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Zebra ZXP Series 3 Industries and Applications

Compacted and ready to use, the Zebra ZXP Series 3 is a full featured high speed card printer  that can be integrated into standard ID Cards and access control applications. This affordable ZXP series 3 direct-to card printer is a suitable choice for applications where small space, minimal operator training and print quality are paramount.  This printer is ideal for deployment in educational institutions and retail outlets for ID card, gift card, loyalty card or membership card applications. The ZXP series 3 achieves fast print speeds and high image quality by utilizing ZRaster host based image processing technology and True Colours ix Series high-performance ribbons. This ID card printer offers a full suite of encoding options, including PC/SC and EMV-certified smart card encoding, over USB and Ethernet.  You can print on one or both sides of the card with high-quality color or monochrome images for a variety of applications.

Zebra ZXP Series 8 Industries and Applications

This retransfer card printer offers picturesque image quality, best-in-class throughput, a multitude of encoder options, and high reliability that minimizes maintenance. The ZXP Series 8 Printer includes ZMotif™ software development tools for easy integration with enterprise applications. Using innovative retransfer printing technology, the Zebra ZXP Series 8 delivers superior print resolution at the fastest speeds in its class for high-quality photo ID cards with images and graphics that look more like glossy magazine prints than ordinary ID photos. The printer’s modular design provides flexibility to add a variety of encoding options as needed.

Single or dual sided lamination is also available. This retransfer printer is ideal for printing on uneven card surfaces, such as smart cards, or for when the application calls for very high image quality or cards that are more durable and abrasion resistant.

Single and Dual sided ID Cards Printers

Difference between a single-sided  ID card printer and a dual-sided ID card printer?

A double sided printer will print on both sides of the  ID card whereas a single sided printer will only print on one side of the  ID card. A single sided printer is necessary for creating ID cards with limited cardholder information. It has a full color and monochrome printing capability. It offers magnetic stripe and smart card encoding options. You can choose direct-to-card or a stunning reverse transfer print technology. Printing ID cards from a single sided printer can be time consuming. Most card printer manufactures discourage the use of a single sided printer primarily that this printer tends to damage the sensitive print heads in the print cards.

 

Laminate Photo ID Cards

Why would I need to laminate my photo ID cards?

Firstly, what is a laminated card? A laminated card is a full color plastic card with Matt or Gloss lamination. Matt lamination is a thin coating on a card used to smooth out the printings on the card. This coating provides a soft and silky satin sheen high quality finish resulting in a more sophisticated card. It also allows the card to be more water resistant. It also extends the durability of your card. Gloss lamination forms a protective coating over the print which makes it suitable for items such as menus, cards, brochures etc. Gloss lamination also gives your card a more professional look. These type of plastic cards are used for  advertising a business, product, or a service. Lamination serves as a protection for your card. This process is beneficial to the cardholder that it prevents the fading and dye migration via sun exposure on your card. That way, you  won't have to reprint your card frequently thus saving you supply costs and time. Holographic lamination increases the security of your cards therefore preventing identity theft or unauthorized duplication of your card. How are laminated cards produced? Multiple cards must be printed on a large sheet. Then they are fed through a laminating unit which provides a thin sheet of laminate either on both or one side of the card. This procedure traps the card in between. Heat is then applied to seal the lamination.

Announcing the Arrival of the Evolis Primacy!

ID Security Online is proud to announce the arrival of the Evolis Primacy ID card printer!

The Primacy is an easy-to-use high-end printer and the ideal solution for identification badges, payment cards, student cards and transportation passes. Available in blue and red, single or double-sided and with or without encoding technologies, the Primacy comes with USB and Ethernet TCP/IP connectivity and boasts a pioneering 3-year manufacturer's warranty.

The Evolis Primacy prints a maximum of 210 cph (cards per hour) in color and 850 cph in monochrome, includes a 250-card capacity color ribbon cassette and has a 100-card capacity feeder and output hopper.

Further, the Primacy is user friendly, allowing the user to check the amount of cards in the printer so that you can load more into the front panel before the printing ends. It as well highly modular, allowing you to install encoding options via the Evolis website.

And for the green thumbs, Evolis Primacy has received ENERGY STAR certification, complies with ErP directives and consumes an average of 5 times less than earlier printers.

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.

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.

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.

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.

How to Use the Evolis ID Card Printer Series for your ID Badge Needs

Evolis is a printer manufacturer that makes printers used in printing ID badges of different types. Some of the different types of cards you can print are standard ID cards, driver’s licenses, bank cards and access badges and the like. A badge typically holds information about its owner, such as name, a photograph and perhaps statistical information such as height, weight and hair color, etc. The purpose of an ID badge is to identify the individual.

PVC Cards
The types of cards used are the standard type of cards used by most printer manufacturers. These cards are known as PVC (yes, the same PVC used for piping), but are more commonly known as plastic cards. Since they are smooth to the touch, PVC Cards require printing via a method known as thermal transfer printing, which uses a printer part known as a ribbon to apply either a colored or monochrome layer. Contrast this with your standard inkjet printers, which place the ink directly on the page. Thermal printing is necessary since the heating process causes the ink to remain glued to the surface, which is not an issue with printing on paper. When printing in color, the heat turns the ink layer into gas that reverts to its original state on the card’s surface, a process known as sublimation, or dye sublimation. Evolis printers can print in both monochrome and color.

Bar Code Application
Bar codes are perhaps the most basic feature of plastic cards and are used in many places, such as in stores that sell merchandise branded with bar codes. It is therefore not limited only to cards, but to a variety of plastic surfaces that require bar code identification. A bar code works by creating highly distinct black and white areas that are read by a photosensitive electronic scanner. When the card is passed under the light emitted from the scanner, the scanner detects which light is absorbed by the black areas and which is reflected by the white areas, a pattern which registers as a product or item. We’ve all been in line at the grocery store only to find that the cashier has to scan our item over and over again while people behind us are getting impatient. A scanner has a hard time reading a bar code when the lines are not printed sharply or evenly.

Rewritable Printing
Rewritable printing is to printers what rewritable CD’s are to CD burners. Any images printed on a rewritable card can be erased by being exposed to heat (230-320° F or 110-160° C). A typical PVC card can go through this process usually up to 500 times.

Lamination
Printing lamination is similar to the standard form of printing, whereby a material such as paper is covered in a protective plastic sheath. In printing, specifically in ID card printing, lamination is used in order protect card images from destruction, either accidental or deliberate. Such damage renders a card used for identification useless, or worst, if a card with an unrecognizable image is lost and found by somebody else, it can lead to identity theft. Evolis offers cards of this type in order to prevent against the types of forgery associated with damaged cards.

Holograms
It is also possible to apply holographic images to PVC cards. Cards with images are typically used by institutions that seek to avoid counterfeiting and forgery, such as banks or facilities that require an age limit for access. Holographic images cannot be duplicated with a standard Xerox machine, scanner or standard inkjet printer, which is why certain organizations opt to use them.

Magnetic Encoding
Magnetic encoding is a black stripe placed on the back of a card, usually bank cards. The particles in the magnetic encoding stripe hold binary information (1’s and 0’s) that a scanner, or reader, encodes when swiped. Evolis makes magnetic encoders that are able to create the magnetic stripes used by financial institutions.

Contact Cards or Smart Cards
Contact cards, also known as Smart Cards, are plastic cards fitted in an internal chip that can hold more than 100 times the amount of data that a magnetic stripe can hold. They are swiped much like a magnetic encoding card and also rewritable.

Contactless Cards
A contactless card is a card that holds information read through the transfer of microwave frequencies from a chip to the laminated plastic card. This mechanization means that the card doesn’t need to be swiped, but just passed nearby the scanning device (between 3-10 cm) and allows for quicker and more efficient access. Contactless cards can be used for a variety of applications, depending on the card model, and is common for access security, data storage and encryption.

Fargo DTC4000 Information and Specifications

Fargo’s line of single and dual-sided card printers/encoders are each designed with a specific set of tasks in mind. HID/Fargo designed this printer specifically for large organizations with more stringent security and volume requirements than were available with the DTC1000 printer. But the goal was not to cloud intuitive use, compatibility and flexibility with indecipherable technological advance and complexity, but rather to find a way where both ends could be met in one easy-to-use and advanced printer/encoder. And like other Fargo models, the DTC4000 represents an advanced generation of high quality specialization printers that efficiently carries out its tasks. Today’s consumer demands a high level of compatibility and so the DTC4000 serves on these expectations as a highly intuitive product requiring very little operational training. HID/Fargo sought to design a printer as simple as it was sophisticated. The DTC4000 is field upgradable, small and light, contains encoding options, is compatible with professional environments, has advanced security and encoding options.


Field Upgradability and Configurable Settings

The DTC4000 is field upgradeable and customizable in accordance with a breadth of complex projects and uses. Using the field upgradability feature you can toggle between single and dual-sided printing and adding magnetic stripe, HID proximity, iClass contactless and/or contact chip encoding functionality. It is also Ethernet compatible, which was optional with the DTC400e, DTC550, Persona C30e (now discontinued) and as a standard accessory with the DTC5000. Configuring the printer is very easy and completed via the standard window and tab combination. Once your printer is installed, you can simply open the Configuration Tab and select whether you want the printer set on Dual-Sided, Magnetic Encoder, Dual-input Card Hopper, or Input/Output Card Hopper, which, by the way, is a same-side card hopper. These advanced flexibility options mean that this model can serve a wide variety of industries and job descriptions, such as hospitals, schools, businesses, banks and legal and administrative institutions, not to mention the high tech industry.


Professional Compatibility

Its physical design is also ideally-oriented for office and institutional use, with dimensions making it compatible with most professional environments. The weight and dimensional specs of the single-sided printer are 8 pounds at 9.8 inches high, 17.6 inches wide and 9.2 inches deep, and the specs of the dual-sided printer are 10 pounds at 9.8 inches high, 18.2 inches wide and 9.2 inches deep, making it not much larger than a standard shoebox. At the same time, it comes with an optional same-side input/output card hopper accessory, which means that the DTC4000 can be inconspicuously placed in most places in your office.


Location

As long we’re discussing location, it is important to consider where placing your printer as there are some guidelines to consider. Like with other printers and most electrical machines, the printer should be placed in a location with sufficient air circulation, which prevents internal heat build-up. Keep in mind that although the printer is small, you should allow for enough room for people to walk in front of it when its covers have been opened. You should also avoid installing the printer in areas near heat sources such as air ducts or in front of a window where the printer will be exposed to direct sunlight. Also avoid placing it in areas of high dust accumulation or mechanical vibration. If the printer is brought directly from a cold to a warm, or a dry to a moist location, there may occur a build-up of moisture condensation, which can negatively affect the print quality. In such a case, unplug the printer and leave it in a dry room for several hours, which will cause the moisture to evaporate.


Security Options

The DTC4000 comes with a sophisticated security encoding system that includes password protection to allow only select and approved administrators to carry out print jobs and encode security badges and cards. It also comes with an Ultraviolet layer for an increased security level regarding the physical card once printed. This fluorescent panel works by producing grayscale holographic text and images that are only displayed when the card is placed under UV light and are excellent fraud-battling measures. This is part of what makes this printer appropriate for banks, other financial and governmental institutions. The DTC4000 can also be password protected at the printer so only approved operators can print and encode plastic security cards and badges.


Ribbons

A feature available only with the DTC4000 is the option to select the fluorescent panel ribbon. Mentioned briefly in the previous paragraph, the The YMCFKO (yellow, magenta, cyan, fluorescing, resin black)/YMCFKOK Ribbon is an cost-effective method to customize the security measures of your photo identification cards. You are even able to create a custom image to appear as a holograph on your cards.

The design of Fargo card printers necessitates highly specific supplies, such as ribbons, to function correctly, such as the one-piece disposable ribbon cartridge load system used by both the Fargo DTC1000 and 4000 models. While you are able to use supplies belonging to other printer brands, it is highly recommended to use only Fargo certified supplies, which will prolong the life of your printer and maximize its print quality. Using supplies belonging to other brands as well nullifies your warranty in locations not prohibited by law. Other warnings can be found in the DTC4000 User Guide.


Encoding Options

The encoding options and ISO standards, as discussed previously regarding field upgradability, can be changed easily in the traditional window and tab format, such as when printing a document. Encoding options include a 125 kHz (HID Prox) reader, a 13.56 MHz, compatible with iCLASS®, MIFARE®, ISO 14443 A/B, ISO 15693, a read/write encoder, in Contact Smart Code Encoder, ISO Magnetic Stripe Encoding and dual high- and low-coercivity. More information is available in DTC4000 User Guide.

Discontinuation of the Fargo C30e; Replacement with Fargo DTC1000

ID Security Online would like to announce the replacement of the Fargo C30e with the Fargo DTC1000. The two provide many of the same features and reliability that you've come to know and the only differences are several upgrades in the Fargo DTC1000. For example, the DTC1000 has a print speed of 24 seconds/per card for one-sided color prints, versus 27 seconds/per card in the older model, and 31 seconds/per card for double-sided color prints versus 35 seconds/per print in the Fargo C30e.

Standard Connectivity

The new model comes with a combination of Ethernet and USB, while the C30e came with the option for Ethernet as an accessory.

Memory

The C30e holds 2MB of RAM, in contrast to the DTC1000's 3MB.

Operating System Compatibility

The operating systems in common between both models are Windows 2000, Windows Server 2003, Windows XP and Linux, and the DTC1000 is also compatible with Windows Server 2008, Windows Vista (both 32- and 64-bit) and Windows 7 (both 32-and 64-bit).

The Commonalities

The features in common between both models are:
  • Single- or dual-sided printing capabilities
  • Direct-to-card and rewrite printing options
  • Accepted card thickness of 9-40 mil
  • Accepted card sizes of CR80 & adhesive-backed CR79
  • Input hopper capacity of 100 cards of 30 mil
  • Output hopper capacity of 30 cards of 30 mil
  • Magstripe encoding options of contact and contactless cards
  • Printer warranty of 2 years
  • Printhead warranty of 2 years plus unlimited passes
 
 
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