mifare Contactless Smart Card is used to control security in and out as well as around Toyota’s manufacturing facilities. To speed the flow of people and vehicles through the site it was important to ensure that a proximity card was implemented. The access and control software provided by the Zebra Card Printer reseller, records the Mifare Serial Number, which is then exported into the software up to five times each day, together with the card holder type. Every main door, gate, and barrier is linked to a central access control system which checks the card holder type, using proximity readers, and then allows access if valid.

Mark Thomson, Marketing Manager at Zebra Card Printers says, “This is a perfect example of an innovative multiple application card printing solution that delivers maximum benefits to the end user. Workers at Toyota’s manufacturing sites now only have to carry one card, which as well as providing them access to authorized work areas, fast, also acts as an e-Purse. They no longer have to worry about carrying cash into work on a daily basis.”


The use of cash on site was causing security and administration overheads, as well as hassle for the employees, but Toyota is now able to operate in a cash free environment. The cashless vending system provides numerous security advantages and uses special technology to write values to the card securely – making it very difficult, if not impossible, to reproduce the card.

Surprisingly, there have been additional health and safety benefits, as the card monitors drivers of equipment such as forklift trucks, all of which are now fitted with Mifare readers to ensure that only approved drivers are able to operate them.

The ultimate solution, coordinated by the Zebra Card Printer Reseller, makes optimum use of the latest card technologies to deliver a true smart card solution that facilitates multiple applications. The end result delivers many benefits from improved speed and efficiency of movement around Toyota’s car manufacturing plants while workers only need to carry a single ID card, and no longer need to carry cash.

CardFocus Now Supports DigiOn24 Inline Mifare Card Encoders - February 21, 2008

Sabadille Systems today announced that its acclaimed CardFocus Photo ID and Visitor Management software now supports DigiOn24 printer-resident Mifare encoders. This gives CardFocus users the power to encode embedded Mifare RFID chips when printing identity cards on an even larger range of plastic card printers.

According to Loc Tran, CEO of DigiOn24, “The addition of software support by Sabadille Systems’ CardFocus PhotoID and Card Management Software represents a significant addition to the capabilities of the DigiOn24 product line of printer-resident Mifare card encoders.

“The DigiOn24 in-line encoders, available for a wide range of plastic card printers, work together with CardFocus Photo ID Software to enable simple and easy implementation of Mifare applications by eliminating the End-User need to develop their own software solutions, saving both development cost and time.

“We are pleased that Sabadille Systems has selected the DigiOn24 Mifare Encoder products to be supported by the CardFocus Photo ID software and look forward to working closely with them on new projects, programs, and products.”

John Slattery, managing director of Sabadille Systems, said, “The rise in popularity of Mifare technology worldwide has brought a more sophisticated appreciation for its strengths in providing massive increase in card security and functionality. As a result, it’s becoming increasingly common to see enterprises pursue an RFID card strategy, with Mifare quickly emerging as the preferred technology for numerous different applications.

“Our goal is to continually develop the CardFocus Photo ID suite in line with these latest developments in technology. The support of DigiOn24 encoders demonstrates our commitment to continuous investment in our product line and further enhances our expanding set of product and solution choices to meet our customer needs.”

The CardFocus family of products, produced by Sabadille Systems, offers a comprehensive range of photo identity and visitor management software solutions that are powerful, yet simple to learn and loaded with useful features. While providing excellent value in software, CardFocus is so flexible that it improves the issuance and management of advanced photo identity cards for virtually any size and kind of organization.

Cardz Middle East Spearheads Mifare Bus Passes in India - June 25, 2008

Dubai: Cardz Middle East has been selected to spearhead the launch of a Mifare-based bus pass system to students and then the public at large, targeting daily user traffic of 250,000 passengers in the Indian state of Karnataka.

“This is an important project for Cardz Middle East and we’re excited to be tackling something on this scale,” says Nithin Shabbir, managing director of Cardz Middle East. “We are integrating DigiOn24 Mifare encoders with Nisca PR5350 high-speed printers, to provide smooth automation and printing.”

The transportation company in charge of the bus pass system is a large, service-oriented public-sector undertaking that owns 6,000 vehicles and carries 250,000 passengers every day. The new bus pass system uses Mifare 1K cards, and a fully colored card personalization with encoding takes only 30 seconds to print. Prior to the Mifare-based system, students would identify themselves with their school or college identity card and would be given concession tickets via a manual ticketing system. The Mifare system was selected in order to increase accountability and speed up the process of dispensing secured bus passes. A personalized card is given to each student. When the card is brought within range of the Electronic Ticketing Machine (ETM), their bus pass is automatically generated. “Cardz Middle East was chosen to provide easy, secure and reliable RFID passes with the help of Radiant Info, Team Nisca and DigiOn24,” says Shabbir. “Our fast, high-quality printers contribute to the overall efficiency of the Mifare process, and to the ultimate objective of smooth and speedy transits,” says Irina Polunina of Team Nisca. “DigiOn24’s wide experience in the ID card market will help Banaglore’s Mifare system get off the ground without any glitches,” says Loc Tran of DigiOn24.

Cardz Middle East has partnered with Radiant Info Tech to implement the Mifare system at ten different locations in Karnatka state; with the facility for data entry and printing provided by Card Tech India (Pvt) Ltd, Bangalore. They are also partnering with Team Nisca, makers of world class identification card printers, and DigiOn24, radio frequency identification (RFID) experts and encoder manufacturers, to provide a custom solution within the given budget. The Nisca PR 5350 printer with the DigiOn24 encoder could print and encode a full colored card in 30 seconds in batch print mode, which is a very fast solution. Since the project began, the Nisca Printers have proven their reliability, running 10 hours consecutively every day. So far, even with the volume they are withstanding, there have been no hardware failures. reported.

Initially to be introduced only for students, Mifare will be gradually expanded to the general public, with a target of half a million card personalizations every year. Cardz Middle East has developed a custom software system to print and encode the cards, connecting it with an Oracle database. Depending upon the student’s requirements, passes will be issued on a weekly, monthly or yearly basis.

“For Team Nisca, this is the major ongoing project in India, letting Indian officials know about the efficiency, reliability, and quality of Nisca printers,” says Shabbir. “The project will also give Cardz enhanced exposure for our activities in the GCC and the Indian subcontinent.”