Category Archives: Glossary

New Litho Grade Graphic PVC Cards

PVC CardsIn April of 2012, Safe-Card ID is adding litho grade PVC cards as a lower priced option in our PVC cardstock lineup. The PVC cards are the same size and thickness of traditional ID cardstock. 3.375″ x 2.125″ or 85.6 mm x 54 mm. The cards are 30 ml thick which is the same thickness as a standard credit card.

These cards will run through card printers as any 30 mil image grade cards. These cards, however, are not inspected in the same way as our standard grade cards. Almosst all of the cards are perfect graphic quality, but the fallout rate may be little higher than industry standard as the cards are not 100% inspected prior to release. There may be an occasional scratch or flaw on some of the cards found in the package.

Our ID card specialists would be happy to speak with you by phone or live chat about your card project and whether this cardstock would meet your card printing needs. Feel free to contact them at 888-485-4696.

Mylar Backed Vs Paper Backed Adhesive Cards

There are multiple types and brands of adhesive backed cards. One popular use of these cards is to attach a ID card to an access card so that one card can be used. This helps employees and other card holders from having to keep track of multiple cards.

You may want to know what the similarites and differences are between mylar backed cards and paper backed cards. Following is a brief explanation:

Similaries between the mylar backed and paper backed adhesive cards include the actual end result. The outcome of printing on either cardstock is a printed 10 ml card with an adhesive on the back that can be adhered to any type of card, including an access card. Both cards come in either a CR-79 or CR-80 size.

Differences between the cards relate to the thickness of the card and the ease of printing. A paper backed card has a thin layer of paper attached to the back to hold the adhesive in the correct place and away from other cards until it is needed. This paper layer is very thin and these cards often will flex or jam in an badge printer as they go through printing. This will cause printing quality issues or will cause the printer to jam.

The Mylar card may still have the printing issues of the paper card, but it is less likely. The mylar is thicker and more rigid. This allows them to pass through the typical 30 ml printer easier than the paper counterpart.

To view these two products, visit our webstore at these links:

Paper backed 10 ml adhesive backed cards
Mylar backed 10 ml adhesive backed cards

Paper Backed and Mylar Backed Adhesive Cards

With the popularity of access cards in so many workplaces, their is often a need to combine both the access card and the photo ID card of the employee. Some access cards can be printed on, however, there are some cards that are non-printable. No matter which of these cards may be yours, there is sometimes a desire to be able to remove the ID card information from the access card at some point in the future.

With the advent of the adhesive card, an access card like the HID access card, can be both access and a custom printed ID. The adhesive card can be printed on using an ID card printer. Just as with a standard 30 ml card, the most ID card printers will print your card design on this 10 ml adhesive card. (Please check your printer owner manual to ensure capability and proper printer settings.

Once the card has completed printing, the paper or mylar backing on the card can be removed and the 10 ml PVC can be adheared to the access card.

For details about the cards, please see our product pages

10 ml Adhesive Cards
10 ml Adhesive Cards with Mylar

Please contact our ID card experts at 888-485-4696 for additional information about ID card products.

How an HID Prox Card Works

ISOPROX

A proximity card by HID is capable of storing embedded information inside. The information stored can be extracted and transmitted to a control system for processing. If the information transmitted lines up with the data stored in the control system, the system will provide an appropriate action, such as unlocking a door for a card holder.

The HID prox card, sized the same as your credit card, is part of a system that includes the cards, a card reader or readers, computer and an access control panel. Together, these components work together to act as a security officer in an organization to approve access to secure facilities or networks. Detailed, accurate reporting occurs with this system as the electronic devices log each transaction.

HID cards work as they carry an embedded binary code unique to the card holder. The code is referenced to the card holder in the database in the access system and is a specific sequence number that can be extracted by a card reader when swiped or held near the card reader.

The card reader connected to the access control system relays the sequencing for review when the card is held near. The control panel accepts the information and reviews it in a specific order to determine access eligibility. The data string is first reviewed for length. If that is correct, the binary code formatting is reviewed to determine if it can be recognized. With positive results, the system advances to review the facility code and the site code for positive matching results. If the card number is then confirmed in the database without restrictions on current time or location, the card holder is approved for access. The controller provides authorization to unlock the mechanisms restricting the door or network from opening.

The security personnel in charge of the software application have authorization to enter the database and update card holder information. Authorized people can configure the door access hardware to open and they can approve of the HID prox card entry at specific times. Reports for all activities can be generated as needed for management review.

Want to learn more about HID access cards and systems? Check out these links from our blog:

Using an HID card as an Identification Card

Tips for Printing on Your HID Card

Components of an Access System

Best Practices with HID Cards

Dye Sublimation Printing vs. Thermal Transfer Printing

Plastic ID card printers use two types of printing.  Thermal transfer printing and dye sublimation printing are used in both direct to card printers and retransfer printers.  Direct to card printers merge the image directly on the surface of the card.  Retransfer printing deposits the image on the back of a clear plastic film.  This film is then bonded to the surface of a plastic card.  Retransfer printing is the newest of these printing types and results in a better image result.  The card design is applied to specialized cards and does not require a perfectly smooth card as the direct to card printers require.

Thermal Transfer Printing

Thermal printing is when resin or ink is melted off of a printer ribbon and is directly transferred to the retransfer film or the surface of the card.  To melt the ink, a print head is used.  The print head has heated pins that are aligned across a ceramic plate.  In the correct sequence, the pins in the print head receive instructions to heat and release ink at just the right moment. The desired digital image created in the software is recreated on the card or ribbon.

Colored prints require the use of Y, M and C panels.  As each panel passes over the card, dots of color are released resulting in the completed image.  The K panel produces needed black printing on the card.  Dithering allows the dots of different colors to be placed close together to create a blended shade when observed.

Monochrome printing is also available.  This single color ribbon produces clear results with standard text and with bar codes.  Monochrome printing is completed at high speeds and is often used to customize a preprinted card.  The thermal ribbons provide durable print that resists fading. The resin dries quickly.

Dye Sublimation

Sublimation is when a solid is heated directly into a gaseous state.  The solid bypasses the liquid state during heating.  With this printing, the dye is heated to about 250 degrees Fahrenheit while the polymers in the PVC card are heated to 350 degrees.  The gaseous dye penetrates the plastic and as the card cools, the dye chemically bonds with the plastic card.

Crisp, sharp images are printed with dye sublimation printing.  Photographic images are printed with accuracy.  The higher heat levels allow more dye to be released into the card surface.  The result is the colors blend into a pleasing result as there is control over the opacity and transparency of the printing result.

Colors in this printing method are applied one panel at a time- the Y, M and C.  This type of print is prone to fading when exposed to UV rays from the sun.  Often a UV resistant topcoat is recommended to help protect the dye printed cards.

Components of an HID Access System

DUPROXHID card-based access control systems consist of four main compents. These are: HID Cards, card readers, access controllers and the host access control software program.

HID prox cards – Access control cards have embeded information inside that consist of a number of binary numbers. This information identifies the card holder to the access system. There are many configurations available with these cards that are used for different applications and provide security. Different options available can be used alone or in combination. Some of these options are iClass contactless smart cards, MIFARE, magnetic stripe, Wiegand and 125 kHx prox.

Card Readers – Card readers are designed to obtain the embedded information from the HID card and transmit it to the controller. The card reader is specific to the type of card that is set to the facility and cards that apply to the operation. The binary code is aquired, converted to a readable format and transmitted quickly for a access response.

Access Controllers – The control is where the granted access is provided or denied. The controller accepts the data sent from the card reader and it processes the data. By reviewing the length of the code and by reviewing it’s seperate parts, the controller scans the database for exact matches. If found, the controller allows access to be granted.

Access Control Software Program – This program is controlled by security personnel to authorize specific cards for specific access. Restrictions and privileges can be granted to specific card holders for various authorization and specific times. The program also allows personnel to change the configuration of the access control hardware so that various doors and security needs can be authorized. It is through this program that the doors can be monitored and reporting can be generated for managment needs.

Find out more information about HID card best practices.

HID Prox Cards – Best Practices

DUPROX
HID prox cards are used to provide security for physical and virtual assets of an organization. With the correct use of access control systems, the companies confidential areas can be tightly controlled from unauthorized users.

When implementing an access control system, it is important that the processes set in place facilitate the desired security levels. One of the places in the security process that is vulnerable is the HID prox card. Without proper handling and clear procedures, the card will not provide the security measures needed. For success with these cards, the following recommendations are provided for your review.

1. Make sure that old prox cards are voided immediately. If not voided, an unauthorized person could locate and use the card.

2. Authorize cards upon inital issuance. If cards are pre-validated and spare, the card can be used inappropriately.

3. Investigate situations where access is denied with a non standard denial response. “Card out of range”, “unrecognized,” and other responses indicating incorrect facility codes and formats indicate an illegally obtained card may have been used to attempt access.

4. Use security mechanisms on the card, such as a hologram, to discourage tampering with the card and increasing security levels.

5. Use RFID shield devices when appropriate.

6. Advise card holders to display their badge only when on company property.

A Slot Punch for Every Organization

slot punchesA slot punch provides the rectangular slot in the printed plastic ID badge so that it can be worn by use of a badge attachment such as a lanyard or badge reel. The punch will provide a consistent hole in a PVC card or an HID prox card without cracking the card.

Slot punches are manufactured with our without edge guides. The guide is an important device that allows for a consistent hole. The punch eliminated the guess work it takes to measure the center point of each plastic card when hole punching either a vertical or horizontal card. Use of a slot punch provides a uniform slot in each ID card that increases the professionalism of the printed card.

Hand held slot punches are designed for use in a small organization where only a few cards may be punched at a time. These punches are heavy duty and designed to last.

Stapler style slot punches are easier to use than the hand held punch. Designed like a stapler, this slot punch provides a professional hole with a push on the top lever of the punch.

Table top slot punches are the choice for many medium to large card production groups. The lever is easily pulled and the movement causes a consistence slot punch with ease.

The electric slot punch can be operated by electric operation directed from a foot switch. Insert the card and press the foot pedal with your foot to discover a perfectly punched ID card.

Slot punches are designed to restore themselves by spring load so that the punch is ready for the next card. The slot punch is a high quality product that is designed to last for many years.

Tips for Printing on Your HID Prox Card

PROXCARD
When printing from an ID card printer directly to your HID prox card (1386 cards), it is important to load your cards into the ID card printer hopper in the correct way. When the card prints and ejects the card from the printer, it is important that the image of the card is printed on the correct side with the correct edge at the top.

If you are going to be slot punching the HID prox card to wear the badge with a badge holder, punching the card correctly is critical. There are four small, usually blue, colored dots on the upper back side of the HID cards. The dots indicate where a slot punch can be safely placed.

If the HID card is slot punched at a different location than where the dots are located, the internal functioning of the card can be damaged. The internal electronic mechanics of the card run throughout the inside of the card. If part of the functioning pieces are damaged by the slot punch, the HID prox card will be non-functional.

Learn how to use an HID prox card as an identification card without directly printing on the card.

Using an HID Prox Card as an Identification Card

PROXCARDWhen you want to use a 1326 proximity or clam shell card as an access card and identification card, you can purchase a pressure sensitive overlay that can be printed on your ID card printer.

Depending upon the printer manufacture and printer specifications, you will need to purchase a 10 mil or a 24 ml pressure sensitive card or a 10 ml pressure sensitive card with a mylar back.

Directions for applying this card to the access card:

1. Using your direct to card printer, print a single sided photo ID card to the pressure sensitive card.
2. Before removing the backing, adjust your slot punch to align the hole in the pressure senstive card to the hole in the prox card.
3. Peel the backing and apply with printed card to the clamshell card.

The benefit of using the pressure sensitive card on the proximity card is that you can remove the pressure sensitive card and replace it with a new identification card when needed.

If you are using a HDP5000, this option is not available.

For more information about HID prox cards and photo ID card systems, visit our plastic card printer store online.