This is an interesting book. It seems to form part of a set with The Smart Card Handbook (Rankel and Effing), also published by Wiley and written by authors at G&D in Munich. G&D are a major player in the highly secretive world of smart cards. That is the development and production of smart cards. Smart-card usage is very public.
This book is really for those in the smart-card industry that want to understand production, mainly the managers and those in non-production areas. This is because, as good as this book is, many of the things described are proprietary and require very expensive equipment that is not available on the open market. You would not be using this book to run your own system as these production lines come with manuals and on-site training and you have to be an approved smart card manufacturer before you can buy it.
As a practical guide to production, including the physical characteristics of the cards, it is extremely good. It covers magnetic, chip and contactless. As mentioned, some of the techniques and methods are proprietary and may differ from manufacturer to manufacturer. However most of the specifications, tolerances and general methods will be constant across the industry.
Some areas are only lightly covered, personalisation and dispatch of cards for example. I assume that this is for confidentiality, but even so I think the area could have been covered in more depth. For smart card programmers chapter nine of the Smart Card Handbook will tell you all you need to know about production.
It is not a large book and somewhat expensive, but as it is only likely to be bought by companies I suppose it is what the market will bear. This book, together with the Smart Card Handbook forms a complete reference for smart cards. All we need now is a book on smart card terminals! I am in two minds about this book. It could be larger and less expensive, but that said, what is there is good.