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How Long Can I Expect My ID Card Printer to Last?

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.

 

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Direct to Card Printers vs. Retransfer Printers

Card printers have the ability to print crisp, life-like images but it is important to understand the two most common printing technologies and the results they produce before purchasing your printer.

Direct-to-Card (DTC) Printing

Direct-to-card technology is currently the most common form of card printing. The direct-to-card printing process transfers images directly onto PVC cards. Direct-to-card printers are available in a wide price range, with varying features and capabilities. Direct-to-card printers, like those from Evolis, Magicard and Zebra are an economical choice for those where print quality is not as much of a priority as the printer leaves an unprinted, white edge on cards.

Retransfer Printing

Retransfer technology is the latest printing technology, and is growing in popularity. Retransfer printing applies images onto a special clear film that is then fused onto the surface of a blank card. Retransfer printers like the Fargo HDP5000 allows greater flexibility to print on a wider variety of cards, including proximity cards, smart cards, pre-punched cards, key tag cards, or any type of card with an uneven surface. The fact that retransfer printers print images to a clear film, its print quality is vibrant and crisp. Retransfer is an ideal choice for those requiring high quality, vibrant images and those with a need for advanced technology. It’s ideal for high security and large applications, especially when smart cards or other technology is being used.

To better understand the difference in these two printer technologies and which best suits the need of your organization, give a call to an expert at Safe-Card ID Services today.

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Two Important Questions to Ask When Looking For an ID Card 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.

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Emergency Services Uses FARGO ® HDP5000 Card Printer and Encoder for Durable ID Cards

Action Ambulance of Eastern Massachusetts provides 24-hour emergency and non-emergency medical services  from 13 different locations. The identification cards worn by emergency personnel face challenging conditions, not only from extremes tempuratures and inclement weather, but also from blood and other fluids, of patients being treated.

In addition to printing its own ID cards, Action Ambulance Services also prints photo ID cards for other government entities involved in collaborative efforts with the organization. The challenge was to find a printer that provided lamination, high quality printing and quick turnaround that could run off of the company’s existing computer network. 

An detailed search lead to the  FARGO® HDP5000 Card Printer/Encoder as the solution.

To learn more about the Fargo HDP5000 or any of the ID Card Printers in the Fargo line up call an expert at Safe-Card ID Services today.