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What’s the difference between HiCo and LoCo magnetic stripe PVC cards?

Magnetic stripe cards are available in two varieties, HiCo and LoCo. So what’s the difference? The difference is simple and as the name states HiCo cards are more coercive, while LoCo cards are less coercive. A higher coerciveness is more secure, but not always a better solution.

As an example, LoCo cards are more affordable. LoCo cards may not last as long as HiCo Cards, but LoCo cards are ideal for use in a card program that reissue cards frequently. With their higher level of coercivity, HiCo cards are better for long term use. They are able to hold information longer before wearing out that is why your debit or credit card is likely a HiCo card.

Magnetic stripe cards from Safe-Card ID Services are an ideal choice for access control, membership tracking, and financial transactions just to mention a few. To learn more contact an expert at Safe-Card today.

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Practice Safe Handling With HID and Access Cards

HID Access Cards

HID and access cards are typically shipped to you shrink wrapped and since they can cost significantly more than traditional PVC it is important to follow these tips;

Take care not to scratch the cards when opening the wrapping, especially when using a sharp implement.

Handle cards by the edges, not by the flat finished surface.

Use lint free gloves or finger cots to prevent hand oils from transferring to the
cards, which can cause smudging, fingerprints or other distortions
when printing.

Card image quality may vary even with careful card handling. This can be due to printer setup variations, lot to lot material variations, environmental changes, printer types, background color selections and other variables.
HID and access cards have been quality tested to meet requirements for high quality images. Failure to achieve a desired image quality is typically not the fault of the card.

For more information contact an 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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Can I Pre-Punch My PVC ID Cards?

pvc cardsThe simple answer to that question is yes. All you need to do when ordering  your Image Grade PVC card stock is to ask to have them pre-punched. We will ensure the card expert that punches the cards on your behalf maintains the graphic intergrity of the cards by wearing gloves to ensure the oils from the skin do not touch the surface of the card.

If you would prefer to punch the cards yourself, Safe-Card ID Services offers a wide range of slot punches for all volumes of cards to all budgets. Remember no matter which slot punch you use, it can and will only punch one card at a time.

The catch about pre-punching you cards is that if you are using a direct to card printer you run the risk of damaging the print head causing a nce white line appear across your printed card. A print head will cost about $500-700 to replace.

One solution to this problem is to use a re-transfer card printer, such as the Fargo HDP5000. Re-transfer printers print onto the underside of a film that is heat rolled onto the card surface, so the print head never touches the card.

To learn more about pre-punched cards or a re-transfer printer give an expert at Safe-Card ID Services a call today.

 

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Perfect Color Fidelity for Magicard Rio Pro Users

You can now reproduce color images better than ever before thanks to a new embedded ICC profile for the Magicard Rio Pro. Brian Meyrick, Magicard Senior Software Engineer, explains: “Images can originate from many sources such as digital or mobile phone cameras, scans, image libraries or other online resources and as such can exist in many different color formats. Our challenge was to ensure that whatever the image source, format or software used along the workflow, the Rio Pro would produce an accurate result, faithful to the original image when printing on to a PVC card. The new ICC embedded profile provides an excellent solution.”

The profile is available in the newly-released Rio Pro driver – version 1.6.1, which can be downloaded from here. Note that the driver default setting is Gamma 1 – to select the ICC profile you will need to click on the advanced tab and change ‘color correction’ to ‘color management (built in to driver)’

For more information about the Magicard Rio Pro or any of Magicard’s other fine card printers contact an expert at Safe-Card ID Services TODAY.

 

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Magicard Rio Pro Xtended Personalizes Extra-Long Plastic Cards

The Magicard Rio Pro Xtended personalizes extra-long plastic cards for ticketing, accreditation and product labeling. Cards up to 110mm long can be printed entirely in full colour using the double-printing mode. The printer can also handle pre-printed cards up to 140mm long, printing a CR80-sized (86mmx54mm) area in full colour in a single pass or an area up to 110x54mm using double-printing. In monochrome mode, the entire length of a 140mm by 54mm card can be printed.

 

Print extra long plastic cards

Superior print quality enabled by ICC profiles

Monochrome print on pre-printed cards up to 140mm long

Colour print up to 110mm x 54mm cards

Built in USB and Ethernet connection with Windows 7, XP and Vista (32/64 bit) compatibility

50mm wide variant for product labelling

Standard HoloKote with option to customise  

Adjustable card feeder

For information on the Rio Pro Extended or any Magicard Printer call an expert at Safe-Card ID Services today.

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Using ID Cards for More than Just ID

Most photo identification cards that are printed with our photo ID card printer systems are used for the purpose of identification. Printed plastic cards commonly have a company logo, card holder photo and specific custom information about the person carrying the ID card. The cards may be full color on one or both sides. This is determined by the type of printer you have and also the type of print ribbon that is used.

Small business typically use plastic ID cards as identification for their employees or group members. Larger businesses and government frequently purchase professional, security oriented ID card printer systems that allow the identification to be used for more than just ID.

Printed plastic cards are commonly known for identification. They also benefit businesses in the areas of physical and virtual access, debit functions, payroll and more.

When you know what you want to use your ID cards for and if you know your budget limit, there are ways to make your card produce information you want to benefit company outcomes. There are many ways to integrate custom data in plastic cards. Some of these methods can be developed with a standard entry level ID card printer and software while others need a specialized system.

Current top of the line identification cards that are used for more than one purpose are the contactless or contact smart card. These cards are more common in other parts of the world and are rapidly making entry into the United States. These cards have the capability to hold a large amount of data that can easily transmit to card readers. The card readers then submit that information to control systems for analysis and further use.

A more common way of storing data on a plastic card is through a magnetic strip that is found on PVC cards. Information can be encoded into the tracks of the magnetic strip. Mag stripe readers can transfer information to control systems when the stripe is swiped through the reader. A common example of this is a credit or debit card swipe at a retail outlet. This system can also be used for transfer, access, loyalty systems and more.

Another method of storing information is available. This is with the use of a bar code printed on the outside of the card. The bar code is not able to store as much information as a contact or contactless card or as a mag stripe card. It is useful for time and attendance or for debit card type functions. It is the most cost effective way of storing information that is not legible to a casual observer of the card.