Technology, Data & Innovation

Helping the Department of Defense Improve Smart Cards

SmartCards machine

Upgrading a secure employee identification program

Exponent has a long history of working closely with the Department of Defense (DOD) to develop and continuously improve its technological resources.

The Challenge 

Despite the security advantages of smart card technology, reissuing cards came at a significant financial cost and resource drain for the DOD's Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC) and its military customers.

Exponent's MULTIDISCIPLINARY Solution 

To reduce the expense associated with premature card failure, Exponent worked with the DOD to develop an efficient process to test the cards and their embedded circuitry for durability, reliability, security, and interoperability.

Exponent's Impact 

With our help, the DMDC has realized multimillion-dollar savings over the lifetime of its smart card program by reducing the cost of replacement card consumables, including ribbons and laminates, and resources for processing and issuing new cards. Failure rates in ID cards dropped more than 10-fold after three or more years of active use. Without these improvements, component failure would have caused approximately half of the cards to fail at about 18 months, with few making it to the three-year mark.