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And Never the TWAIN Shall Meet?

What is TWAIN?

If you’re a digital camera enthusiast, or otherwise possess an interest, in or need of, image device technology (such as scanners) the more likely than not you’ve run into the word TWAIN. What’s more is that you might be one of the many people who don’t actually know what this word means, but given its common appearance in reference to such devices you probably assume that it’s important.

ID Card Printer Cleaning Kits

An ID card printer cleaning kit is a grouping of items specifically for the intent of maintaining your printer. Virtually all high end ID card printer manufacturers, such as Evolis, Magicard and Zebra, provide their clientele with proprietary variations of cleaning supplies contained within comprehensive cleaning kits.

Scratch-off Ribbons

Scratch-off ribbons are ribbons specifically designed to create a thin, removable layer of material on a card that a user can scratch off to reveal hidden information, such as PIN numbers, passwords or barcodes. Therefore some particular uses of scratch-off technology include membership cards, prepaid phone calling cards, bank cards and any cards with private information.

 

Scratch-off ribbons are monochrome ribbons are typically grey ribbons interwoven with black lines arranged in a wave-like pattern. Scratch-off ribbons that produce variously-colored layers do exist, but the majority of them are grey.

 

When using the scratch-off feature the ribbon driver needs to be selected to “K,” which represents “black” in YMCKO (yellow, magenta, cyan, black, overlay). You can achieve best results by using the scratch-off ribbon as a monochrome ribbon with the contrast setting placed at C3.

 

Scratch-off ribbon technology is compatible with PVC cards and a variety of monochrome ribbons and hologram cards.

What are Duplex Printers and what are they Good For?

Duplex ID Card Printers, also commonly referred to as Dual-sided printers, are, as the name suggests, printers that are capable of printing images and text on both sides of a surface, usually of a piece of paper or plastic ID card.

Generally speaking there are two methods of duplex printing — a) printers which automatically flip over a piece of paper and print on the other side, and b) printers, usually high-volume printers designed with two engines, that print on both sides of the sheet of paper as once as it is feeds through the machine.

Photo ID’s Help Reduce Medical Mistakes

On June 5 2012, Reuters published an article about the usage and proposed integration of photo ID’s as part of a hospital’s patient records. The point of the article was to cover both minor and major medical mistakes that occur in hospitals and on the operating table due to human error and/or when checking in patients. The article suggested and provided evidence for the fact that including photo ID’s in patient records significantly reduced such errors.

ID Card Systems Reduce School Clutter

One of the keys to smooth running in a school is getting students into the building and to their classes in an easy, quick and if possible, comfortable manner. Add in hallway traffic congestion and social chattering factors and you quickly be left with traffic jams. The good news is that the merger of ID card systems and system software can easily reduce hallway, lunchroom and library clutter.

For example, various process take place in a typical school on any given day, such as signing for lunch programs and purchasing lunches, checking out library books, attending schooling events and other annual events, such as buying year books.

Integrating ID card systems with good ID card software programs is an optimal way to streamline school-related processes and to ensure reduced stress and increased student body flow. By issuing student ID cards laden with embedded mag-stripe encoding or barcodes, students can easily pass their cards through a scanner when signing up for lunch programs,  purchasing food or checking out library books.

Aside from moving along these processes in a more efficient manner, students will potentially appreciate the efficiency of being able to wear their ID’s  - making it harder to lose, and thus safer with regards to identify theft. Such cards can also be used to issue students lower bus fares, a policy adopted by both private and public schools in Baltimore Country and Baltimore City.

Access Control for Schools

While statistics seem to show that the national crime rate has fortunately dropped in the last few years, other studies, such as the U.S. Department of Education’s and the U.S. Department of Justice’s 2006 Indicators of School Crime and Safety study, indicate that violent crime has risen specifically among children and adolescents.

Such unfortunate incidents require renewed professionalism and vigilance with regards to school safety and the integration of appropriate methods. School administration, staff and the parent body should rightfully vie for technological integration of visitor management and access control systems.

Such systems are typically used for restricting, recording and monitoring access into and departure from a school building. Student-issued ID cards can be synchronized with access control systems, most of which include or are compatible with software programs, such as the one seen here, designed for tracking visitors, recording data and compiling it into reports. The main purpose of the hybrid between existing ID card and access control systems is to help school security and staff to more easily recognize who belongs and doesn’t belong on the school grounds.

Access Control — Access control can refer to a single entrance or to multiple entrances into the building. Such systems can be integrated into as many entrances as necessary.

Visitor Management Software — The school can also use software systems ideal for compiling detailed reports describing data, such as visitor frequency, entrance and exit, and most-commonly used entrances. Such data can help staff identify and learn about any potential problems related to violence on campus.

Expiring Badges — Expiring badges are visitor badges with a predetermined “lifespan” and are typically issued to guest speakers or other persons for temporary access to the facility. Such badges are generally effective for one day only or a half-day.

Alternative Ways to Use ID Card Printing for Marketing Purposes

A high number of industries and fields utilize plastic card-printing technology for an equally high number of purposes. Government buildings and corporations print on plastic ID badges for access control and visitor management, schools use them as identity cards for their staff and student body, and financial institutions use them for credit cards.

However, this blog post will cover other, more out-of-the-box ways that a standard ID card printer can be used for marketing purposes and to promote your product.

Wide varieties of theme-specific information can be incorporated onto a wallet-sized card. For example, if you run a construction company or any business that involves calculating measurement conversions, such as carpet sales, you can sell cards with unit conversion information printed on them. These can come in handy for customers who buy your products and need to quickly convert units when placing rugs in their homes or workplace. Other industries that can benefit from unit-conversion cards are bakeries, which often require quick conversions for recipes.

Public safety institutions, such as police and fire fighting stations, hospitals and schools can print cards displaying emergency information numbers and addresses on the front on back using dual-sided printers.

And who says that business cards need to be limited to being printed on paper cards? Plastic ID cards can contain all the information that a traditional paper business card displays, but are more durable. This can as well include restaurants with hours of operation, web site address to view a menu, and phone number for delivery.

Coupons as well can be printed on plastic cards versus the standard paper, which can be torn. Further, such cards can be programmed to be used repeatedly.

Thinking outside of the box when it comes to alternative printer uses can help you advance your marketing strategy, and the technology already exists!

Laminating Card Printers

Laminating card printers are a variety of printer capable of producing images and laminating the final product in one unified process, avoiding the need to utilize (or purchase) both a traditional printer and a laminating device or machine. The plastic-based material used in the lamination process is called an overlaminate, which help protect against damage, remain flat and reduce the possibility of glares. Two types of overlaminates are typically used in conjunction with laminating card printers: standard overlaminates included in printer model packages, or customized films fitted with a company logo.


Types of Laminating Printers

Laminating Printers come in both single and dual-sided varieties and can be used for a variety of indoor and outdoor uses and industries:

  • Protecting vehicle graphics, such as legal information and decals
  • Safety signs
  • Luggage or cargo handlers
  • Library and meal cards
  • Government and military passes

Retransfer Card Printers

Retransfer Card Printers, such as the Zebra ZXP Series 8 are printers that use heat and pressure in order to create a permanent image on a surface. In contrast to regular printers, which are used primarily for variant paper surfaces, retransfer printers are also used to print images on plastic surfaces, such as CD’s, although ID cards are among the most popular items that utilize retransfer printing.


How does Retransfer Printing Work?

Retransfer printing utilizes a two-step process. The first step is to print the image backwards onto the underside, or substrate, of a thin, transparent retransfer film. The second step is to place this film onto the item being printed on and to create an irremovable and identical image on the surface of the ID card or CD. Retransfer printing as well allows you to print images on a variety of variously shaped surfaces, such as smart cards.


No White Border around Image

Standard DTC, or direct-to-card printing, unavoidably creates a small white border of approximately 1/32nd of an inch around the perimeter of the card. While in some cases this border is desired, in some cases an image that is precisely flush with the edge of the card is preferred. Retransfer printing technology allows for the creation of images that extend to the end of the card. In order to accomplish this, the retransfer film must be slightly larger than the surface being printed on, such as the industry CR-80 PVC ID card.


Lifespan

There is another notable difference between retransfer printing and DTC printing. DTC printing requires that the printhead comes into continual contact with surface, on the order of thousands of cards per month, which gradually wears it down. The retransfer process extends the printhead lifespan by printing the image on the flimsy laminate film instead, thereby avoiding the wear-and-tear that occurs during DTC printing.


What is a Printer Ribbon?


A printer ribbon is the part of the printer that administers the image onto the surface being printed on and there are two main types of ribbons: color and monochrome.


Color -
Printer ribbons come in two basic types: color and monochrome. Color ribbons are ribbons that are used to create full color images and can administer a wide range of hues onto a surface. They are typically used for any print job that requires sharp, distinct colors, such as picture ID’s or advertisements. Color ribbons contain work somewhat like a palette, containing several panels of colors. The printhead presses each panel onto the surface in a specific order until an image is created.


A common term in color printing is “YMC,” which stands for “yellow, magenta and cyan,” which are the three main colors used to create the full range of hues needed for color printing. The printer mixes the colors in their correct proportions in order to create other secondary and tertiary colors. Different printers come with a different range of colors.


YMCK
ribbons are used for color printing but as well contain a resin black panel, symbolized by the letter K. YMCK ribbons are used for specific print jobs, such as bar code printing. A bar code cannot be read by a scanner unless the black ink is printed onto the card’s surface in resin black. The resin panel also allows for the crisp, distinct lines needed for bar codes.


A third of ribbon used in color printing is a YMCKO ribbon, which contain an overlay panel, represented by the letter O. The overlay panel serves somewhat as a protective layer to prevent fading and scratching.


Monochrome -
Monochrome means “one color” but refers to black and white images that contain a wide range of shades of gray. Monochrome printer ribbon quality is measured, in part, by the range of gray that the ribbon can produce. Contrary to popular belief, monochrome ribbons are not limited to containing only black, which is administered in different proportions. Rather, monochrome ribbons can as well contain the entire range of colors as a color printer, only that the colors are mixed to create black and shades of gray. Most printers as well have a setting whereby the black ink cartridge can be used in place of the color.

Zebra Photo ID Systems


Our Zebra Photo ID Systems offer our customers a richer user experience by combining a range of products from our e-catalog. After researching customer purchasing patterns and preferences, we’ve hand-picked specific products that complement each other with regards to usability and functionality. Our Photo ID Systems make it easier for you to buy products not only which can improve your user experience, but without which functionality might become difficult or limited. For instance, our Zebra Photo ID Systems include Asure ID’s Solo 7 ID card printer software. Software often helps you get the most out of your printer and to use its encoding and designing capabilities more proficiently than if you purchased the printer on its own.

What do Zebra Photo ID Systems Typically Include?
The Zebra P100i Photo ID System, for example, includes the following items:


Generally speaking our Zebra Photo ID Systems come with the respective printer and varying products, such as ID software, color ribbon, PVC cards and a credential camera, template designers or media starter kits, such as the Zebra QuikCard ID Solution photo ID system. With its extensive range of printers, Zebra delivers the right industry or application solution every time.

What is a Bundle?

A bundle is an aggregation of products or services brought together in one comprehensive package. Many businesses utilize bundles, also known as product or service bundling, for a variety of reasons.


Reasons for Bundles - the Consumer End

One of the main reasons businesses decide to create bundles is that consumers often search for the simplest and most direct way to make a purchase. A bundle that has packaged together several products makes for an easier purchasing decision on the consumer end. Another reason is related to indications that consumer demands are relatively different and difficult to pinpoint. For example, market research studies show that consumers will value separate products at varying amounts. For instance, one customer will assign a high value to “Product A” and a low value to “Product B,” while another customer assigns a low value to “Product A” and a high value to “Product B.” In this scenario both consumers want to buy both products, but each believes that one of them is overpriced or not worth the money. By combining both products (or more) into a package for a fixed price, both consumers are more likely to purchase the package.

A third reason for bundling is that consumers benefit from the range of products that are included within a particular bundle. Several industries require products that either complement each other or without which functionality is difficult or limited. For example, most industrial or professional grade card printers require some sort of software ID program in order to perform specific types of print jobs. A consumer can either decide to purchase each product separately or he can opt for a bundle that includes both.


Reasons for Bundles - the Business End

From the business end, manufacturers or vendors may choose to create a bundle with another manufacturer or vendor of a product or service belonging to a related industry.

The Usefulness of Customer Loyalty Cards


For most business, having a customer come in once simply isn’t enough. Any business savvy person will tell you that the key to running a successful company is in the amount of customers you have alone, but in the willingness of those customers to come back to you time after time and not go to your competitors for the same, or similar, products. But how do you acquire an efficient network of loyal customers? Unless they are given some sort of incentive, most costumers won’t give a second thought before going to a different company if it’s more convenient for them. Customer loyalty cards are a great way to give your company the extra edge that will drive clients away from the doors of your competition in favor of doing business with you. Best of all, you can design and print these cards right from your office. Here are just some key benefits to take into consideration when deciding if taking the initiative to print customer loyalty cards will help your business:

  • First time buyers will be more inclined to return to you after their initial purchase- Giving your clients a discount or establishing a rewards system makes it more financially logical for your customers to return to you.

  • Get customers to remember you- Many customers tend to forget contact information for a business they seldom work with or have visited just once. A customer loyalty card with your businesses’ contact information can double as a more durable business card.

  • Returning customers will be encouraged to spend more than they normally would- If your company offers a rewards system through the use of loyalty cards, customers will be inclined to spend more with the goal of attaining those rewards.

  • Improve your inventory- customer loyalty cards can give you a better sense of what products your customers are buying. This provides you with useful data when it comes to deciding which product you need to stock up on more and which to cut back on.

If you already own an ID badge printer, you don’t even have to purchase any additional supplies. ID badge printers, like the HDP5000 from Fargo, can be used to printer your very own customer loyalty badges right from your office! If you believe your business would benefit from customer loyalty cards, or simply want to find out more about how to begin implementing a customer loyalty card program for your business, give us a call at 800-897-7024.

What is ID Card Software?

ID card software is any software that provides secure identification, barcode and asset tracking and visitor management. The following post gives a brief overview of each of the basic elements central to an ID card software program.


Secure Identification

Secure identification is the bread and butter of ID card software and is the process by which professional-looking and good quality ID cards are created. These cards, which are created for and issued to a building visitor upon entrance, are typically printed on the spot and can be used for a variety of purposes, such as corporate and student ID cards, government credentials and driver’s licenses. Identification badges usually display the picture of the individual on the front and function either through a barcode printed on the front or back of the card, through a magnetic strip embedded alongside the back of the card (as with a credit card), or through biometrics, which is the recording of biological characteristics such as fingerprints or DNA.


Barcode and Asset Tracking

An asset is defined as any permanent piece of equipment or item used by a business on a regular and fixed basis. Assets can generally be split into two categories: tangible and non-tangible. Thus, computers, phones, desks, hardware, computer files and data are all considered assets and a company must be able to track them on a regular basis.


Asset tracking is integrally related to asset protection, or retail loss prevention, which is an investigative method into the occurrence of workplace theft. According to the 2006 National Retail Security Survey, company losses and their percentages are split into 5 main categories:  46.8% from employee theft, 31.6% from shoplifting, 14.4% from administrative error, 3.75% from vendor error, and 2.86% from unknown error. While there is no way to determine how much revenue goes unaccounted for yearly through retail loss, failure to properly track business assets can lead to very high costs for the company, estimated at billions of dollars a year.


Some of the main problems associated with asset tracking are the amount of time needed to locate missing items, repurchasing lost items and the complexity involved with substantiating asset inventories, all of which contribute to revenue loss. Jolly, an asset tracking software provider, allows a company to track their assets by connecting to existing databases such as MS Access, MS SQL Server, MySQL, Excel spreadsheets, CSV or text files.


Visitor Management

Visitor management refers to the system used to track public building traffic by recording the identity, location and number of people entering and exiting the site on a daily basis. Visitor management software typically focuses on three basic elements: visitor registration, badge printing and creating reports from collected data.


After the Oklahoma Federal Building was bombed by Timothy McVeigh in 1995, which took 168 lives, injured more than 680 people and cost approximately $652 million in damages, a report later determined that he carried out preliminary walkthroughs of the building’s lobby. Investigative access to a corporation’s visitor management data reports, which record an individual’s whereabouts and visitor frequency, are instrumental in preventing similar events.


Usage of a typical visitor management software system requires that a person entering the building register for a company-issued identification badge, usually printed on the spot, which he swipes every time enters or exits the building. The badge is also used to gain access to different parts of the building, in some cases including elevators. At the end of a given period the information amassed regarding the traffic of all building visitors is created into a report and stored.


ID Card Software Categories

Different vendors divide their software options in variant ways. For example, Asure ID divides its software features into 4 different software packages (Solo, Enterprise, Express and Exchange), while Jolly categorizes them as Standard Edition Software and Premier Edition Software.

 
 
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