ID Printers, Badges & Accessories
How To Prevent Blank ID Cards From Damage
If you are not sure how to handle blank ID cards properly, you are in luck. We frequently advise customers to practise caution when handling a blank ID card. Debris, dust, and oils from your skin can be exposed to the cards and damage the print head. Replacing the latter can set you back hundreds of dollars! You can follow these four simple steps when handling blank ID cards to avoid damage.
Always Keep Your Cards in a Clean Environment
You can store them in their original packaging or dust-free containers with a temperature between 65 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. If you have dropped or soiled your cards, avoid using or cleaning them. Dispose of the cards immediately and replace them with fresh cards. Clean cards help to drastically improve print-head life, and increase the consistency of high-quality printed images.
Handle Cards Properly
Cards when not handled properly can introduce dirt, dust and oil to your printer. Use a clean cotton glove to handle blank cards and remember to touch the cards’ edges only, as oil from the fingers will prevent the ink or dyes from sticking properly onto the cards. Blank cards need to be handled with utmost care to prevent contamination from lint, oils, dust, dirt, and fingerprints. Such contamination can lead to lines, voids or dull areas on printed cards. Additionally, contamination can heavily reduce print-head life. Each print head approximately costs US$600, if you are not aware!
Ensure Cards are of High Quality
Cards can be bought from a multitude of sources and are manufactured all over the world. While retrieving cards is easy, ensuring they are of acceptable quality for dye sublimation and direct-to-card printing can be a tricky challenge. Some manufacturers use cheap production methods, producing cards with poor dies that result in rough edges and marks. Poorly executed printing impacts print heads and ribbons too, resulting in defective card prints.
Laminate the Cards
If you prioritize durability for your cards, this is a no-brainer: you need to laminate your ID cards. This technique protects the printed portion of the card from any damage. Furthermore, the laminate layer is typically very thin, so there is no added bulk and it gives your cards a nice finish. Laminating ID cards also prevents them from cracking, fading, getting scratched and more. Some people issue ID cards with badge holders too, which serve as a barrier between your card and external elements that could damage your card.
Essentially, cards produced in factories that do not practise quality control are often exposed to dirt and debris. When a print head comes in contact with a contaminated card, the dirt can damage the print-head pixels' cover and ruin the pixels. Broken pixels cannot deposit dye to card surfaces and will result in white streaks across a card. Furthermore, small pieces of debris on a card will appear in the print, making it unprofessional-looking and unattractive. Using high-quality cards would also be very helpful, as this means lesser cleaning, getting fewer reject cards, and a lower chance of having to replace print heads.