Plastic Card Services (PCS) has praised funding from Made Smarter North West for allowing it to invest in new technology and subsequently win new business.

The Cheshire-based company, which produces 50 million plastic cards each year for FTSE 100 companies and household names, was among 84 SME manufacturers to receive funding through the Made Smarter North West Industry 4.0 adoption pilot.

PCS has used the funding to embrace industrial digital technologies designed to connect its disparate systems and unify data residing in different sources.

Specifically PCS has invested in digital printing technology for the photo ID cards sector. The bespoke solution can read a card, check against a data file in real time, and then encode it, while a new software solution interrogates its customer’s database for the personalised data for the card and organise print jobs for the day.

The investment resulted in a new contract worth £500,000 each year for the next three years and an 8% increase in turnover, as well as additional enquiries for similar contracts.

Managing director Adam Unsworth said, ‘Quite simply, without funding through Made Smarter for the new equipment, PCS would not have been able to win the contract. The increase in turnover is huge for us. It’s a game-changer for our company.’

Donna Edwards, programme director for Made Smarter North West, added, ‘Data and analytics are central to the 4th Industrial Revolution, so I am extremely pleased that so many SME manufacturers are putting data at the heart of their own digitalisation journeys.’