MINNEAPOLIS -- DataCard Corp. said it will open a 60,000square-foot production plant next January in response to growing demand for plastic transaction and identification cards.

The facility, in Pennsylvania, is about twice the size of the one it will replace.

"The automated manufacturing systems we're implementing will increase our capacity significantly," said George Levy, corporate vice president and general manager of Minneapolis-based DataCard's plastic card group. "More importantly, they will allow us to reduce cycle time and respond faster to our customers' needs."

Some of the advanced processes include precision die-cutting equipment, high-speed ultraviolet drying processes, and electronic pre-press capability that allows DataCard to accept art work from customers in digital form.

DataCard plans to have a common production in all four manufacturing plants. The others are in Britain, Germany, and the Netherlands.

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