Uh-Oh! Ribbon Not Recognized on Your Trusty Fargo Printer?

HID_Fargo_Ribbon_Insert2

Ribbon insert provided by HID, indicated the need for a firmware update.

Hopefully, many of you are staying on top of your firmware updates. If you aren’t and have a Fargo printer, today is the day to catch up. HID Fargo has updated the RFID chip in their 442xx print ribbons. As you may know, the RFID chip ensures that you have genuine HID/Fargo ribbons, which assures warranty coverage and proper functioning, plus enables automatic ribbon sensing and settings for those who may switch ribbons periodically. As a result of this change, if you have a Persona C30 or PersonaC30e, you may find that your printer does not immediately recognize your new 442xx ribbon, making the printer unusable until the proper device firmware is loaded.

If this is the case, you simply need to update your printer’s firmware. (If you like to get ahead of potential pitfalls, this is also a great process to undergo–it will help you stay on top of important updates in the future!) This can be done by using the Fargo Workbench Utility to download and install any new firmware, as well as any driver updates. These steps will help you make this update smoothly:

  • If it is not already loaded on your PC, download and install the Fargo Workbench Utility from the HID/Fargo website here: http://www.hidglobal.com/drivers/15325;
  • Ensure your Fargo printer is connected and powered on, and that you have a “live” internet connection, then start/run Fargo Workbench
  • In the upper-right of the application screen is a drop-down box where you can select the Fargo printer you wish to work with (if you have only one, it should be pre-selected);
  • Click on the “Update Manager” icon in the upper-left of your screen;
  • Click the link to “Check for Updates” just under the Update Manager icon. Workbench will automatically connect to the HID/Fargo servers, and report any needed updates to either the printer drivers or the firmware.
  • If any updates are found, click the appropriate button to first “Download”, then to “Apply” the discovered updates. If both driver and firmware updates are available, we recommend applying the driver update(s) first, and then the firmware update.
  • If no updates are available, then congratulate yourself for avoiding trouble before it found you!

If you have already installed the most recent firmware and your printer still does not recognize your ribbon, or if you have trouble with any of the above, please call one of our experts at +1 704.535.5200 or +1 888.485.4696 (US & Canada). We’re happy to help!

New Linux Drivers for Evolis Printers

Linux Penguin

Evolis released new Linux drivers in December 2014 for the Zenius, Primacy, Quantum 1 & 2, Dualys 1/2/3, Tattoo 1 & 2, Pebble 2/3/4, and Securion printers. These drivers are now available with RPB or DEB installation packages for the 64 and 32 bit versions.

The new drivers for all of the printers listed above (as well as drivers for other operating systems) can be downloaded here. As a reminder, we recommend keeping your drivers up-to-date (and that you update your firmware at the same time!) to ensure that your printer operates at maximum efficiency.

As always, our experts are ready to help with any problems or questions and can be reached at +1-704-535-5200 or +1-888-485-4696.

Ending Promotions

It’s the last week of 2014! Which means that it’s time for me to remind you that Evolis’s Trade-In/Trade-Up and Fargo’s UpTrade 2014 promotions end on Wednesday. In order to get the most value for your current, sad printer, order your new printer by 12/31.

To order to for more information, call one of our experts at +1-704-535-5200 or +1-888-485-4696.

Evolis Trade-In/Trade-Up Promotion

Evolis Trade In As we approach the end of the year, many of you are assessing your needs for the upcoming year. If your printer has been on your naughty list this year, now is the time to act. Evolis has a very generous trade-in/trade-up promotion that, like Fargo’s UpTrade promotion (mentioned last week), is expiring on December 31, 2014.

If your printer is under-performing or you have any questions about this promotion, please contact one of our experts at +1-704-535-5200 or+1-888-485-4696.

Fargo UpTrade, C30e and DTC550 News

DTC550-left-300dpi

DTC550

We’ve received news that Fargo’s Persona C30e and DTC550 will no longer be supported. They have been discontinued for a while now, but parts for maintenance will no longer be produced after the end of the year.

This is a good time to remind everyone that HID Global’s current UpTrade promotion ends December 31, 2014. If you’re sitting on a DTC550 (or any other older printer) now is a great time to trade it in and take advantage of this program to get credit toward a great new Fargo machine.

If you have any questions about what printer might be best for you or how this change will affect you, don’t hesitate to call one of our experts at +1-704-535-5200 or +1-888-485-4696.

Asure ID 7.5

HID Global has recently updated Asure ID to version 7.5. The program can be downloaded online directly from HID, and is available as a free update for currently licensed users of Asure ID 2009, and Asure ID 7.x (users of Asure ID 5.x, please contact us for special upgrade pricing!).  For help installing the update and accessing new shortcuts and functions of Asure ID 7.5, HID has provided an updated user guide, which many users will find helpful. The update targets increased functionality and support for HID’s ever-expanding ecosystem.asure-id-7-solo Some highlights follow.

HID has updated the toolbar and application sidebar to more closely mirror recent Windows updates, making it more familiar for Windows users, as well as to accommodate the iClass SE Encoder capabilities. In addition, they have expanded database support, improved the configuration wizard for LDAP, enhanced template binding and Active Directory database connections, and expanded options for encoding timeout settings. These updates allow for increased customization and ease of use for database managers.

Data entry and management have become easier with Asure ID 7.5 too. Users can now save font sizes and font types for both table and record views, further increasing customization options. HID has introduced keystrokes to simplify data entry, including the capability to use the shift key to highlight multiple records. Asure ID 7.5 remembers the last crop location and size to make it easier to manipulate photographs and quickly produce photo IDs, extremely useful when the user’s image location is fixed. Additionally, a quick filter feature has been added to allow users to specify the order of entries. All of these updates aid in smoother, quicker data entry and management of databases and data records.

As HID expands their ecosystem to include embedded (within FARGO printers) and standalone iClass SE Encoders, they have updated Asure ID to allow for easier access control integration. Asure ID 7.5 enables users to utilize all of the features of the iClass SE Encoder, including the ability to register card data to compatible access control programs directly from the Asure ID, and to manage new card types.

As always, if you need assistance applying these updates, or if you should have any questions, you can call and speak with our experts at +1 888.485.4696 or +1 704.535.5200. We are always glad to help!

TrustID Software, New from UltraID

UltraID (parent company of Magicard) has released new badging software, TrustID.

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The software features drag-and-drop design, is compatible with any plastic card printer, and allows you to capture images from any camera right in the program. It comes in 3 tiers, each of which is available for a 30-day trial. If you’re in the market for a new badging software, give it a whirl. And let us know what you think!

TrustID Classic TrustID Professional TrustID Pro Smart
Drag-and-Drop card builder Conditional elements & layers Smart card encoding
Pre-defined template Multi-card layout + Everything in the Professional Edition
Single card design Integrated reporting
1D and 2D barcodes with 60+ integrated barcode formats User account management
Integrated database editor Password protection
Add custom & composite database fields Unlimited Record Internal Database
Integrated image capture + Everything in the Classic Edition
Import CSV and text database files
Print to any plastic card printer
Label templates and printer support
Live preview
Double-sided printing
Batch printing
Maximum 200 Record Internal Database
Magnetic stripe encoding

As always, call our experts at +1-704-535-5200 with any questions about pricing information (or anything else!) or concerns!

Retransfer vs. Direct-to-Card Printers

The announcement of Evolis’s Avansia retransfer printer raises a key question: What is the difference between a retransfer printer and a direct-to-card printer?

Short answer? It’s all about how your design is applied to the printable ID card. One transfers an image that has first been printed onto a thin film; the other prints directly onto the surface of the card (I know! I was surprised too! :) ).

I’ve broken this down into the 4 sub-questions I had when I was first investigating the difference. I really like to know how things work, but if you’re more interested in the differences than the inner-workings, feel free to skip the next section.

What are the methods and how do they work?

retransfer

Image via Ultra Magicard, maker of the Prima 4 retransfer printer.

With retransfer printers, your design (images and text) are printed onto clear film which is then thermally fused to a card, thus transferring your design to the card. This allows the entire image to be applied to the card at once.

On the other hand, direct-to-card printers place the images and text directly onto the card. This is done through a series of passes over the card, sequentially applying yellow, magenta, cyan and black ink (YMCK) to create virtually any color, followed by the application of a clear varnish overlay to protect the printed image.

What are the differences in results?

By laying the film over the card, a retransfer printer is capable of “over-the-edge” printing that maximizes the card’s surface area–if you want a background image that covers the entire card, this is how you get it. This film also acts as a protective barrier that renders the image slightly more durable.  A direct-to-card printer leaves a very thin border around edge, only 2mm or so wide. This is called “near-to-edge” printing, and if you are printing an ID for which the card color itself serves as the background color, this is more than sufficient for those needs.

HID Global, maker of the Fargo HDP5000, says that the retransfer printer creates a sharper, glossier image (a result of the gloss finish of the retransfer film; the clear varnish overlay applied by direct-to-card printers is a slightly matte finish). Plus, the retransfer process is more forgiving of slight imperfections in the card surface, which is important if you print proximity access cards, as there is often a slight “dimple” in the surface areas above and around the internal electronic components. This also is forgiving in situations where an inadvertent fingerprint might be on a card–laying the entire image down with the overlay will completely cover these slight imperfections.

A direct-to-card printer might not correctly render an image over a spot on the card in the desired color(s), or at all, should such imperfections exist. You can protect against some of the causes by ensuring that unused cards are handled carefully by the edges to prevent fingerprints on printable surfaces, and that they are stored in a clean and dry location to avoid dust and surface damage.

What are the similarities?

Both involve application of a full-card image via thermal print-ribbons to the card surface, the retransfer printer just includes an additional step.

Both create durable cards, but are still subject to wear—to get the maximum life out of your card, employ lamination options or protective badge sleeves or holders.

What materials are required?

Retransfer printers need clear retransfer film (on which the card design is printed then fused to the card) in addition to color or monochrome ribbons. Typical designations are: K, YMCK, YMCKK.

Direct-to-card printers use ribbons with an integrated varnish-overlay, applied as the last step in the print process, to protect the image from wear and fading in sunlight. Typically designations are: KO, YMCKO, YMCKO.

The Bottom Line

The retransfer printer helps you maximize your card’s surface, is a little more forgiving of imperfections, and are generally regarded as producing a better, glossier finished card. The direct-to-card printer removes the need for retransfer film and applies your design directly to the card, eliminating a step. Finally, retransfer printers frequently cost somewhat more than direct-to-card printers, so your budget will play a role in deciding which is right for your organization.

At the end of the day, which printer you need is always going to come down to what your own specific requirements are. Hopefully this will help you think through that process.

Questions? Concerns? Not sure what printer is best for you? Call our experts at +1-704-535-5200 or +1-888-485-4696.

New from Evolis: The Avansia

avansiaEvolis has introduced a brand-new printer, which is currently available for order!

The Evolis Avansia is a re-transfer printer, meaning that it prints first on film, then that film is fused to a card. This process creates cards that are less subject to wear than cards on which images are directly printed. Additionally, the printing process is less susceptible to card-surface imperfections that sometimes affect image quality on direct-to-card printers.

By using this method of printing, the Avansia printer provides extremely high resolution images (up to 600 dpi) and is capable of over-the-edge printing, maximizing use of your card’s surface area. Despite this advanced printing method, the Avansia still prints at a rate of 140 single-sided color cards per hour. And, thanks to options for magnetic stripe and contactless smart-card encoding, this new printer can satisfy even the most rigorous security needs.

This printer is designed for heavy use; it can operate in critical environments thanks to its airtight structure and is backed by a 3-year standard warranty as well as a life-time warranty on the printhead. The printer itself is also secure. It comes with a RFID electronic key, which can be removed to lock the printer, preventing any attempt at use, as well as a Kensington® type security slot and an optional mechanical key lock to prevent access to consumables.

MSRP on the Avansia runs from $5,195-$6,835 (depending on encoding modules included). To learn more, and to obtain our best pricing for your required configuration, call our experts at +1-888-485-4696 or +1-704-535-5200!

Evolis Discontinuing Spare Parts for Older Model Printers

trade in program

Trade in, trade up!

File this post under “Fair Warning.” Evolis has announced that they will no longer produce spare parts for the Tattoo1, Pebble, New Pebble, Pebble3, Dualys and Dualys2, all of which have been out of production for several years and replaced by newer models. Production of spare parts will cease October 30, 2014. You may order parts up until that date, but it’s important to note that if you have one of these models, your printer will no longer be supported in a few weeks.

If you know that you need a part, this is the time to order it. Alternatively, if you’re planning ahead, Evolis offers an excellent trade in-trade up program for these old printers. We’re happy to facilitate your trade in and save you money on an upgraded Evolis printer.

If you have any questions about your printer and how this will affect you, please call one of our experts at +1-888-485-4696 or +1-704-535-5200.