Extend the Life of Your ID Card Printer

ID-card printer life expectancy varies widely depending on how the printer is used and maintained. Factors affecting longevity include:

  1. The type of printer (retransfer vs. direct-to-card)
  2. The number of cards printed annually.
  3. How frequently the printer is used.
  4. How often the ID card printer is serviced or maintained.
  5. How well employees/users are trained on printer use.
Extend the Life of Your ID Card Printer

Since all printer users and circumstances are different, manufacturers can’t state how many cards their printer is expected to print over its lifetime or how long it will last. Most manufacturers offer a 2-year warranty on their ID card printers, so most printers will last at least that long (and probably well beyond that point in most normal-use cases).

How to Extend Your ID Card Printer’s Life Expectancy

Here are some proven practices that help you get more longevity from your printer:

  1. First, if your circumstances warrant a more professional system, choose a retransfer printer rather than a direct-to-card printer—retransfer printers offer a lifetime print-head warranty.

  2. Train every employee on how to use the printer properly—including changing ribbons, managing supplies, avoiding/fixing card jams, and other essential precautions and procedures. Training eliminates some of the damage and fatigue caused by improper use.

  3. Use your ID card printer only in a clean and temperate environment. Avoid operation in dust, humidity, oil, and any extreme temperatures. Cover your printer with a dust cover when not in use, and keep the temperature regulated between 65 degrees and 90 degrees Fahrenheit with minimal humidity.

  4. Use the printer manufacturer’s genuine ribbons and laminates. Factory-authorized ribbons are designed specifically for each printer model, and their use enhances performance.

  5. Handle blank cards with clean gloves to eliminate dirt, oil, and other debris that can damage the printhead. Store blank cards in their box away from dust, dirt, and oil that can compromise cards and card printers. Use high-quality ("graphic-quality" or "video-grade quality") plastic ID cards, which have a clean surface that optimize image quality. Dust and debris degrade card print quality and can damage the printhead.

  6. ID card printers are sophisticated machines and somewhat delicate. So, never force anything in or out of the printer. If something is stuck or broken, call IDSecurityOnline for instructions and a proper remedy.

  7. Clean your printer regularly. The manufacturer’s operation manual has suggested cleaning and maintenance schedules. Use the manufacturer’s cleaning kit, which is designed specifically for that ID card printer. All card printers require regular cleaning as an essential part of ongoing maintenance. Lack of prescribed cleaning may void the printer’s warranty, and lead to printhead damage or card-feeding errors.

  8. Purchase a maintenance plan with IDSecurityOnline. Our factory-trained technicians have the tools and expertise to work on these machines. Your ID card printer will run much better and longer with expert care.