How to choose and ID Card Printer

Everyday our salespeople help people decide which printer they need. Over the years, they have found that 6 questions will narrow down choices to a reasonable number. Try asking yourself these questions and you can narrow down your choices.

1- Do you want to print Color or Monochrome cards?
With a color printer you can create a beautiful full color card with a photo-realistic picture of the card holder. You are also paying for 4 panels of colors and spending the time to print 4 or 5 panels (YMCKO). Monochrome printing is much quicker and cheaper because on panel is printed on each card. The average monochorme print is about 5 seconds per card.

2- Do you need to print on both sides of the card?
With a dual-sided printer you can add information to the back side of your cards, like contact information, return to sender, emergency numbers, etc. The downside is time and cost. Each card has to be flipped (automatically) and then printed.

3- How secure do your cards need to be?
The current push is to make cards as secure as possible. A grocery-store membership card doesn't need to be very secure, but a restricted area in a corporate research area might be very high security. You can add features like security laminates, UV ink, microprinting, mag stripes and smart chips encoded with biometric information. Check out card security features to see what you can add to your cards. Once you've decided which features you need you can choose the printer that can provide them. Smart card encoders, and mag stripe encoders are added to the printer by the manufacturer. Laminated cards require a special station in the printer which should be determined before buying a printer.

4- How smart do your cards need to be?
Today's ID cards can store a variety of information. It can be as simple as an identification number on a bar code or magnetic stripe, or as sophisticated as biometric information encoded on a smart chip. Beyond security concerns, the new generation of smart cards can open doors or sign employees in and out.

5- How many cards will you need to print per year?
The average printer, like the Eltron P310 can print volumes up to 30,000 cards per year.

6- How long do you need your cards to last?
Card replacement can be a major factor in a large organization. Abrasive activities like swiping bar code or magnetic stripe card readers can wear on a card in a short period of time. With average use, a standard PVC card will last 1-2 years. You can extend that by using overlays and lamination.

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