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.

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.

Zebra ZXP Series 1 and Series 3 Windows® Driver Maintenance Enhancements

While this post and these updates are specific to Zebra ID card printers, this is a great time to remind all of you to check periodically for firmware and driver updates for your ID printers, regardless of make or model. While some of the updates seem minor, manufacturers constantly tweak their products to make sure they work as well as possible. The updates can include anything from fixes for bugs to support for new features to improvements in speed or print quality, which we all want!

This particular update from Zebra is to Version 5.30.00 and is available on the printer pages for their ZXP Series 1 and Series 3 printers. The update will also be included on driver CDs included with all printers manufactured starting September 2014.

The update improves network printing performance and resolves some previous driver release issues. These and other changes are detailed in the release notes that accompany the driver updates at the links provided above. These notes are brief and provide some helpful extra information, so they’re worth checking out if you have one of these printers (they may even help address a concern  you’ve had with your printer!).

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!

Coming Soon: Evolis Badgy200!

Badgy200 and consumable pack

The Badgy200 Solution

 

Evolis has announced that this fall a new line of their Badgy card printer will be available. The original Badgy was named New Product of the Year 2013 by the Boss Industry Awards given by the BOSS Federation, the trade association serving the UK office supplies and services industry. We hope this indicates good things for the updated version coming out in the next few weeks. The Badgy200 will be an economical solution for small-scale printing needs, allowing education, corporate, and leisure organizations to print in-house, thus saving money and offering instant results.

 

Badgy200
95 cards/hour (~38 seconds/card)
Edge-to-edge printing
Evolis Badge Studio® + included
100 print consumable pack included
Energy Star® certified
Single side printing (re-insert card for reverse-side printing)
Wide selection of templates available for card design
PC & Mac Compatible
1 year standard warranty

 

As you can see, the Badgy200 is a good entry-level card printer solution. Evolis Badge Studio®+ allows you to print from a database, making it easy to retain information for reprinting cards and to organize your card printing in batches. The consumable pack sets you up with a ribbon and 30 mil CR-80 PVC cards (100), so you’ll be able to start printing immediately upon set up.

This printer is designed to set up in the same manner as a desktop printer, making it easy for anyone familiar with office equipment to get running quickly.

If you’ve been looking for a budget card printing solution, this new offer from Evolis may be a good fit. As always, to make sure the needs of your organization are met, call Safe-Card ID at +888-485-4696 OR +705-535-5200 for a free consultation with one of our experts! We look forward to hearing from you!

The Basics of Determining Which Type of Ribbon You Need

Let’s face it. There are a lot of options when you’re looking at printer ribbons. Sure, it can be pretty straightforward to determine whether you need a black monochrome (K) ribbon or a full color (YMCK) ribbon, but then you run into the Os, Ts, Fs, and other permutations of the color spectrum. This guide should help you sort through these options.

This is a great place for me to remind you, however, that you are always welcome to call us (toll-free: 1-888-485-4696) and have an expert walk you through this choice. Our first priority is getting you the equipment you need. For those of you who (like me) are a little averse to calling and would rather read, this (lengthy) one is for you:

Step 1: Determine what kind of printer you have. This is crucial to making sure that you get the right ribbon. These are even among the first questions we’ll ask you if you call!

a) The brand of the printer will determine the ribbon brand you need.
b) The model (i.e., Evolis Primacy) will determine what kinds of ribbons you can use.
c) If you have a single-side or dual-side printer, you will need ribbons that are compatible.
d) If you have a laminating module (if you have a Fargo DTC4500e with a laminating module you need different ribbons than if you have a Fargo DTC4500e without one!)

Step 2: Find out if you need ribbons that will print in multiple colors or just one. We have monochrome (one color!) ribbons available in a variety of different colors, so if you need something that you don’t see on our website, just call and we’ll help you out.

It may be tempting to order a full color ribbon “just in case” since black and other individual colors are included, but if all you need is a monochrome black ribbon, you’ll save yourself a lot of money if you just order the K or KO ribbon. In addition, if you are printing barcodes or QR codes, scanners will not consistently read black print that is derived from a combination of yellow, magenta, and cyan (YMC).

 

KO

Black Monochrome with Overlay Labeling

 

One more piece to consider in this step: on what color cards will you be printing? If you have bold or dark color cards, regular color or black ink will not be accurately rendered, so you want to look at a metallic monochrome such as silver, gold, or white-resin, to make sure that your content is clearly visible.

Step 3: Dual or single side printer. If you have a single side printer, you should steer clear of anything with a repeated color (YMCKK, YMCKOK, and YMCKTK are the most common). This extra K (black monochrome) indicates that your ribbon can print color on the front and monochrome black on the back in a single pass, which makes it perfect for most dual side printing. In our product descriptions, we’ve clearly indicated which ribbons can only be used for dual side printing to help you avoid this.

 

YMCKOK

Dual Side Full Color/Black Ribbon with Overlay Labeling

 

Luckily, for many folks, a YMCK(O/T) ribbon will work. While it looks like this will only print on one side, your dual side printer will simply use a second set of panels to print on both sides. What’s important to remember about this is that your dual side printer will only get half as many cards as the number of images indicated on the product page (because each side of the card counts as a different image).

**Reminder: If you’re printing a barcode on the back, make sure to set your print driver to only use the K panel when rendering full-black images on the back—barcode readers won’t consistently read the “composite” black mentioned above.**

 

YMCKO

Full Color Ribbon with Overlay Labeling

 

Step 4: Determine what method your printer uses to get the color onto the card. There are two common ones.

a) Direct-to-Card printing: This method transfers ink directly to the card. If you print in color, and don’t have a separate UV overlay that you’re applying, make sure to purchase a ribbon that includes an overlay (O) panel. The UV resistant overlays and varnishes protect the color images on your cards, which will otherwise fade in as little as a few days when exposed to direct sun.
b) Transfer printing: This method prints a reverse image on the underside of the film then fuses the film to the card, negating the need for the overlay panel included on many ribbons (the transfer-film IS the overlay too).
c) I know! I said two! But lamination isn’t a method of getting ink onto your cards. It does, however, provide protection for your image and also keeps you from needing a separate overlay panel on your ribbon cartridge. So if, for example, you’re using an HDP5000 with the laminating option, you can use just the YMCK ribbon, with the lamination layer serving as your UV shield.

This covers the basics of what you need to know to order ribbons for your card printers. If your business has more advanced needs (such as holographic film or fluorescing ribbons), please call to speak to one of our experts at 1-888-485-4696. If you have follow-up questions or would just like more information about a specific option, drop a note in the comments.