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Pre-Printing Card Options:
There are numerous types of ways to print onto a plastic identification card. The three most popular pre-printing options are:
High Definition/Digital Press: High Definition or Digital Press printing is ideal for low to mid-level quantities from 500 up to 10,000 cards. This process offers up to 3,000 DPI print resolution. The main difference from Lithographic is digital press plastic sheets are usually only 21 cards per sheet. End users can utilize multiple colors for their cards and incorporate PMS (Pantone) colors for their unique and custom branding. The proofing process has always been digital with high definition digital presses.
Dye Sublimation: Dye sublimation printing is done one card at a time on pre-assembled ID cardstock. This printing method is generally used for low volume printing. The dye sublimation process will apply color to the cardstock one color at a time: Yellow, Magenta, Cyan and then Black. Since this process only uses a four color process it is not able to match PMS (Pantone) colors. This process is excellent for quick turn projects, low quantities and variable printing jobs.
If you call ColorID we can help you decide what process is best for your project. We will ask several questions that we help us determine what is the best trade-off of cost, speed and the details of the final product. ColorID has many years of experience managing large and small projects and can help you identify what printing process is best for your carding project.
Thank you for visiting with ColorID at the 2011 NACCU conference. Our "Rock the Dock" customer appreciation event was another memorable night and we could not have pulled it off without all of your support!
Some of our product highlights from this year's show were:
1.) Transaction Management - Features customizable software, modular components, doesn't require proprietary systems and can be integrated into existing systems.
2.) Contactless Migration - Complete solutions for migrating from mag stripe/prox cardstock to new advanced technology cards like HID iClass, DESFire, Gemalto and more.
3.) ID Badge Printers - We demonstrated the new Fargo by HID line as well as Datacard, Zebra, Nisca, Evolis and Magicard.
Our "Rock the Dock" customer appreciation event was a hit with over 200 attendees! ColorID has put together a video of the event, capturing some of the highlights of the evening (we apologize that some of the audio is distorted):
We are truly fortunate to have such a wonderful group of customers and we are already working on next year's event! See you in Seattle, WA.
There is a CRITICAL Datacard FIRMWARE UPDATE if you use any of these Datacard Printers:
To upgrade to the new firmware, go to this web sitewww.datacard.com/GoGreen and click on the Download Now button and follow the instructions. If it would be easier for you to have a firmware CD, just contact your ColorID account manager and we will send you a CD. If you have any questions or trouble with the upgrade, please call our ColorID technical support group at 888-682-6567 for assistance.
REMINDER, TAKE PART IN THE FOLLOWING DRAWING FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN AN IPAD!
ColorID is pleased to offer our customers an opportunity to win an Apple iPad or a Free Lunch for your entire card office (four card offices will win the free lunch). We will do a random drawing for the winners on July 1, 2011. To enter, just register a campus card project (examples: card migration, contactless card purchase, re-carding, ID printer upgrade, biometric reader addition, supply purchase, etc). For each project you register for you increase your chances of winning (you can register up to five projects).
Register online between March 28, 2011 and June 30, 2011 by clicking the link below. Just answer 3 questions and submit your registration. You can also register in person at our booth #409 at the NACCU conference this April in Baltimore.
ColorID and Monitor Business Machines today announced a strategic partnership. The partnership will allow ColorID to provide Monitor's cost effective and affordable transaction management solutions to higher education institutions and other ColorID served markets.
Danny Smith stated "We are excited to integrate Monitor's full range of transaction management products and services into our ColorID offerings. With Monitor's strong reputation as a leading provider of high quality transaction management solutions, we believe their products are well suited for the U.S. higher education market. This new partnership allows ColorID to continue to innovate and grow as a technology leader."
Monitor Business Machines is a global manufacturer and supplier of software and hardware based transaction management solutions. The products form a family of solutions that provide integrated expense management and cost recovery services for the various industries it supplies to. The Monitor solution consists of a broad range of products that enable controlling access to and charging for the use of services such as printing, photocopying, scanning, vending, laundry, point of sale both on and off campus, PC use, parking and other micropayments. The products are able to use a wide range of identification technologies including mag stripe cards, Mifare, HID or user login and password. Monitor supplies its solutions in New Zealand, Australia, the USA, UK, Canada, South Africa, Europe and parts of Asia. Contact Monitor at +64-9-309-8047. Visit monitor on the web at http://www.monitorbm.com/
This week's post is a quick tip related to operating systems and ID badge printers. Many organizations are moving over to a Microsoft Windows 7 Operating System.
This transition may directly affect your ID card printing system. Before your organization makes the switch check to see if your ID badge printer will work with Windows 7. If your printer is not on this list, please e-mail me your printer model and we can check the compatibility.
If you are changing your operating system to Windows 7, please keep this in mind:
Why Should I Tune-Up my Printer?
Your ID printer needs to be able to print on a consistent basis, day in and out. We have all had scenarios where an unforeseen amount of cardholders come at the same exact time needing a card, only to have the printer stop working and have to deal with the frustration of not being able to offer the service we would like. Finding time to have your printer tuned-up can be difficult; however the benefits far outweigh the risks of not getting regular maintenance.
Here are just a few of the key steps that should be included in an ID Printer Tune-up:
Request a tune-up today
How do barcodes work?
Barcodes work by having combinations of black bars or dots and spaces. Each barcode type has its own unique language or format. The most common bar code type is one-dimensional bar codes (1-D) which are a series of black bars. When a barcode is swiped or scanned the reader directs some kind of light toward the black bars and spaces and then measures the reflection of light back to the reader. When light is directed at white spaces it reflects the light while light is absorbed by black bars. In this way the reader can determine if it is passing over a black bar (no reflection) or a white space (reflection). The reader can also sense the width of the bars or the spaces.
With the basic concept of being able to read bars and spaces and their respective widths, formats have been constructed that assign a character (example 1-9, A-Z, etc) to a unique combination of bars and spaces.
The following are two examples of how a common 1-D format type, called Code 39 uses this basic principal of unique sequences of bars and spaces to present a single character:
By stringing these unique sequences together you can form multiple characters or numbers. For example "A0" would be as follows:
This simple set of concepts is used to create dozens of different bar codes types for multiple applications.
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:
20480-F Chartwell Center Dr.
Cornelius, NC 28031
CONVENIENT PAYMENT OPTIONS
ColorID provides the highest quality products with superb service at an exceptional value. We want your experience with ColorID to be a positive one - from the ease of ordering products - to the quality of our products - to our follow up and our attention to detail.