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What types of barcodes are there?
Barcodes are broken down into two groups: 1-D and 2-D barcodes. 1-D barcodes have a limit of information they can encrypt (usually up to 14 alpha-numerical characters). The 1-D barcodes generally cannot store as much information but can be scanned with less expensive scanners. The 2-D barcodes have the ability to hold thousands of times more information depending on which 2-D you choose. With the increased information storage of 2-D barcodes, they can be used to store biometrics, images and more. There are a wide variety of 1-D and 2-D barcodes to choose from. Some are open standards and formats and some are closed and proprietary. The following are some examples of different barcode types:
1. Code 39 - Code 39 is one of the most common 1-D barcodes and is sometimes referred to as the "3 of 9 code". "USS Code 39", "Code 3/9", "Type 39". The 3 of 9 barcode is capable of storing characters 0-9, A-Z, and some special characters and can store from 8 to 11 characters. The barcodes gets its name because each characters is stored using 3 wide and 6 narrow bars (for a total of 9).
2. Universal Product Code (UPC) BarCode - The Universal Product Code (UPC) is very recognizable in the United States and Canada because it is the standard barcode used on almost all products and allows products to be checked out and tracked by the point-of-sale systems. The code only stores numeric digits.
3. Maxicode - Maxicode is a 2-D barcode that can store up to 100 characters. This code was developed by United Parcel Service (UPS) and is printed on their shipping labels to help track packages. The barcode is distinctive because of the bull's-eye in the center of the code, which allows the reader to find the code quickly and read it even if moving rapidly and in any position.
4. PDF 417 - PDF 417 is a 2-D barcode that allows up to 1,800 characters to be stored. This code also allows linking of more than one PDF 417 barcode to have even more storage.
ColorID provides ID badging software that can print a variety of types of barcodes for your ID badges. Our software packages allow you to choose from over 20 different types of 1D and 2D barcodes. We can also supply you with a number of barcode readers and ID printer's capability of printing barcodes on your badges.
In this week's blog, ColorID weighs in on the new Datacard SD260 printer. If you'd like to learn more about this new line of printers, contact ColorID today toll free at (888) 682-6567 or visit us online at www.colorid.com/.
Datacard's new SD260 printer will replace the SP35 series printer. This unit comes in a compact size with some advanced standard features. This printer is a simplex (single sided unit) printer with the capability to do manual duplex (dual sided) printing. There are several upgrades available including: magnetic stripe encoder, smart card personalization, 100 output hopper and option security lock.
The SD260 prints incredibly fast, high quality direct to card images without card jams. Datacard prints speeds for full color simplex printing are around 18 seconds a card. When we tested this unit we came up with very similar print speeds. This makes the SD260 considerably faster than any other full color, simplex printer on the market. Datacard has also included a new technology on its input hopper called "TruePick". With this technology it can pick cards (standard and thin) every time with no adjustments.
The SD260 also comes with several eco-friendly features including: Energy Star qualifications, biodegradable supply cores, recyclable supply materials and a separate power-down button. To our knowledge this is the only Energy Star rated ID badge printer on the market.
The new LCD Screen has soft touch controls (similar to an iPod glass screen). The unit also comes standard with USB & Ethernet. This printer has the capability to be a high volume printer; however its main drawback is its inability to print dual sided cards or apply lamination. The new system worked successfully through all of ColorID's trials and we believe this will be a great improvement from the SP35.
Throughout the card printing process, the SD260 printer showed outstanding print speed, no temperature operating issues, and it maintained error free operation through 250 card prints. Datacard includes a 30 month depot warranty with the printer. This is 6 months better than the previous SP35 printer.
Below are some of the SD260's specifications and options available:
Today, anyone under the age of 25 would likely have no idea that it was not that many years ago that the checkout clerk punched information into a big machine for every item that was purchased at their local grocery store. Today we quickly move through the checkout line with our products being scanned and product prices jumping up on a screen in front of us. How did we move from the old cash register to the modern scanner systems we use today?
In 1948 a graduate student named Bernard Silver overheard someone ask if there was a way to identify and track grocery products. Silver told his friend Norman Woodland about this challenge and the two of them began to investigate methods and systems to identify products at check out. They tried several ideas before coming on the idea of a barcode type system that could be printed on products and read by a scanner. They came up with two barcode patterns: one with vertical bars and one that used a circular pattern. They were issued patent 2,612,994 for their invention in 1952. Later this patent was sold to RCA. Woodland was hired by IBM were he encouraged IBM to further develop his ideas.
In 1959 David Collins, who worked at Sylvania, developed a barcode like system to identify rail cars. His system used reflective material that were arranged in stripes and were affixed to the side of rail cars. This system was tested by different railways during the 60's and was ultimately made a standard by the Association of American Railroads. However, due to technical problems and a lack of enthusiasm by the railways, the idea was abandoned.
In 1966 the National Association of Food Chains held a meeting to discuss if there was any way to automatically identify grocery items at checkout. Representatives from RCA attended the meeting and since they had purchased the Silver and Woodland patent they proposed a system based on patents circular barcode. RCA pushed their circular barcode idea over the following years as many other companies got involved. At another meeting in 1971 RCA demonstrated their circular barcode. Also attending this meeting were representatives from IBM. After the meeting one of the IBM marketing people realized that one of the two original inventors of the RCA patent, Woodland, worked for IBM in North Carolina. They quickly started a project headed up by Woodland to create their own barcode system. The circular RCA barcode had serious problems with smearing when applied being products. The IBM barcode was just vertical bars and did not suffer from the same problems.
At 8:01 AM on June 26, 1974 at Marsh's Supermarket in Troy, Ohio a pack of Juicy Fruit gum was scanned using the newly created IBM barcode standard. This barcode became what we know today as the Universal Product Code (UPC Code) that can be found on almost every product in the stores today. The receipt for this first barcode scanned package of gum is in the Smithsonian Museum.
It took many more years for this new barcode system to be widely adopted by the grocery industry, because the grocery stores did not want to invest in scanners until the products were all labeled with the new barcodes and the manufactures did not want to invest in the labeling equipment until there was a significant number of stores that had scanners. Because of this "chicken or the egg" dilemma the new barcode grocery idea almost died. However by the early 80;s the adoption of the new barcode system had a foothold and became an industry standard.
Today barcodes are on everything from our ID Cards to our toothpaste packaging.
ColorID can supply you with a number of barcode readers and ID printer's that are capable of printing barcodes on your badges.
This year ColorID's employees choose to give back by giving of their time and resources in several ways, including:
The following tech tip is a quick overview on how proximity cards and readers work together.
The proximity card reader is wired to an access control system panel. The wires carry power to the reader, and data from the reader to the panel. The Reader emits an electromagnetic field called the "excite field". This field has an elliptical shape as shown in Figure # 1 below.
As Figure 1 shows, the field extends behind the reader almost as much as in front.
When a proximity card is brought within the field, the card absorbs some of the energy from the field. The card converts this field energy to electricity, which allows the electronic circuits in the card to "turn on" and transmit its number to the reader. The reader then sends the card number to the access control system panel, which then looks up in its database to see if the card number is valid and if it has rights to open that door at this time. If the card is approved, then the control panel sends a signal to the door lock to unlock for a period of time.
The card data transmission distance varies with card type and reader type. Larger, more powerful readers do exist; which can energize some cards at a much farther distance. The distance at which a card will successfully transmit data to the reader is called the "Read Range". The read range is approximate and can vary depending on the details of the installation. Maximum range is achieved when the reader is mounted away from metal and cards are presented parallel to the reader face. This allows the reader field to power up the card transponder at a farther distance.
ColorID is offering the new Zebra HC100 wristband printer system that allows admissions staff to produce wristbands on demand with antimicrobial-coated, long-lasting material so patients can be accurately identified.
Developed specifically to meet the unique needs of healthcare providers, the reliable HC100 patient I.D. solution makes wristband printing easier and more cost effective than any available laser solution. The HC100's direct thermal printer uses easy-to-load cartridges containing the only antimicrobial coated wristbands on the market, Zebra's Z-Band wristbands.
The HC100 printer detects the wristband size (adult, pediatric or infant) and automatically calibrates its settings for optimal print quality that remain scan-able for longer than the average patient stay. The HC100 is competitively priced with an MSRP around $999.
ColorID Expands Support for Higher Education Market
CORNELIUS, NC - October 22, 2010 - ColorID, LLC announced today they have hired a Higher Education Account Manager: Matt Genovese. Danny Smith, Executive Vice President of ColorID stated, "We have recently expanded our product line into the higher education market, including these new product offerings: biometric readers, logical access solutions, mobile identification kits and time and attendance solutions. The addition of Matt positions ColorID to service and support our Higher Education customers."
HID has launched a new series of direct to card printers. ColorID has recently evaluated these new models and have reported the results in this post. If you'd like to learn more about the new line of printers, contact ColorID today toll free at (888) 682-6567 or visit us online at www.ColorID.com.
Fargo's new DTC4000 printer comes in a compact design that is easily upgraded. End users can purchase upgrades later and install these on site. Upgrades include: magnetic stripe encoder, dual sided printing, same side input/output hoppers and an extra large 200 card input hopper. Additional options are available; however we'd suggest a factory certified company like ColorID perform these upgrades.
The DTC4000 prints high quality direct to card images very quickly and without card jams. HID has included several key features that help minimize card feeding errors. The new LCD Smart Screen has easy to follow prompts and changing background colors which allow the end user to quickly navigate and determine the printer's status. Another excellent feature allows the printer to have both USB and Ethernet connectivity (previously the printers were either USB or Ethernet).
Throughout the card printing process, the DTC4000 printer showed excellent print speed, no temperature operating issues and it maintained error free operation through 250 card prints. Fargo includes a 2 year warranty with the printer (1 year hot swap warranty, and 2 years parts and labor) which is on par with other printer manufacturer warranties.
Below are some of the DTC4000's specifications and options available:
Printing Method: Dye-Sublimation/Resin Thermal Transfer
Resolution: 300 dpi (11.8 dots/mm)
Colors: Up to 16.7 million/256 shades per pixel
7 seconds per card / 514 cards per hour (K)
12 seconds per card / 300 cards per hour (KO)
24 seconds per card / 150 cards per hour (YMCKO)
Input Hopper Card Capacity: 100 cards(.030" / .762mm)
Output Hopper Card Capacity: 100 cards (.030" / .762mm)
Print Area: CR-80 edge-to-edge and CR79 edge-to-edge.
Warranty: Two Year All Parts and Labor + One Year On-Call Express Warranty Program
Magnetic Stripe Encoder
Ethernet with internal print server
Single Wire Ethernet & USB 2.0 for inline printing and encoding
Same-Side Input/Output Card Hopper
Smart Card Encoding (contact/contactless)
Dual Input Card Hopper
The following are some of ColorID's trade shows over the next couple months. Drop by ColorID's booth and learn more about ID printers, biometric devices, card migrations and more:
National Middle School Association
November 4th - 6th, 2010
Baltimore Convention Center, Booth # 434
Texas Society for Healthcare Human Resources
November 4th - 5th, 2010
CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Hospital
San Antonio, Texas
Canadian Campus Card Workshop
November 2th - 4th, 2010
University of British Columbia
Lastly, forward us the names of trade shows you think would be a good fit for us at email@example.com.
The following article is meant to serve as an overview of the operating temperatures of reverse transfer printers and lamination stations. Not all printers are equal, and all printers come with their own default settings for the temperature at which they run. If you are using a reverse transfer printer or laminating your cardstock you should always be certain to use a composite cardstock of no less than 60% PVC and 40% polyester. This blend is extremely durable and will not be affected by the high temperatures of reverse transfer printing or lamination.
The temperature on printer drivers and LCD displays are in Celsius and thus all discussions regarding printer temperatures are in Celsius (and not Fahrenheit).
REVERSE TRANSFER PRINTERS
Reverse transfer printers print the card image on a transfer film and in a second step the film is fused to the plastic card (this is a different process than the more traditional dye-sublimation, direct-to-card (DTC) printing process).
Many ID card printers have the option of adding an extra protective layer (also called overlaminate) to the plastic card. This lamination step takes place after the card is printed. Lamination can take place on both a DTC type printer and a reverse transfer type printer. The laminate that is applied to the card comes in a separate roll.
ADHERING THE FILM TO THE CARD
The process for applying the transfer film to the card is similar to the process for applying a laminate to a card. The following describes this process to join the film to the card using pressure and heat:
Reverse transfer type printers use a very high temperature for merging the transfer film to the card. The temperatures can be between 150 C and 200 C.
To add lamination to a card, the laminate is pressed to the card with rollers for a certain amount of time and heat is applied. This temperature can vary from one printer to another, for example:
For connecting both transfer film and lamination to a card, the card moves down the card path and moves through heads and rollers that "squeeze" and heat up the film to apply onto the card. The faster the card moves down the card path in the printer, the higher the temperature needs to be to join the film or laminate to the card. In other words a certain energy is needed to make the film or laminate stick to the card and this energy can be delivered with a lower temperature with longer dwell time (slower moving card) or it can be delivered with a higher temperature with a faster moving card (shorter dwell time). The definition of Dwell is "To linger over" or "The time during a process which an item is in the vicinity or motionless". This dwell time can vary from printer to printer:
If you'd like to learn more about this article feel free to contact ColorID today and we'll analyze your existing ID system.
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