Your organization’s security and identification
requirements are unique to your individual specifications, and the ID card
printer you decide to choose needs to be up to the task or meeting or exceeding
those expectations and specifications. So how do you narrow down your choices from the myriad
of ID card printer systems available today? Your answers to the following 3
questions will provide you with a guide to choose the best option to meet your
Whether you’re the subject of the photo or the person
behind the camera, there’s an art and science to taking the best photo ID
pictures for use on security badges, driver’s licenses, passports, and other forms
of photo ID. And whether you’re the subject or the photo taker, you
want to present the best possible photo. Especially for company IDs that
employees are required to wear, you want your company represented
professionally, and that starts with a professional head shot for your photo ID
You may think taking the following shortcuts will save
you time and even money, but you’d be surprised what it might add up costing
you in the end. If you have hundreds of ID cards to print that need to
be attached to a lanyard, you understand the draw of pre-punched slot cards.
Who has the time to hand-punch hundreds of cards? But this one little short cut
can cause serious damage if you have a direct-to-card printer.
If you’re like many businesses today, you rely on your
ID cards for access control, authentication, and identification purposes. Any
down-time in your current ID card printing system is a loss of productivity
that has ramifications far beyond inconvenience. A common response is to wonder
if it’s time to trade in your old ID card printer. Many of our customers ask us this important question for a variety of reasons.
If you are using magnetic stripe data in your ID
security card system, there may be many advantages to switching to contactless
cards, safety being the primary benefit. Especially for campuses, moving to a contactless
card can give you the option of storing volumes of information and making
global updates and changes to that information from a central location. In addition to ID cards, contactless technology
can be used in keychain fobs, watches, and cell phones.
Retractable badge reels have become one of the most
popular ways to both display ID security cards and still be able to swipe,
scan, or read information on the card without having to remove the card from
someone. Their small size makes them convenient to clip on your belt, a pocket,
or some other piece of clothing for easy access. The retractable cord slides
simply and easily in and out of the badge reel when you need to use your ID
security card for access, to pay for something, or to show your credentials.
The life expectancy of ID card printers can vary
widely based on several variables that affect their performance. For example,
how many cards you print annually, how often your print, and how often you
service or maintain your ID card printer will have an effect on how long it
will last. This is why no ID printer manufacturer will ever state how many
cards their printer is expected to print over its lifetime. There are just too
many things that can affect its longevity.
Like most investments, proper care and maintenance can prolong the life of your ID card printer. A proper cleaning can keep print quality high and reduces the likelihood of performance issues later on.
But how often should you clean your printer?
It’s generally recommended that you clean your ID card printer every 700 to 1,000 cards printed. Refer to your card printer manual for manufacturer-specific instructions, but this is a good guideline to follow. If you notice any of the following signs, however, you might need to clean your printer sooner rather than later.
Choosing the right ribbon for your card printer can
help you save a lot and increase your card production rate significantly. This
is particularly true if you are printing your cards in color.
Most card printer users purchase a standard YMCKO
color ribbon to print their ID cards and badges and it does make sense for full
color single-sided badges. However, if your card application requires color on
the front and black on the back, a YMCKO-K ribbon is a lot more cost-efficient.
This ribbon is specifically designed for dual-sided card printers and includes
an extra Black panel that is used to personalize the back of your cards. A typical application is an organization
looking into printing employee badges with a photo ID, text, logo and
background on the front and the company’s contact information in black on the
you purchased an ID card printer, you might be part of the vast majority who
buy “Basic” printers: no encoding, single-sided capabilities, USB only.
printers are perfect to personalize ID badges with names, pictures, logos and
barcodes. But what happens if one day, you are asked to print and encode
magnetic cards or if you need a dual-sided printer to add more information on
the back of your cards? Should you just get another printer?
is the thing with card printers today: many machines can easily be upgraded
onsite! Let’s say you have a single-sided printer and you want dual-sided
capabilities, you can get an upgrade kit and do it yourself in no time! With
some card printer manufacturers, this can be done with an activation key or a
special upgrade ribbon.
you want to print color badges, you will need a color ribbon but if you look
closer at the options, you will find YMCKO ribbons and Half-panel YMCKO
ribbons. What’s the difference?
ribbons are standard color ribbons. YMCKO stands for Yellow, Magenta, Cyan,
Black and Overlay. The printer uses the YMC panels to print in full color, the
Black (K) panel to print in real black and then applies a clear coating overlay
(O) to create durable plastic badges.
color ribbons are different: the Yellow, Magenta and Cyan panels are half the
size of the regular panels of a YMCKO ribbon. The K (Black) and O (Overlay) are
full size panels. This means that up to
half of the card can be printed in full color while black text or images can be
printed anywhere on the card.
You are trying to print your badges
but your ribbon keeps breaking. The good news is that this issue can easily be
- The first step is to clean your card printer. Follow the
recommendations of your card printer manufacturer to clean printer and
printhead. Dust and debris can damage your printer and considerably impact
Your card printer and card
application will determine which ID cards are right for you.
Here are a few tips when choosing
- Card thickness: ID card printers will only
accept specific card thicknesses. Most printers are built to print 30mil cards
(thickness of a credit card) so if you need to personalize thinner cards
(10-20mil), check the specs of your printer.
Taking care of your blank white cards is critical to get
the best quality at every print. Dust and debris on your cards can easily damage your ID
card printer and result in poorly printed cards.
To make sure that you get the best out of your blank PVC
cards, follow these steps:
- Store your packs
of cards in a clean, dust-free environment. Keep your cards in a temperature controlled area to
avoid extreme heat or cold.
- Unpack your cards
only when you are ready to use them. Do not use a sharp object to open the shrink wrapping to avoid scratches
on your cards.
card printer is an investment that needs to be protected. If you want to extend
the life of your ID card printer, ensure optimal performances and premium print
quality, you need to follow a few recommendations.
- Clean your printer regularly! All printer manufacturers offer specific cleaning
kits for every model. To ensure a thorough clean without damaging your printer,
always comply with the instructions listed in your printer manual.
To find the right cleaning kit for your printer model,
use IDSecurityOnline’s printer supplies selector.