Plastic ID Card Printer Review, & Prices in Nigeria
It is not uncommon to see why the reach for plastic ID card printers has surfaced of late. The good news is that these printers can be used for loads of other printing purposes. To add, some plastic ID card printers are used to print on DVDs and CDs.
In this article, we will consider some of the common plastic ID card printers available in the market space and how much they go for.
Prices of Plastic ID Card Printers in Nigeria
A card printer is an electronic desktop printer with single card feeders which print and personalize plastic cards. In this respect they differ from, for example, label printers which have a continuous supply feed. Card dimensions are usually 85.60 × 53.98 mm, standardized under ISO/IEC 7810 as ID-1. This format is also used in EC-cards, telephone cards, credit cards, driver’s licenses and health insurance cards.
This is commonly known as the bank card format. Card printers are controlled by corresponding printer drivers or by means of a specific programming language. Generally card printers are designed with laminating, striping, and punching functions, and use desktop or web-based software.
The hardware features of a card printer differentiate a card printer from the more traditional printers, as ID cards are usually made of PVC plastic and require laminating and punching. Different card printers can accept different card thickness and dimensions.
Here are some of the most known plastic ID card printers in the market space today :
- Zebra ZXP Series 3 ID Card System — (NGN) 550,000 naira == (NGN) 580,000 naira
- Datacard Dual Carded ID Card Printer SD360 — (NGN) 350,000 naira == (NGN) 400,000 naira
- Fargo High Level Universal Fargo HDP4500 Dual Sided ID Card Printer — (NGN) 650,000 naira ==(NGN) 700,000 naira
- Fargo High Level HDP5000 Dual Sided ID Card Printer — (NGN) 830,000 naira == (NGN) 880,000 naira
- Canon Pixma IP7240 Printer CD ID Card DVD Printer — (NGN) 28,000 naira == (NGN) 40,000 naira
- Canon Pixma IP7240 Printer CD ID Card Full Package — (NGN) 40,000 naira == (NGN) 55,000 naira
- Epson L850 CD and ID Card All in one Ink Tank Printer — (NGN) 140,000 naira == (NGN) 170,000 naira
- Epson L805 CD and ID Card Printer — (NGN) 118,000 naira == (NGN) 155,000 naira
- Fargo High Level DTC125Oe Dual Sided ID Card Printer + ribbon + 500 Pvc Card — (NGN) 380,000 naira === (NGN) 420,000 naira
The principle is the same for practically all Plastic card printers: the plastic card is passed through a thermal print head at the same time as a color ribbon. The color from the ribbon is transferred onto the card through the heat given out from the print head. The standard performance for card printing is 300 dpi (300 dots per inch, equivalent to 11.8 dots per mm). There are different printing processes, which vary in their detail:
- Thermal transfer
Mainly used to personalize pre-printed plastic cards in monochrome. The color is “transferred” from the (monochrome) color ribbon onto the card.
- Dye sublimation
This process uses four panels of color according to the CMYK color ribbon. The card to be printed passes under the print head several times each time with the corresponding ribbon panel. Each color in turn is diffused (sublimated) directly onto the card. Thus it is possible to produce a high depth of color (up to 16 million shades) on the card. Afterwards a transparent overlay (O) also known as a topcoat (T) is placed over the card to protect it from mechanical wear and tear and to render the printed image UV resistant.
- Reverse image technology
The standard for high-security card applications that use contact and contact less smart chip cards. The technology prints images onto the underside of a special film that fuses to the surface of a card through heat and pressure. Since this process transfers dyes and resins directly onto a smooth, flexible film, the print-head never comes in contact with the card surface itself. As such, card surface interruptions such as smart chips, ridges caused by internal RFID antennae and debris do not affect print quality. Even printing over the edge is possible.
- Thermal rewrite print process
In contrast to the majority of other card printers, in the thermal rewrite process the card is not personalized through the use of a color ribbon, but by activating a thermal sensitive foil within the card itself. These cards can be repeatedly personalized, erased and rewritten. The most frequent use of these are in chip-based student identity cards, whose validity changes every semester.
Things to Consider Before Purchasing a Plastic ID Card Printer
- You will need to consider the durability of the printer you are getting
- Consider the image quality the card printer delivers
- Be sure to consider what you will be printing
- Consider the portability
- Consider the simplicity
There are basically two categories of card printer software: desktop-based, and web-based (online). The biggest difference between the two is whether or not a customer has a printer on their network that is capable of printing identification cards. If a business already owns an ID card printer, then a desktop-based badge maker is probably suitable for their needs.
Typically, large organizations who have high employee turnover will have their own printer. A desktop-based badge maker is also required if a company needs their IDs make instantly. An example of this is the private construction site that has restricted access.
However, if a company does not already have a local (or network) printer that has the features they need, then the web-based option is a perhaps a more affordable solution.
The web-based solution is good for small businesses that don’t anticipate a lot of rapid growth, or organizations who either can’t afford a card printer, or don’t have the resources to learn how to set up and use one. Generally speaking, desktop-based solutions involve software, a database (or spreadsheet) and can be installed on a single computer or network.
Common Printing Problems
Many printing problems are caused by physical defects in the card material itself, such as deformation or warping of the card that is fed into the machine in the first place. Printing irregularities can also result from chip or antenna embedding that alters the thickness of the plastic and interferes with the printer’s effectiveness.
Other issues are often caused by operator errors, such as users attempting to feed non-compatible cards into the card printer, while other printing defects may result from environmental abnormalities such as dirt or contaminants on the card or in the printer.
Reverse transfer printers are less vulnerable to common printing problems than direct-to-card printers, since with these printers the card does not come into direct contact with the printhead.
It is very important that the printer should be compatible with the current version of your operating system. As it stands for windows, windows 2000 or XP are standard on most models of plastic ID card printers. So before purchase you might need to check with your sales director about the compatibility.