What are Retransfer Card Printers?
Retransfer printing technology uses a two-step process by first printing the color images first onto a thin, clear substratum, then transferring heat to the surface of a PVC, polycarbonate or composite card complete with the printed YMCK image.
The printhead in a retransfer printer never makes contact with the card’s surface, unlike direct-to-card technology.
What are the benefits of Retransfer Card Printers?
1) Increased durability
With the colour printed on the retransfer film’s underside instead of directly on the card, the image is protected from direct contact with ID cardholders, wallets, magnetic stripe or contact chip machines by that transparent film.
Thus, the card’s initial quality & colour remains much longer than most direct-to-card prints.
2) Print consistency
Because the printed retransfer film is a known and controlled substratum, print quality is more consistent than direct-to-card technology where the variable surface of the PVC card or slightly raised areas such as an embedded contact chip can affect print performance.
3) Designed for volume and long-life
The printhead used in a retransfer printer never touches the card’s surface, reducing the likelihood of damage or failure. The printhead which direct-to-card printers use can be subjected to dust and dirt on the card surface or uneven / poorly built PVC cards.
If these cards are used with a retransfer printer, there will be no direct harm to the printhead and there will be no impact on the print quality. This is because all the printing takes place between the printhead and the retransfer film, after which the film is then transmitted to the card surface through heat.
When the film is transferred to the surface of a smart card with an integrated chip – the film only adheres to the card surface’s plastic fields – ensuring that the chip section is always smoothly cut out of the overall print.
4) Print over the edge of the card
Retransfer technology utilizes a slightly wider film as a bleed margin – this spreads beyond the top of the card, leaving no white margin whatsoever when it is transferred to the card’s surface.