Post Printing of Cards
Universal Smart Cards can print cards in the bureau using either Dye-Sublimation or Re-Transfer Card printers. Both enable printing in a relatively quick environment as we can print white cards that are normally kept in stock.
In dye-sublimation printing, colours are not laid down as individual dots, as is done in inkjet printers. Individual dots can be distinguished at a relatively close distance, making images look less realistic.
If you looked inside a dye-sublimation printer, you would see a long roll of transparent film that resembles sheets of red, blue, yellow, and grey coloured cellophane stuck together end to end. Embedded in this film are solid dyes corresponding to the four basic colours used in printing: cyan, magenta, yellow and black. The print head heats up as it passes over the film, causing the dyes to vaporize and permeate the glossy surface of the paper before they return to solid form.
So the main difference between this and other types of printing has to do with heat. The vaporized colours permeate the surface of the paper, creating a gentle gradation at the edges of each pixel, instead of the conspicuous border between dye and paper produced by inkjets. And because the colour infuses the plastic, it is also less vulnerable to fading and distortion over time.
The quality is very good, but not as good as pre-printed or re-transfer printing and like these other forms of printing, is heavily reliant on the quality of the artwork or picture it is taken from.
ReTransfer Printing allows a very similar quality of print when compared to pre-printed (litho printed) cards as you can print to the edge of the card and very close to the chip.
Good consistency of printing is a result of this process as it prints directly on the transfer film. Each print is extremely high quality and there is little variation in this print quality. The unit prints on the reverse of a transparent PVC re-transfer film which is then laminated onto the face of a card made from PVC, PET, ABS or PVH.
In a traditional print process there are several variables that affect the print quality including card size variations, edge smoothness, foreign material on the card surface, ribbon tightness and as the ribbon is used there is a tendency of the ribbons to stretch or move slightly out of alignment. This is not the case with ReTransfer printing as this process is very tightly controlled.
Durability of Card is substantially improved by bonding the substrate film with the card material. The ReTransfer process encapsulates the printed image within a bond of extremely durable material and can increase the card life.
Additional security overlays may be adhered on top of the bonding film to increase durability and improve security. Custom secure holographic overlays are available.