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Alternative Thermal Printing Option For ID Card Resellers

by Reubenhays

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Membership cards are being widely given out to customers in the retail industry and other industries to gain customer loyalty in a market nowadays. It is a means to assure that customers remain loyal to the firm and additionally through them further advertise the services or business. There are a variety of membership cards and the firms are working hard to have an edge to their loyalty cards over their rival cards in the market. In order to stand out among the competitors as well as make their member feel ‘being special’, firms normally require certain kind of Data Printing on the membership cards, such as Member Name, Birth of Date, Member Type, etc.

Limitation on Thermal Printer

While ID card reseller receives the card from manufacturers, they then setup the printing format, database and process the printing through Thermal Printer. This article reviews the limitation of current Thermal Printing Process and our unique Digital Printing Process overcomes these issues.

  1. High Machinery, Ribbon and Maintenance Cost—General Thermal Printer cost around USD$2K-5K per set. Small and Medium card resellers may only purchase 2-3sets of Thermal Printer for personalization. Besides, the color printing ribbon cost is around USD$50 for printing 200pcs of Photo ID cards (average printing cost USD$4/pcs). In case the printing outcome is not satisfied, photo need to be re-printed hence printing cost raises.

A Thermal Printhead can print about 20K to 50K pieces, the repairs and maintenance fees are also considered. The costs of Thermal Printhead, Gear Belt are high and require on-site services to change the parts. All of these costs accumulate a long-going and heavy running cost for card reseller.

  1. Time Consuming and Labor Cost— although nowadays thermal printers have high performance and great efficiencies, it takes at least 5-7seconds for printing monochrome data and 25-27seconds for full color photo printing. Besides, you must assign a person to input cards and remove printed cards from the hopper. ID card resellers face tight production time issue if their client requires high volume of Photo ID cards.

  2. Data Printing On Custom Shape Cards— the main limitation of all thermal printer is they can only pass through plastic cards in size CR80, CR90 or CR100. Printhead may occur heavy scratches and need to be replaced if custom shape cards pass through thermal printer. Some card resellers print data on transparent label and stick it on each card, however, this takes a heavy labor cost label, time consuming and labels may easily peel off from the card.


Variable Data Printing With Digital Printer


Green Tags and Card Ltd have developed a new printing system which cards are environmental friendly and digitally printed. Associating with Variable Data Printing technique, artwork and required data are printed at the same time on core material. This provides a high degree of flexibility and cost-saving solution for card resellers.


  1. Low Investment on Machinery and Parts— Card Reseller no longer purchase large volume of thermal printer. What you need to do is merely send us artwork and data and we will finish the job here. This reduces huge overhead on machinery, parts as well as repairs and maintenance.

  2. High Speed Production— Comparing with thermal printing, we print artwork together with data at least 20pieces Color or Monochrome cards within 7seconds per machine! Our innovative printing system is 20 times faster productive than thermal printing. High volume orders can be printed in relatively short period.

  3. More ColorfulStandard serial number printing on cards are printed in black color. This is because the color printing ribbon is more expensive than monochrome printing ribbon. We provide a flexible solution for visual management purpose or simply want the database printout to be more colorful.

  4. Die Cut Cards with Data Printing— As we print data on core material then lamination, we are able to produce different custom shape cards with serial number or even Photo printing on it. This provides wider option for card reseller, and client no longer only choosing standard card size while data printing is needed.


Case Study:

Conglomerate uses Eco-Friendly Photo ID Staff Cards

New World Development Company Limited is a leading Hong Kong-based conglomerate, which has thousands of employees working in Hong Kong and China. In 2011, HR Manager has contacted Green Tags and Cards for this project. Because of the high volume renewal staff cards, they are looking for a faster and cost-saving solution instead of printing all cards by themselves.


Green Tags and Cards suggest printing all staff cards in PETG material, which is eco-friendly and digitally printed. The HR department only need to do is to collect Staff Information and Photo from each department, consolidating and send data to us. HR operators sent us about 500-1000pcs per time; we will check the photo quality and also the data format. Finished cards are sent back to client within 7 days. “The card quality and speed are amazing, we are carefree for what Green Tags and Cards provided”, HR Manager of New World Development Company said.


In order to fulfill their needs for temporary staffs and replacement of missing staff cards, we also provide New World Development Company a certain quantity of PETG cards without Photo printed. Because PETG cards are thermally printable, the HR Operators simply use these cards to print Temporary Staff Cards by in-house Thermal Printer. This whole solution provides a great efficiency and convenience to New World Development Company Renewal Staff Card Project.



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