Re-posted with permission from BadgePass and edited.
There are tons of great ID card printers available on the market. The tricky part is determining which card printer is best for your organization. There are lots of factors that contribute to finding the perfect solution, but here are the top five (5) things to consider:
1. From What Will You Be Printing?
ID badging software is critical to any ID card system. Will you need a software that can connect with an existing database? (Ex: Student Information System or HR Database) What functionality do you need from your ID badge – not just today, but in the future? How will you manage other applications that use the ID card like access control or tracking?
2. Will You Be Printing on Plain or Technology Cards?
Many organizations have moved to technology (smart or prox) cards for employee and student IDs. This is a direct result of needing to use those badges for more than just visual identification. It’s important to note that direct to card printers are ideal for standard PVC or composite cards; however, depending on your badge design, may not produce the print quality you’re looking for when using a technology card. Some customers find retransfer printing provides better results on cards with a prox or smart chip.
3. Will You Be Printing on the Front Only or Front and Back?
Often people consider price point before thinking about functionality. Dual-sided card printers allow for printing on both sides of the card in one pass, eliminating extra steps in card production. You may not be printing on both sides today, but if that’s something you’re considering in the future, it may be easier to implement a dual sided printer on the front end, as some card printers cannot be upgraded later.
4. How Long Do You Need the Card to Last?
If you’re planning to regularly replace or reissue badges, then durability may not be a factor for you. However, if you want to extend the life of your cards, or need them to withstand harsh environments, you may want to consider lamination. Lamination can greatly extend the life of a card, which can be especially important when you want to protect costly technology cards.
5. How Secure Do You Need the ID Card to Be?
Is it important that your badges be highly secure and tampe-rproof? If so, you may want to consider a security add on like tactile impression, which customizes each card with a unique impression, like your logo. Custom holographic laminates are also available, adding both durability and security to your card design.
Take the Next Step with the ISG
Equally important to choosing a card printer is thinking about how you will protect your investment after the purchase. Who will provide new user training, clean and maintain parts in the machine and help you with new designs and templates? The ISG offers onsite service and support for all our ID systems, providing both the functionality and the customer service you deserve.
Contact us to learn more today!