The cardstock put into an ID-card printer must meet certain requirements in order to produce consistently high-quality cards, time after time.
First of all, the cards must be of the right dimensions. The standard PVC card used for ID-cards and card printers is the CR80 card.
Once the correct size card is obtained, it is critical that the cards are high quality and clean, so that the printer is not damaged and the card output is the best possible. Following are some things to pay attention to when obtaining new cards for your printing needs.
- Look for jagged edges on the card. Some manufacturers may use production methods that do not make a sharp cut during the card punching process. An example of this, may be using a dull card die. The rough, jagged edges that result are not friendly to the ID card printer process.
- Dirty card surfaces. Some manufacturers may have poor quality-control in their card production area. Due to static charges, dirt and debris in a production room tends to be attracted to and cling to PVC cards. This residue on a card may become trapped on the card during the printing process, leading to poor print quality, and an unprofessional look
- Burrs on the card edge. The additional plastic or rough edge that is found on PVC cards of low quality can cause problems, snagging on the otherwise smooth ribbon, or possibly scratching the print-head.
With these card imperfections leading to the potential for print-head damage, they should not be used in any ID-card printer. You can identify a damaged print-head by a visible white-line running the full-width of a card after printing. And, with replacement print-heads costing $450 and up, “cheap” cards may turn out to be the most expensive cards you ever buy!
Safe-Card ID provides ID card printer systems and supplies to make simple and complex ID cards. And at Safe-Card ID, we sell only the highest quality, US-manufactured PVC cards, available in our web-store or by calling our ID card experts toll-free at +1 888.485.4696 (US & Canada).