Friday, 21 May 2010 00:00
A number of organizations today realize the importance of personalized identification cards and have determined that there are many benefits of utilizing these cards in their business. Identification, tracking, access control and financial transactions are a few of the benefits that can be derived from a small plastic card individualized to each employee. Zebra card printer systems are popular systems that use DTC printing or retransfer printing. The differences between the print options are explained here.
Direct to Card
Standard card printing for the past few years has been the direct to card (DTC) method of printing from ID card printers. The image desired on the card is printed directly to the card resulting in a clear, colorful badge that can be utilized for many applications. The dye from the ribbon is diffused onto the card surface using the various panels of the YMCK print ribbon. An O panel is then printed over the surface as an overlay panel protecting the printed surface of the card. This printing is edge to edge printing. That means that the card cannot be printed over the edge. This results in a small, thin white line around the boarder of the image on the card. The print head is unable to print over the card edge.
Retransfer printing is a printing process currently used for a wide range of public uses and larger private companies are also moving in this direction. The retransfer process is superior to the DTC process as it provides the ability to print on uneven card surfaces with clear detailed results.
Retransfer printing provides a printing process that is designed to prevent counterfeiting and will result in a reduction of tampering with the cards. This type of security is demanded by large agencies and government offices that need to protect their assets.
The retransfer process provides image placement across the entire surface of the card. Unlike DTC printing, the retransfer process provides images over the edge of the card. The image is placed on the card by a film that is thermally bonded to the card. The image resides on the card underneath the top layer providing a clear, superior print. Because this film easily shows damage, any tampering is easily noticed and appropriate action can be taken based on the security processes of the organization.
Retransfer Printing for a longer lifespan of printhead
In the DTC printing process, the print head contacts the rigid card to transfer the color from the ribbon onto the card. This process places wear on the print head. The retransfer printing allows for improved lifespan of the print head as it does not come into contact with the card in the same manner. The cost of print heads is quite high and so the return on investment is higher with the use of a retransfer card printer.
Smart card users often find the perfect solution with a retransfer printer. This type of printer can provide the flexible encoding needed, provide for fraud protection and provide clear sharp images needed. The durable card printed with this type of printing will last longer than the traditional laminated card or the card printed by DTC printer capabilities.