Category Archives: Evolis Printer

Clean Your Evolis Primacy using the Print Center

To maintain warranty coverage for your original or replacement Evolis Primacy print-head, Evolis requires that certain printer cleaning procedures and intervals be observed. The printer automatically tracks the number of prints and cleaning cycles that are performed – but the cleanings must be performed properly in order to be logged for subsequent retrieval by technicians, one of ours or one of Evolis’s.

There are two types of cleanings that must be performed at regular intervals:

  1. A “regular” cleaning every 1,000 cards. This consists of running a “sticky” cleaning card through the printer, followed by manual cleaning of the print-head with a special foam-tipped cleaning swab that is saturated with IPA alcohol.
  2. An “advanced” cleaning every 5,000 cards. This consists of running a special IPA alcohol soaked “T-card” through the printer, followed by performance of the “regular” cleaning, as above.

While not required, we recommend removing and cleaning the built-in cleaning roller each time that the ribbon is changed.

RECOMMENDED CLEANING PROCEDURE:

To ensure that the cleaning cycles performed are accurately captured and logged, we recommend using the cleaning wizard integrated within the Evolis Print Center utility program and completing the seven steps listed below:

  1. Ensure that the printer you wish to clean is connected to the normal/host PC, is powered on and “ready”, and that there are no print-jobs in the printer queue (via Windows’s “Devices and Printers” menu).
  1. Open the Evolis Print Center utility program – you should see a status window similar to this:  EV_Prt_Ctr_Std_ViewTroubleshooting: If the printer is “Offline”, verify that the printer is firmly plugged in and that it is powered on. If the printer is “Not Supervised by Evolis Print Center”, right-click on the Printer Name (i.e., “Evolis Primacy”), and select “Enable Supervision”.
  1. When the printer status is “Ready”, right-click on the Printer Name (“Evolis Primacy”), then select “Properties”. This will launch a secondary window that looks like the one below (note that we have selected the “Cleaning” view in the left menu bar):EV_Prt_Ctr_Cleaning_View**Note: this view provides information regarding the number of cards remaining to be printed before the next required cleaning, the overall card-counter at the time of the last cleaning, and the number of regular cleanings and of advanced cleanings performed since new. It will also display whether the Warranty Cycle has been properly observed and remains in force.
  1. To begin a cleaning cycle, click on “Proceed with Cleaning” in the left menu bar. The wizard will then present the cleaning options:EV_Prt_Ctr_Cleaning_Wiz1
  1. Click the “Start cleaning” button in the appropriate section. This will launch the cleaning wizard, as in the example of the regular cleaning process (below).EV_Prt_Ctr_Cleaning_Wiz2
  1. Proceed through the cleaning process by following the instructions on each page of the Cleaning Wizard then clicking the “Next >” button to continue on to the next step. Once you have proceeded through all of the cleaning steps, you will be presented with the “Finish” screen shown below. Clicking the “Finish” button will return you to the main properties menu shown in Step 3.
    EV_Prt_Ctr_Cleaning_Wiz5
    **Note: If you have executed the Advanced Cleaning process, return to the “Proceed with Cleaning” section shown in Step 4 to follow the advanced cleaning with the Regular Cleaning process.
  2. To be sure that the cleaning DID register properly, return to the “cleaning” menu screen shown in Step 3 to verify that the value in “Next cleaning in:” has been reset to 1000.

When all steps have been performed, ensure that you reload the printer with cards and ribbons, and then reset the card thickness gauge to the appropriate setting for your cards (we recommend a setting slightly above the actual card thickness so, for a 30 mil card, a setting of 32-33 is most appropriate).

As always, if you should have any questions or problems, our technicians are available at no cost to our clients by phone at +1 704.535.5200.

The Value of High-Quality Printer Consumables

It is always important to buy high-quality consumables for your ID Card Printers from authorized dealers in order to get the best life and results from your machine. At Safe-Card ID Services, we are one such dealer, but there are lots out there; find a dealer you trust!

Less reputable dealers may offer cards and ribbons that are “compatible” with your printer, but are not certified. While you may find that they can offer these at a discount, it’s a cost-cutting measure you may pay for down the road. In the last couple of months we have seen a local company ruin multiple print-heads by using sub-standard cards. Not only was this an inconvenience that interrupted their card production, it was costly, as printer manufacturers’ printer warranties do not cover the print-head if it is damaged due to the use of poor-quality or non-genuine consumable items.

Flaws common to poor-quality cards include the presence of foreign objects (dirt, dust, hair, and plastic particles) irregular sizing and thickness, and jagged cut edges. In the best-case scenario, use of such cards will require more frequent printer cleaning–to remove those foreign objects from your printer. The worst-case scenario results in physical damage to the printer, and specifically the expensive print-head.

Problems you may see with poor-quality ribbons: they may not be compatible with RFID sensors, or printer firmware updates, leading to “no ribbon” or “unknown ribbon” errors, and preventing its use. Also, non-genuine ribbons often are made with sub-standard materials, leading to low-quality images, rendering of colors inconsistently, ribbons tearing and sticking to card surfaces, all of which can also cause damage to the print-head.

All printer manufacturers stipulate that the use of non-branded or low-quality materials can void printer and print-head warranties. While great online deals can be tempting, it is important to make sure that the materials are of high quality – both to preserve your device warranty, and to ensure the best possible output.

The bottom line: be sure to inspect materials before using them. A broken printer costs more to replace or repair than you could ever save with aftermarket or “gray-market” supplies. So find a trustworthy, authorized dealer for your printer consumables, and rest assured that your printer investment will be protected.

Evolis Primacy – How to Do a Routine Printer Cleaning

The following video provided by Evolis provides manufacturer instructions illustrating how to complete a routine printer cleaning with a cleaning card.

1. Open the printer lid on the top of the printer.
2. Remove the print ribbon.
3. Close the lid.
4. Open the card input hopper.
5. Remove all blank cards.
6. Shift the card thickness gauge to “MAX”.
7. Remove the adhesive strip from the cleaning card.
8. Place the cleaning card in the input hopper and leave the hopper door open.
9. Press the power button twice.
10. The card will be automatically cycled through the printer and ejected into the output hopper.
11. Remove the card from the output hopper and close the card output hopper.
12. Open the printer lid.
13. Replace the print ribbon and close the lid.
14. Return unused cards to the input hopper.
15. Return the thickness gauge to its correct setting and close the hopper door.

For information about the Evolis Primacy printer, please contact our ID card experts at +1 888.485.4696.

New Evolis Drivers for Mac and Windows

Evolis has announced that Evolis Premium Suite (for Zenius, Primacy, and Elypso) and Badgy Premium Suite (for Badgy 100 and Badgy 200) are available for both Mac OSX (version 6.2.1.65) and Windows (version 6.18.0.688).

Updating your driver allows you to take advantage of the latest improvements and get the most out of your Evolis printer. Additional information about Evolis firmware, drivers, and driver history can be found here.

As a reminder, you should always update your firmware with your drivers. You can do that at the link provided above.

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.

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.

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!