After the success Paladin Card Protection on Kickstarter, we jump head first into production and quality assurance. If you want to know more about how card sleeves are made – and how we make sure that we sell only the finest card sleeves, here’s the first account of a trip to China – straight from China!
After a long trip just shy of thirty hours, yesterday evening I arrived safely in Guangzhou, China to take a factory tour and to make sure that our – scratch that, YOUR – sleeves are up to par with everyone’s expectations.
This morning I was picked up by the guys from our factory and after a two hour drive through crazy traffic we reached the manufacturing facility. While it is not impressive on the outside, it’s what underneath that matter, and the people inside sure know what they’re doing.
The first thing I noticed upon entering the production hall was a bunch of pallets stuffed with cases with a rather familiar name: Paladin Card Protectors 🙂
As of yesterday, all sleeves to be delivered as part of this campaign have been made, assembled and packed, being 100% ready for shipping.
To be able to properly check the quality of sleeves, the production manager walked me through the process of making a deck of sleeves:
- Rolls of plastic foil, 90 microns thick are ordered from a company with the office in the very same building;
- They are checked for clarity and possible damage;
- The roll – which is made of two stripes (much like quality toilet paper, although I am aware this might not be the best comparison) is fed through a machine which cuts it along the middle and the sides to the exact width required;
- The same machine then used a perpendicular knife to cut the stripe of plastic at the required height for each sleeve type;
- Hot sealing on the sides follows, much like the sealing of a bag at the supermarket;
- The final product comes out of this small assembly line and it is then manually packed;
- The final package is also printed at a facility nearby, and then the whole thing ends with assembly into cartons of 100.
After the tour of the production process, we moved on to quality check. I requested a few packs from each sleeve size and checked them both against the samples we had received earlier and approved, as well as against cards made in the exact size as needed.
Good news: every sleeve type is size wise exactly as requested and the thickness is also 90 microns. All in all, the feeling of Paladin sleeves is great!
When it comes to tolerance, the difference in size between sleeves in the same deck is almost unnoticeable, in my opinion it is less than 0.3 mm. With that in mind, I was happy to approve the final production and give the factory green light for customs processing.
That ends the story of my short trip to China. Is this how you imagined sleeves were made? Do you have something to share? Comment or get a hold of us via Twitter or Facebook, and we’ll gladly answer your questions.