Nth Enterprise has the technical expertise to personalize (print) and package a full range of Sim Cards based on the specific technical specifications of the Telecom operators. Nth Enterprise has collaborations in place with Chinese suppliers such that Telecom operators can also enjoy end to end services in the sourcing of SIM cards, including their personalization and packaging and door step delivery at any of their warehouses in Pakistan.
At the time this project was executed in the year 2007, all Telco’s except Telenor Pakistan was doing SIM personalization locally. We did have some contemporary practices to follow but we put all of them aside and decided to venture into a much different, efficient but challenging system. The contemporary systems of other Telco’s involved totally manual activities, right from personalization (stickers pasting) to shrink wrapping that was done through hot air guns, one by one. Such operations normally entail a huge work force (in hundreds), doing all processes manually, higher likelihood of errors and taking too long to complete the assigned jobs.
Telenor Pakistan Logistics team reposed their confidence on us to employ a mechanized operation so that the processes and output could be effectively controlled and made system based. What today continues to run in this rather impressive facility is an operation that fits brilliantly into Telenor Pakistan S&D plans, with features like, speed, quality, accuracy and immediate scalability. We used a combination of automated and manual systems, as follows:
Ink-Jet Printing Conveyor system
High-Speed Shrink Wrapping Machine
The MSISDN numbers along with their barcodes are printed directly on to the SIMs on a high speed conveyor system, with an output capability of 100+ SIMs / minute. Data is automatically picked up from the data file that Telenor Pakistan provides and prior to each print, the ICCID barcode on the SIM is scanned through a high speed scanner and the corresponding MSISDN number is picked up from the data file and printed on the system along with its barcode, on-line. In the second-stage, high-speed scanner scans the two barcodes, (one of pre-printed ICCID number and the one of freshly printed MSISDN) and compares the two with the TP database and verifies the print job (conveyor automatically stops if the two don’t match with the database).
Instead of labor-intensive, manual shrink wrapping through hot air guns, the team deployed fully automated shrink wrapping machines with in-built tear tape option and the complete process from the feeder to the collection of shrink wrapped CD cases is automated with 'NO' human involvement. These machines are also capable of giving an output of 100+ pcs / minute. The closest application of these machines can be seen in shrink wrapping of Cigarette packs.
Important to note is that none of the two systems were available off the shelf and these two systems have been developed and are being used by us for such an application for the first time in Pakistan. What was initially an idea and concept only, today runs in this SIM personalization facility in Islamabad and the conversion of this idea into reality is most reassuring and the hallmark is zero error and zero outage in the past 7 years.
Other than the above two, the team deliberately kept other processes manual, like insertions of SIMs, user guides and other inserts into the CD case, packing of processed CD cases in the inner-boxes, preparation of outer boxes, pasting of labels on inner / outer boxes and sealing of the inner / outer boxes with tamper free security seals, in order to keep the investment and Telenor Pakistan costs low and allow Telenor the flexibility to change whatever they wish to in the CD cases packaging.
The whole activity is also regulated and monitored in our developed Warehouse Management System (WMS) that is also being used for the Warehouse management of SIMs and Scratch Cards. The complete scope of SIM Personalization is provided on turn-key basis, including the supply of all materials and processing.
Scalability has been built into this facility as well, which can be gauged from the simple fact that originally this facility was designed for a 35k/day capacity, which was immediately upgraded to 50k/day and today, it is actually running it at 80k/day. The entire facility was scaled up from 35k / day to 80k / day within the span of few months only.
TP Logistics was fully aware of their stakes and the consequences of an unsuccessful development, but they had the courage to experiment and complete confidence and trust on us in fulfilling their business critical need locally of SIM Personalization.