Card Handling Tips

ID-card printers, whether direct-to-card or re-transfer type, use CR80 pvc cards to make quality, secure identification cards for organizations and businesses of all sizes. Production of ID cards is very simple, but ID printer operators should still observe a few simple suggestions in their handling and storage of the PVC cardstock.

The following are some tips for keeping the cards in great condition prior to use:

  1. Card storage: Always store unused cards in their original package and/or in a dust free environment.
  2. Keep the card-hopper closed: By it’s nature, PVC carries a static charge, which will act like a “dust magent”. Air contains dust, so allowing cards to remain exposed to open air will result in dust on your cards.
  3. Avoid card contamination: Always handle cards by their edges – ONLY – and without touching the printable surfaces of the card. Dust, residual body-oils, moisturizing lotions, fingerprints and dirt are easily transferred to the cards, which then negatively affects the output quality.
  4. Never (knowingly) use dirty cards: If cards have been dropped or handled in a way that would allow dirt and dust to come in contact with, and adhere to the surface of the card, it is best to dispose of those cards. If you must use them, keep a can of compressed air handy and the, handling the cards only by their edges, blow off the printable surfaces.
  5. Never attempt to print a card a second time: As tempting as it may be, you must not put a previously printed card through any ID-card printer a second time. All ID-card printers apply either a clear varnish overlay, or heat-transfer a film to the card surface. In either case, applying heat and varnish or film a second time will partially melt the previously applied layer, leading to jams, torn ribbons or film, and fouling the print-head or transfer rollers. Of course, professionally pre-printed cards, specifically manufactured to permit printing with desktop plastic-card printers are not subject to this restriction.

Clean, appropriately handled cards will provide a longer lifespan of printers and print-heads, and will allow you to produce of the best quality ID-cards.

Safe-Card ID provides ID-card printer systems and supplies to make simple or complex ID-cards. PVC cards of all types, sourced only from ISO-certified US manufacturers, can be found on our website, or by contacting our ID-card experts toll-free at +1 888.485.4696 (US & Canada).

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