Tag Archives: id card printer

International Dragon Boat Federation uses Zebra card printers for competitor IDs

Central to a sport spanning over 6000 years, the International Dragon Boat Federation (IDBF) promotes dragon boat racing worldwide. A software and printer solution has now been developed specifically for processing Dragon Boat regatta participants, using Zebra’s ZXP series 3 printers to print personalised race ID cards and streamline the competitor accreditation process.

Check out the IDBF/Zebra video at the following link;

Zebra Card Printers

 For more information on how to create a custom ID solution to meet your needs call an expert at Safe-Card ID Services today.

Tips for Troubleshooting ID Card Printer Errors

Overall, ID card printer systems are easy to use. Installation involves installing a plug and play printer driver on your computer system. The ID badge software can be downloaded and after typing in the license key, the majority of the printing system is installed and ready to begin.

One of the more difficult preprinting activities may be the badge design. Getting managers and other authorized people to agree on the final look is often the most time consuming process.

Once printing has started, the printer system is fairly to use. Occasionally they need a bit of human assistance to continue providing quality cards. Printer ribbon and PVC cards need to be monitored and added regularly during printing jobs.

Printers do malfunction and many of the issues can be easily fixed. Issues with printer ribbons and card feeding are the most common problems with ID card printers. Following are some common errors and basic troubleshooting.

Unable to Feed Card Message

This error message will display on the LED or LCD screen when a printer cannot detect card stock in the input hopper. Either the cards are not loaded, have run out or are loaded incorrectly.

To fix this error, check the card hopper to ensure that the cards are indeed located in the hopper and are not stuck together. You may need to carefully fan the cards, without touching the card surface, to ensure that the cards are not stuck together. Straighten them back into a single stack of cards and place the cards back into the hopper. Close the hopper cover and continue attempting to print by pressing the resume button.

If the printer will still not receive the cards from the hopper, cancel the print job by pressing the cancel print button. You may need to power off the printer, wait for a small bit of time and turn the printer back on. The original errors will be cleared and you can attempt to print the card again.

Ribbon Sensor Error Message
This error occurs when the printer is unable to locate the next panel on the print ribbon. This may man that the printer ribbon has broken or has been damaged in some way. A ribbon that does not advance correctly will cause a printer error. To fix this error, you will need to open the printer and remove the printer ribbon. You need to look at the ribbon for tears, wrinkles or breaks and repair them.

To fix a tear or break in the ribbon, connect the two ends of the ribbon with a piece of scotch tape. Wind the ribbon forward past the taped section and place the print ribbon back into the printer. If the ribbon is wrinkled, straighten out the ribbon, and advance the ribbon past the damaged section of the ribbon so that the printer does not access that section of the ribbon. When the ribbon is placed back into the printer after being repaired, you can press the resume button to direct the printer to continue printing.

Card Jam Error
Most all ID card printers will input 30 ml cards. Some printer models will accept various card thicknesses ranging from 10 ml to 40 ml. The printers are sensitive to the specific card thickness that is being placed in the card hopper.

To resolve a card jam error, open the printer cover and remove the print ribbon. Press the cancel, pause, forward or backward buttons to move the rollers back and forth. This should free the jammed card. Remove the card, replace the print ribbon and close the cover. You should be able to resume printing with a new card from the hopper.

By following manufacturer instructions found in your operations manual, the correct adjustments can be made to continue printing. If your printer displays something not defined in your manual, it is always best to contact the manufacturer or your ID card printer distributor for additional assistance.

Organizations that Use ID Card Printer Systems

Photo ID card systems produce custom printed cards similar to your driver’s license or your credit card. The majority of cards printed on a card printer are for member or employee identification purposes. Other applications such loyalty cards or discount cards can also be printed on these systems. Many types of industries print ID cards on a daily basis. Although reserved for large organizations and governments a few years back, plastic ID card printer systems have become more reasonably priced and smaller organizations are finding the benefits of the systems a worthwhile expense.

Although almost any organization can find a beneficial use for printed plastic cards, some types of organizations find that card printing is a critical need for the success of their business. Popular business types that commonly use plastic cards are corporations, educational institutions, government and membership organizations.

Corporate – From complex Fortune 500 companies to the smaller mom and pop businesses, all organization are concerned with the preservation of their property and the protection of their employees. Based on company size and reach, various security processes are put in place to ensure safety of all aspects of an organization. Employee, contractor and visitor identification is often a required element for people that are onsite at a facility. Protection of both employees and assets are increased with the requirement of wearing or carrying valid identification when on campus.

Education – All educational institutions are filled with people who are working or learning. From the smallest preschool to large state universities, the verification of eligibility for someone to be on campus is important for the security of everyone involved. Some educational institutions require their faculty and students to wear their identification card while on campus. Many identification cards, especially for universities, are multifunctional and provide options such as access and debit.

Government – Security has increased dramatically in government offices. From federal offices to state and local departments, identification is a normal and is becoming more sophisticated with advanced security techniques. Due to current budget constraints, department heads are constantly looking for ways to increase the value of using identification cards by combining the cards with access functionality, debit options and more.

Financial – It is common for many financial institutions to be able to provide instant issuance of a printed card with personalization. With card printers in branch offices, financial institutions can satisfy customer demand.

Membership organizations – Fitness centers, spas, time share holders, homeowners associations and other membership groups often provide members with authorized membership card. Benefits for cards holders include discounts, access or verify specific information at member events. The possibilities of membership card uses are unlimited.

Popular ID manufacturers to review for your printer needs are: Fargo Printers, Evolis Printers, CIM Printers, Magicard Printers, Datacard Printers, and Zebra Printers

Benefits of Your Photo ID Badge System

Those who own or manage a business with several employees will find that an ID card printer system will provide a number of benefits for your business. Photo ID card printer systems provide custom printed identification cards. The printed cards provide many benefits that are worthwhile for many business types.

One benefit of employee identification cards is that they can be designed and used as a method of clocking in and out for payroll purposes. By printing a unique bar code on the card or by using mag stripe encoding or smart card encoding, employees can scan their card as they arrive and leave the workplace. With this method of clocking in and out, paperwork is reduced and accuracy of the payroll reporting is increased.

Another important reason for ID badges is for basic identification. When there are a number of employees at your business, it sometimes becomes difficult to know each person by name. When identification is worn, it is easy to know the person’s name as well as other details indicated on the card. Employees who feel recognized by others, especially management, in an organization feel a sense of belonging that helps morale.

A badge printer system also benefits a business that needs extra security options in the business. If you have areas in the facility that are restricted to certain employees, you can secure the room with access control. The ID card printer can encode technology cards that can be used to allow cardholder access.

There are many other additional uses for custom printed cards depending on your organization’s needs. Gift cards are useful for retail shops. Debit cards and check out cards can be used for educational, healthcare and other markets. Other uses are possible for custom printed cards from the basic printed card to technology and smart card implementations.

By obtaining an ID card printer system, you can completely control the production, disbursement and use of the cards used in your organization. The benefits of custom badges produced in house are worthwhile for many businesses.

Field Upgradeable Printer by Technician


Legacy models of PVC card printers were “what you see is what you get.” If you wanted a dual sided printer or mag encoder in the printer for future use, the original purchase of the printer needed to encompass every function that would be needed throughout the lifetime of the printer.

More recent models of ID card printers allow organizations to purchase a base model and upgrade the printer as needed. Several printers from various manufacturers allow purchasers to purchase, at a reasonable price, a basic single sided id card printer. If the card making organization wishes to change the card with a module not included on the printer at a future time, modules can be obtained individually and added to the base model printer to increase the fuctionality of the printer and provide an increased capable card for additional requirements.

Some of the modules that can be purchased and installed at your location are:

  • Dual sided flipping module- This module will allow a card that has been printed on the front side to be flipped internally in the printer and refed through the printing module to print on the back side of the card.
  • Magnetic stripe encoder- This module will allow a PVC card with a magnetic stripe to be encoded with information that can be read by an appropriate reader. This function allows for additional information to be stored on a PVC card.
  • Lamination station- The lamination function on a printer provides an overlay, with or without a design, on the card. The overlay protects the surface of the card and produces a level of security. The lamination can have a unique design embeded in it. If someone tries to remove it from the surface of the card, the card will be defaced.

The Fargo HDP5000 printer is an example of a card printer that allows modules to be upgraded in the field.

Please contact us for a free consultation about which printer may be best for your application. Safe-Card ID services the following: Fargo printer, Evolis printer, Magicard printer, CIM printer, Asure Software and ID Flow.

Dual sided ID cards with a single sided card printer

custom id

In these days of a tightened economy, households and businesses alike are tightening their belts and purchasing necessary items, but leaving luxury items on the shelf. As well as dealing with tight financial budgets, companies are also needing to add layers of security within the organization to protect the business properties, it’s operations and it’s employees.

ID cards are a common security layer needed in the business and educational world. They are used for identification as well as more specialized functions of access and debiting a financial account. Organizations that need to purchase or replace an id card printer can reduce their card printer expense if they can manage with a single side printer rather than a dual sided printer.

Dual sided printers print the front of the id card in full color. The printer then flips the card inside the printer and completes a black print on the back of the card. The process is easy. If a company wishes to have printing on both sides of their id card, but does not have the funds for a dual sided printer, an option is available. A single side printer can be used to print the front side of the card. By using a YMCKO print ribbon, the printer will print a full color front side. The print ribbon can then be exchanged with a black ribbon. When the card is flipped and placed back in the printer, the card printer operator can choose to print the black back on the card. This process is a bit combersome, but will keep expenses under control.

To smooth out the process, many of our customers preprint the back of many cards at one time. They keep these “preprinted” cards clean and available for the customized printing on the front side as needed.

For additional hints and tips for your id card printing project, contact our experts toll free at 888-485-4696. We specialize in Fargo printers, Evolis printers, Magicard printers and CIM printers.

If your printer feeds several cards at once

id cards

When printing id cards, sometimes the id card printer will take in more than one card at a time. Usually the printer jams and stops leaving the card maker wondering what has happened. By opening up the printer and removing the multiple cards inside the printing area of the printer, the printer will be able to resume making the next id badge. Usually the card on which the error occurred will need to be manually set to reprint so that it is available for the id card holder.

Two steps will help to reduce the card jam.

1. The thickness lever at the input hopper should be set for the size of card printed. The standard PVC card is 30. Specialized cards may be more or less than 30.

2. Cards that have been recently unwrapped may be stuck together with static electricity. The best way to remove this is to hold the card by the edges and rock them back and forth until they do not cling together. You do not want to touch the printable area of the card with your fingers when handling the cards.

For specific information about current Fargo badge printers, contact us or visit the following:



Persona C30
Persona C30e
Fargo DTC 400
Fargo DTC 400e
Fargo DTC 550
Fargo HDP 5000

Four steps to purchasing the best id card printer

Choosing an ID card printer can give a purchaser analysis paralysis. Today’s printer models are many and have optional modules and add-ons that allow from basic to advanced, secure ID cards.

The answer to the following five basic questions will narrow the quest for choosing the right card printer for your organizational needs.

1. Will the ID card need printing on a single side of the card or both sides of the card?

Single side printing of ID cards is the most common printing method. Basic ID cards typically include a cardholder’s picture, name, and title entered into a template with the company logo. Cards printed on both sides are printed on a dual sided printer. These printers print the front side of the card and then internally flip the card and print the back side before card extraction from the printer. If budget is an issue and a single side printer must be purchased, it is possible to print the front side of the card and then manually reinsert the card to be printed with the layout of the back of the badge.

2. Will the ID card need to be printed in full color?

Printers can print in monochrome or full color. The requirements of the organization will determine which capability is needed.

3. Will data need to be encoded into the card?

ID cards have become multipurpose cards in many organizations. In addition to identification needs, companies and groups often need to integrate their card with technology to open doors or transmit information to various in house systems. Specialized cards can be purchased that will allow for data to be encoded into the card for specific applications. Printer modules available can provide the data encoding capability needed.

4. Will a high level of security need to be maintained with the card?

The nature of some organizations require an additional level of security to be added to their badge. Badge duplication is a hazard to any organization, but is detrimental to highly secure areas and organizations. In stock or custom holograms may be needed to provide an additional layer of uniqueness and security to badges. Modules to place holograms on the badge are available on various models of printers.

5. Will the badges be printed from a stand alone computer or from a network?

Badges that need to be printed from larger corporations are often easily managed from a network of authorized users in various locations. Ethernet capabilities are available on many of today’s ID card printer systems.

The best way to find the correct ID card printer for your organization is to contact a ID card sales representative. Feel free to contact our representatives toll free at 888-485-4696 for a custom ID card system quote for your organizational requirements.