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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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Access & Proximity ID Card Design Tips

Proximity Cards are made with layers of PVC and a glossy surface intended for Photo ID printing. Proximity cards and contactless smart cards contain an antenna coil and integrated electronic chip. Care should be taken to follow these printing recommendations for best results.

As you may encounter color variations or printing voids with direct to card printers due to surface imperfections caused by the embedded chip and antenna you should;

  • Avoid large areas with solid or half-tone backgrounds when designing card artwork and use artwork with varied color or pattern to minimize these color variations and printing voids.
  • If the design must print over the internal chip, we recommend the use of a reverse transfer printer such as the Fargo HDP5000.
  • Do not place a photo portrait over the chip location or opposite the edge of a magnetic stripe.

When designing card artwork it’s best to print a few test cards, and be ready to make artwork adjustments as needed.
If your printer is capable of edge-to-edge printing, test several cards to check the printer’s capability. For more infrmation contact an expert at Safe-Card ID Services.

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Proper Access/HID Card Slotting

Access or proximity cards will have slot punch indicators, small dots visible on the card back
which show the only allowable slot locations for the card. While it is perfectly acceptable to slot punch your access cards, we strongly suggest using badge grippers or clamps instead. These attachment devices work the same as slot clips, and better maintain the structural integrity of your technology card.

If you must slot punch the card, carefully center the indicator marks to the punch, and punch only where the indicator marks appear. Any other position may damage the interior circuitry and thus cause the card not to work.

Always test the first card after printing and slotting. Once you are satisfied with the results you can go ahead and print the rest of the batch. For more information contact an expert at Safe-Card ID Services today.