ChamsAccess is in the business of providing reliability, quality and convenience in card printing and personalization. That said, it would be beneficial to have an understanding of the various technologies used in card printing. Some of them are:
PVC Plastic card Printing technology
Plastic cards are ideal for many applications, which makes them prevalent in our daily lives. Their portability, durability and standard size is suitable for payment cards, driver’s licenses, membership cards and employee identification badge.
Card printers let you print customised, secure and cost-effective cards on demand. Cards can be printed in colour or monochrome and can be encoded with multiple features like magnetic stripes or RFID to extend their use from highly secure employee IDs to gift card applications.
To print images onto plastic cards, card printer uses dye sublimation technology. The dye sublimation process uses three panels (YMC) for colour and one panel (K) for black. YMC are used for colour picture and K for black text. An overlay panel is used to protect colour picture and text from wear and tear.
Monochrome printing uses a single colour such as black, white, blue, red, gold, silver etc. This is the most cost-effective method to personalize with pre-printed cards. It is the ideal solution for cards printing that do not require colour picture. Monochrome is often used to print barcodes.
Colour printing uses colour ribbon composed of yellow, magenta and cyan panel. The plastic card is passed through a thermal print head together with colour panels. The colour from the panel is then transferred on to the cards though the heat given out from the print head. The standard performance for card printing is 300dpi (300 dots per inch equivilent to 11.8 dots per mm). This process makes it possible to optimize the excellent quality of printed images and logos.
UV (Ultra-Violet) Security Panel
UV panel is an advance form of security panel that shows a fluorescence image when exposed to UV light. It is a cost-effective and easy way to protect against fraud and counterfeit cards. Users can design any logo or trademark in each card without paying any additional cost. This is the perfect solution for low volume, low cost and mid-range issuance of security ID cards.
Encoding is one of the important functions in ID card printer. ID cards are issued, not only for visual identification, but also for storing information. Secured information is stored in cards, especially for financial purposes. There are three major encoding methods such as magnetic stripe, contact IC and contactless IC.
Rewritable Printing Technology
In the rewritable process, the card is not personalized using ribbon, but by activating a thermal sensitive foil covering the surface of plastic card. These cards can be repeatedly erased and rewritten for personalization.
The most frequent usages of this function are temporary visitor’s card, bonus point cards, etc.
Rewritable card can be erased and rewritten up to 500 times. You can incorporate various encoding options such as magnetic stripe and contactless IC.
Direct Printer versus ReTransfer Printers
– Direct-To-Card ID Card Printer
The main difference between the Direct-To-Card and the ReTransfer badge printers is that the Direct-To-Card printers the ribbon, which contains the individual’s image and data, is directly adhered to the pvc card. This means that the printer’s expensive, and often delicate, print head touches every pvc card directly. This can become a quality issue as any dirt or imperfections on the pvc card can damage the head – thus causing the need for a head replacement. Although these printers are not able to produce the level of ID Card that the ReTransfer printers can, they remain the most popularly used printers as they require less up-front cost and are typically able to handle the ID card demands of most industries.
–ReTransfer (Reverse Thermal Image Transfer) ID Card Printer
ReTransfer printers, also known as to as Over-The-Edge, Reverse Transfer, or HDP (High Definition Printer), have the capability to print over the entire surface of the pvc card. Moreover, Retransfer printers adhere the ribbon (image and data) to a separate film that is then adhered to the surface of the card. This means that the printer’s head will never touch the ID card directly. The advantages of a ReTransfer printer are a more beautiful card, a lifetime warranty on the expensive print head, and the ability to add on additional modules as needed. ReTransfer printers are best for high-volume, high-quality, enterprises and are most likely to be found in airports, universities and government agencies.
You can be sure that we will always serve you with the latest cutting-edge technology when it comes to smart card printing and personalization. No one does it better!