This tech-tip is intended to help resolve card feed problems with Evolis Tattoo2, Evolis Pebble4 and Evolis Dualys3 plastic card printers. Some of the remedies may also apply to other Evolis printers, and those from other manufacturers.
Plastic card printers may have instances when they will not feed cards consistently from their card input hoppers. This can occur when there are just a few cards in the hopper. But it is more common when their card hoppers are full.
Usually, the cause is not with the printer itself. Rather, the problem most often is the result of the cards being difficult to separate.
Card Feed Problems – Remedies:
Before attempting remedies, remember to handle blank plastic cards carefully, and only by their edges. This will prevent the transfer of lint, dust, and residual body-oils from your fingertips. The presence of any of these contaminants can result in poor print-quality.
- Remove the cards from the input hopper and fan out or shuffle them to break any static-bond, and to dissipate natural static charge
- Check the card thickness gauge and set just slightly more than your blank cards’ thickness. For example, if the cards are 30 mils thick, adjust approximately 32 or 33 mils.
- Clean the card intake roller with alcohol wipes and/or an IPA alcohol cleaning card. Both are included in the Evolis #A5021 UltraClean printer cleaning kit.
- Ensure the cards are stacked properly in the card hopper, and that there are no obstructions that might prevent the printer from extracting them.
Need further assistance or more info?
Safe-Card ID Services offers our clients free telephone-based tech support for the life of all printers sold. For additional assistance, or other information about all Evolis printers, please contact our ID-card experts toll-free at +1 888.485.4696 (US & Canada), or +1 704.535.5200 (elsewhere).
Based in Angers, France, Evolis is a leading global manufacturer of quality plastic card printers.
Here’s a problem that occasionally is presented to our technical staff: An Evolis Pebble or Evolis Dualys printer won’t feed a card.
Most Likely Causes when a Printer Won’t Feed a Card:
- Printer needs a cleaning
- Cards sticking together
- Thickness gauge set too narrow
- Hopper not completely inserted
- Cards not loaded properly in hopper
- Worn card input roller
More details and suggested steps for resolution:
- Needs cleaning: As you use the printer, with each new card inserted, minuscule amounts of dust, lint, and card-manufacturing remnants go into the printer with the card. The printer transport rollers are sticky or tacky to the touch specifically so they can move the card forwards and back during printing. Over time, these contaminants adhere to the rollers which can make them slip on glossy card surfaces. Each cleaning of the printer should consist of using an IPA alcohol impregnated cleaning card, followed by an IPA soaked cleaning wipe, and then finally a pass on the print-head with an IPA alcohol foam-tipped swab. These items are included with a standard Evolis UltraClean Cleaning kit #A5021.
- Card sticking together: This can occur for a variety of reasons, but the most common is static cling. Yes, the force of nature that makes your socks stick to your dress in a dryer, can make PVC cards stick to one-another. If the static bond is stronger that the force imparted on the card by the transport roller, then the printer won’t feed a card. Fortunately, you need only to break the static bond to get things going again. Handling the cards only by their edges, manually separate and shuffle the cards, then reinsert them in the card hopper. The mere act of separating them will dissipate the charge and the cards should feed normally.
- The card-thickness gauge is manually set, and is located just behind the top cover of the printer – between it and the card-hopper. There are a series of graduation marks on the gauge. Slide it right or left to set a thickness appropriate for your cards. We recommend setting the gauge to a thickness just a bit larger than your cards. So, if you’re using standard 30-mil cards, set the gauge to about 32-33. Setting this properly ensures cards will be pulled more consistently, should they have slight warping or are slightly thicker than normal.
- If the card input hopper is not fully seated, it can also cause mis-feeds or no feed at all. Remove the card hopper, check for and clear any obstructions, then re-seat the card hopper. Press down firmly to ensure it is seated fully.
- If the card hopper is not loaded properly, cards will not feed into the printer. Remove the card hopper, then remove and re-insert the cards to ensure they are placed properly. This is also a good time to check for any card static-cling issues, as in #2, above.
- Last, but not least, you could have a worn card intake roller. With age and use, the input and transport rollers of all card printers are subject to wear and degradation. The rollers will become hard and slick over time, making it difficult for them to do their jobs. They CAN be replaced, but the labor-portion of such a repair can be very high. This is because it requires the full disassembly and reassembly of the afflicted printer. Contact our service department for more information, should this be the case.
Need more info?
For more information about Evolis card printers – the Evolis Pebble or the Evolis Dualys, contact our ID-card experts toll-free at +1 888.485.4696 (from the US or Canada), or +1 704.535.5200 (elsewhere).
If you have an Evolis Dualys printer, you are most likely using it to produce custom printed cards designed for dual-side printing. We have seen instances where the Dualys3 will print the first side on one PVC card, then use a second card to print the back side of the card. Obviously this is incorrect, as the intent is to have both images printed on opposite sides of a single card. Fortunately, there is a simple fix.
(note – you must have elevated privileges on your associated Windows user-id to be able to make this change to the print-driver)
To access the screen where you can make the required changes, follow these steps:
- Access Windows’ “Devices and Printers” view (“Printers and Faxes” if still operating under Windows XP). This is accessible through Windows Control Panel, or you can type the string within the quotes in the Windows search box.
- Find the instance of the Evolis Dualys print-driver within the “Printers” section; right-click on the icon, then select “Printing Preferences”.
- In the resultant pop-up window, ensure that the “Graphics” tab is selected.
Now that you are in the right place, follow the 5 steps as outlined, and in the image below:
Setting the Evolis Dualys Printing Preferences:
- Ensure your have the proper ribbon selected (“R3314 – 6-panel colour ribbon – YMCKOK”, if printing color front-side images, and black-only back-side images; otherwise, select the ribbon appropriate for your card configuration).
- To the right of the ribbon selection box, make sure the box is checked for “Dual-side Printing”.
- In the drop-down box to the right of the check-box, set your card-print configuration (“Front YMCKO / back K” if using the R3314 ribbon).
- Click on the “Apply” button at the lower-right of the window.
- Click on the “OK” button at the lower-middle of the windows.
Finally, reset the printer by disconnecting the power for 5 seconds, then re-applying the power. When the printer comes back to a ready state, you may resume printing.
Need More Info?
The Evolis Pebble and Dualys printers were mainstay printers for Evolis through 2012, and are now replaced by the Evolis Primacy Simplex and Primacy Duplex series printers. For more information and support for all Evolis printers, contact our ID-card experts at +1 888.485.4696.
As with any piece of technology, your card printer will not last forever regardless of how much money you spent on it new. The typical life of a card printer varies significantly from user to user, and in most cases has nothing to do with the actual number of cards printed but more with the maintenance schedule and the number of people using the printer. Most direct to card printers come with coverage for 2 years, like the Fargo DTC1000 and some 3 years like the Evolis Pebble or Dualys, so you should expect to have it for at least that long. For professional level systems and secure applications, choosing a re-transfer printer such as the Fargo HDP5000 will provide more peace of mind, since re-transfer card printers come with lifetime print head coverage.
So what happens when your printer stops working and the warranty coverage is up? Some repairs can be done onsite with guidance over the phone while others will require a technician to diagnose the issue. Advances in technology have pushed printer price down, so be sure to compare the cost of a repair to the cost of a new printer. Depending on the age of your printer, it is sometimes more cost effective for you to put your money towards a new printer.
In some situations you will be forced to upgrade since older printers and drivers will not work on Vista or Windows 7. When purchasing a printer be certian to ask about the availability of an extended warranty and a loaner program so you can minimize downtime.
Call an expert at Safe-Card ID Services to learn more.
Like all Evolis plastic card printers, the manufacturer recommends a cleaning cycle be performed once every 1,000 card prints. For printers still under warranty coverage, these cleanings must be performed on time to maintain coverage on the print-head. For any Evolis Dualys series printer, follow these steps to manually clean the printer:
Cleaning Supplies Required:
Manually Clean the Printer:
- Open the printer lid, remove the print-ribbon, and set it aside;
- Remove the card hopper, and then remove all cards from the card-hopper. Set the cards aside where they’ll stay clean and neatly stacked. Be careful to handle the cards only by the edges, and not on the printable surfaces.
- Move the card thickness gauge to its maximum open setting (past the “40” marking).
- Remove an Evolis Hi-Trust IPA-alcohol cleaning card from its protective package and insert the cleaning card into the card hopper.
- Place the card hopper, with cleaning card inserted, back onto the printer.
- Push the power button for about 1 second, and then release it. (Note – if you don’t hold it down long enough, nothing will happen; if you hold it down too long, the printer will power off. If either occurs, try again.)
- The cleaning card will be pulled into the printer, and it will be cycled through the print area repeatedly. You will know that the cleaning is proceeding properly when you hear the card being cycled forward and back in the printer. If the card is transported straight through and into the output hopper, replace the cleaning card into the card hopper, and start at step 5.
- Once the card cleaning has completed successfully, open the printer lid and remove the cleaning roller from the inside-back of the printer.
- Open an Evolis Hi-trust IPA alcohol cleaning wipe, and use it to thoroughly clean the cleaning roller.
- Replace the cleaning roller into the printer, ensuring that the “axle” on each end is fitted into the appropriate slots on either side of its mounting location.
- Continue to use the IPA alcohol wipe to clean any other visible rollers within the printer. Note that you may want to rotate these rollers by hand to be able to clean them completely.
- Replace your print ribbon and close the printer lid.
- Remove the card-hopper, reset the thickness gauge to the number equivalent to your card thickness (standard cards are 30 mil, so you would set the gauge to “30”.
- Replace your card stock into the card hopper and place the hopper back into the printer.
- Ensure that the output hopper is fully open.
Once the steps above are completed, your Evolis Dualys series printer will be clean and you will be ready to print again.
Safe-Card ID Services is an authorized dealer for all Evolis card printing products. For additional information about ID card printing, or if you need further technical support or assistance, feel free to contact us toll-free from the US & Canada at +1 888.485.4696, or +1 704.535.5200 elsewhere.
Concerned about the security of your ID Card Program? Well, by adding a holographic overlay to your ID Card design you can help protect your program from being infiltrated by counterfeit cards. This feature helps guard against illicit replication and tampering.
There are three ways to place a holographic image over your card design. The first is with a laminating card printer that applies a holographic overlaminate during the printing process with a special ribbon all in one pass. Printers such as the Fargo DTC4500 or the HDP5000 can feature this functionality.
The second way is with a special holographic ribbon that applies the image during a second pass. You simply change out your ribbon and rerun the cards to achieve the desired effect. This allows users of printers like the Evolis Pebble or Dualys to achieve the same results as a more expensive laminating printer.
Finally. you can purchase a holographic overlay that is applied by hand. Although more expensive on a per card basis, it allows you to add a holographic image to cards when the volume might not dictate the purchase of an entire ribbon or a laminating printer.
Different printer manufactures have generic images on the ribbons but you can also have a custom image designed with your logo or artwork. Contact an expert at Safe-Card ID to learm more about custom holographic ribbons or if a holographic ribbon is availible for your printer.
One of the most important questions you can ask yourself prior to purchasing an ID card printer is how many cards will you be printing initially and then over the course time. The answer to that question will help guide you to a printer suited to meet you project needs. Some printer models are equipped to print larger volumes of cards than others. Another important question is how durable do your ID cards need to be? An average PVC card will last 1-2 years. Swiping bar codes or magnetic stripe card readers can wear on a card. It’s an important factor to consider, particularly for large organizations, as card replacements can add up over time.
You can extend the life of your cards with an overlay or lamination. This requires a printer with a laminating module such as the Fargo DTC4500 and the Fargo HDP5000 or an additional laminating ribbon similar to the Evolis Pebble and Dualys. Another option would be increase the thickness of the card you are printing to (standard thickness is 30ml, but you can print on 10ml to 40ml on most printers) or composite card that offers more durability and warp resistance.
Check your printer’s specifications or talk with an ID Printer Specialist at Safe-Card ID Services before purchasing cards to ensure that the card will feed into your printer and meet your needs.
Passengers use one single card for identification, access control and payment.
With over 2 million passenger travelling on their cruise ships in 2010, the Costa Crociere group, relies on smooth organization at every stage to ensure the customer experience is top notch. To make certian that guests are welcomed in the most hospitable way and everything exceeds expectations is the goal and it is one reason all guests are issues a Costa Card upon boarding. The Costa Card serves as an identification badge but it alsocontains personal details of its holder, text and photo. This card is also used to access passengers’ cabins and as a payment card thanks to a barcode and a magnetic stripe.
To read the complete story and learn how Costa Cruises uses 120 Evolis Dualys printers to issue over 3.5 million cards a year and exceed customer expectations click here.
To learn more about how an Evolis Card Printer can help exceed the expections of your card project call Safe-card ID Services today.
Wifimage is an exciting new app that allows you to use your iPhone or iPad as a camera. Once the picture is taken, it is automatically sent to eMedia-CS to issue badges. eMedia ID Card design software is included with every Evolis Pebble and Evolis Dualys from Safe-Card ID Services.
It is now even easier to capture pictures for mobile applications such as trade shows, congresses, back to school days, and club memberships drives.
Learn more or download from the Apple App Store today!
If your Evolis Dualys printer will not print, you may notice that there is a warning light on. The light appears to be an orange or yellow triangle that is lit up.
When this light is on, the first thing to do is to check and make sure that the exit hopper is pushed all the way down and is in place.
When the hopper is placed correctly in the printer, the warning light should turn off. The printer should also resume printing.
For additional information about the Evolis Dualys ID card printer, contact our ID card experts toll free at 888-485-4696,