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Thin PVC Cards – What’s the Lowdown?

Have you ever noticed that some PVC Cards are thinner than others?  No they don’t hit the gym more often – they are just a variation of PVC card stock that is used for different purposes in the ID industry. Thin PVC cards are typically only 10 mil, or 0.010″ thick.

Use Cases:

In one example, thin PVC cards are used to produce professional business cards. Doing so will produce a card that is more durable than its ordinary paper counterpart. Designed properly, it will include high-quality imagery, including photo quality logos and even a personal photograph. Not only do these PVC cards hold up better – a PVC business card will help you stand out from the pack!

Thin PVC Cards that are also adhesive-backed are commonly used with proximity-access cards, such as the HID Prox II Clamshell. Clamshell-style cards are too large and thick for standard ID-card printers. Instead, print first on a thin PVC card, and then affix it to the thicker technology card. Not only does this allow for reuse of expensive proximity access cards, but it allows them to double as photo-ID cards!

Usage Notes:

Our adhesive-backed thin PVC cards can be printed with most any direct-to-card printer, and are just slightly smaller than standard CR80 PVC cards. This smaller size allows the cards to fit neatly onto a proximity card without overlapping the edges. Note that not all ID card printers can accommodate thin PVC cards. They specifically should NOT be used in retransfer-type printers, like Fargo HDP series or the Evolis Avansia. This is due to the extremely-high heat these printer can generate. So be sure to check the usage guidelines for your specific printer model.

Final Thoughts:

We offer a variety of PVC cards in our web-store, including quality products from Evolis, HID Global (Fargo) and Magicard.

Should you have any concerns or questions about your specific needs, feel free to call us toll-free at 888.485.4696 to speak with an ID-printing expert. We’re always glad to help!

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Ways to Secure Your ID Card Program

Sometimes when printing secure ID cards we forget it is also important to secure the system that creates the cards. There are several printer models are available with advanced printer security features to deter theft and unauthorized access.

One of the easiest ways to safeguard your ID card printer is with password protection. The Fargo DTC4500 and Zebra ZXP Series 8 printers can be password protected. When activated, users must enter the security code in order to use the printer. ID software programs can also be password protected adding an additional layer of protection to your printing program.

To secure the printer to its workstation, some printers are set up to support a lock. This effective theft deterrent is available on several printers, including the Datacard SP75 plus and the Zebra ZXP Series 3.

Your card supplies are another important item to protect as replacing stolen supplies can be costly, especially expensive HID proximity or smart cards. Make certian to store them in a locked location so your printer supplies don’t get into the wrong hands reducing the risk of fraud.

For more information about ID Card Printer security, contact an expert at Safe-Card ID Services today.

 

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HID Access Card Printing Tips

When printing your HID Access cards follow these instructions to achieve best results. Start by printing a test card with a regular CR80 PVC Card to ensure your template and design are up to your standards, then;

– Always check cards for manufacturing debris. Sometimes there are small pieces of vinyl on the card. Carefully clean cards using 99% pure Isopropyl alcohol and a soft, lint free cloth.

– The office where you print the cards should be neat, clean and free of airborne particles. If not purchase a dust cover for when the printer is not in use.

– Check the printer’s roller frequently. Clean the printer roller after printing 50 cards (or fewer).

– Fine scuff marks may appear on the surface of cards. These marks do not affect the printer, nor the printed images. These scuff marks occur during final inspection and testing.

– Printer manufacturers discourage printing cards which are pre¬punched. The slot edge may tear the printer ribbon or interfere with card position sensors. Therefore, print your cards first, then slot punch them. For cards that are already punched, do not print in the area near the slot. If the card has an embedded contact chip, keep the printing at least .0625 in [1.5875 mm] away from its edges.

As always for information contact an expert at Safe-Card ID Services today.

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Field Upgrade Your ID Card Printer

Many of the card printers offered by Safe-Card ID Services can be upgraded in the field to perform tasks beyond the initial functionality,  like dual-sided printing, ethernet networking and card encoding. From value to premium, upgradeable printers are a convenient investment that can evolve as your card program grows over time.

The ability to upgrade a printer at any time, without sending it in for maintenance, means that you can buy what you need now while protecting your ability to print cards at any given time. It is a cost effective way to take care of your needs today and tomorrow.

Some of the field upgradeable card printers we offer include the Evolis Pebble and Dualys, Magicard Rio Pro and the Fargo HDP5000. To learn if you current print can be upgraded or to discuss a printer than can grow to meet your needs call and expert at Safe-Card ID Services today.

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ID Card PVC Sizes

ID Card and Badge printers come in all shapes and sizes but are limited in ability in terms of the card sizes they can print. Todays’ card printers are made to print on standard CR80 size cards, with a number of them also capable of printing on CR79 and only a very few that can print CR100 size cards.

– CR79 cards measure 3.303″ x 2.051″ and are slightly smaller than a standard CR80 size card. CR79 cards typically have an adhesive back and are commonly used for printing and adhering to a clamshell HID Proximity card.

• CR80 cards are 3.375″ x 2.125″ (exactly the same size as a credit card) and are the standard, most commonly used size of PVC card. They are great for almost every ID card application.

• CR100 cards are much larger measuring  3.88″ x 2.63″ – that’s 42% larger than a standard CR80 card, making them easier to see from a distance but too big to hide in a wallet. CR100 size cards are often referred to as “oversize” or “military-size” cards. These are great for event passes. Printers that can handle these cards such as the Fargo HDP600 are usually manufactured to order and are very expensive.

Before ordering any type/size of PVC cards it is very wise ensure your printers specifictions to ensure it can handle them or call a specialist at Safe-Card ID Services.

 

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Keep Your PVC Card Stock Clean

pvc cardsKeeping your blank pvc card stock clean is vital for ensuring that you get the best quality prints each and every time you use your ID card printer. That is because any abnormalities contained on the card stock can be transferred to your print job, giving you less than desireable results and wasting pvc with costly reprints.

To maintain cards for optimal printing make sure to keep your blank cards free from debris and dust. Any stray particles on the surface of a card can and will cause imperfections and flaws when you print. Dust and debris can also damage the print head and other printing mechanisms inside your ID card printer. Safe-Card ID Services offers pvc cards wrapped in batches of 100 making it easier to help keep them clean if you ordered more for future use.

It is also wise to keep your cards in the case they came in, or in an airtight and watertight container. Look the cards over before printing and keep a dust cloth handy to wipe the cards off if you notice any dust or debris. Make every effort to only touch the sides of the cards and not the surfaces that will be printed on. Oils from your hands will also decrease the quality of the printed card.

While most cards are stored in an office enviroment it is also improtant to take note of the card storage temperature. Extreme heat or cold can damage PVC cards, making them more brittle and susceptible to snapping. Be sure to store your cards in a temperature controlled area and make sure not to put them through drastic temperature changes.

To learn more about proper card handling give an expert at Safe-Card ID Services a call today.

 

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Important Steps in Extending the Life of Your ID Card Printer

The purchase of an ID Card Printer is an investment in the safety and security of your students or staff. Like any piece of equipment, your printer won’t last forever if it’s not cared for properly. Follow these important steps to extend the life and performance of your ID card printer;

1. Only use brand-approved printer supplies. These days there is a generic brand of everything, and while they can mean savings in the short run, in the end they can cause extensive damage to your printer. Each manufacturer has its’ own supplies and each might require a different ribbon and cleaning kit. Be sure to use the right supplies with your printer by calling an expert at Safe-Card ID Services.

2. Keep it clean. Your printers warranty will state how often you must clean your printer, typically every 700-1,000 prints. Safe-Card ID Services recommends cleaning the printer every time you change the ribbon.  Regular cleanings ensure your ID cards always come out looking beautiful.

3. Mandate proper training. The greater number of people you have using your printer, the more likely it is to be misused or damaged. Train individuals in your office or organization who will be using the printer to make sure it’s handled properly.

4. Store it in a Case. Protect your printer from dust and potential damage by storing it under a dust cover or in a case. A case is a must to protect your printer from the elements if you are transporting it between buildings or events.

For more information on extending the life of your ID Card Printer or for your printer supply and accessory needs contact an expert at Safe-Card ID Services today.

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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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National Healthcare Program in India Uses the Evolis Pebble

The health card issued as part of the Indian National Healthcare program is core to the project’s goal of offering free healthcare services.  This card used comes in a smart card format, which was considered to be the most simple and reliable.

Such a health card has multiple applications and ensures that none of the stakeholders to this program is deprived. More precisely, the health card enables beneficiaries to choose a partner – a private or public hospital – without having to pay any money in advance.

To learn how the Evolis Pebble helps meets the demands of such a large program click here

To learn more about the Evolis Pebble or any of the Evolis Printers contact an expert at Safe-Card ID Services today.