Printing Supplies for PVC Card Printing in South Africa: A Comprehensive Guide to Choosing the Right Ribbons and Consumables for Card Printers

Card printer supplies -

Printing Supplies for PVC Card Printing in South Africa: A Comprehensive Guide to Choosing the Right Ribbons and Consumables for Card Printers

In today's digital age, the printing industry has seen a lot of growth and advancement. PVC card printing is one of the fastest-growing areas in the printing industry, especially in South Africa. PVC cards are used for various applications, including identification cards, membership cards, access control cards, and more. The quality of the PVC cards depends on the printing supplies used during the printing process.

This blog will give an overview of the various printing supplies required for PVC card printing in South Africa, focusing on the DS card printer that we supply at Easi-card. 

Overview of PVC Card Printing Supplies

DS with consumables

PVC card printing requires specific supplies that differ from regular paper printing. The main supplies required for PVC card printing are ink, ribbons, cleaning supplies, and PVC cards. The following is a brief overview of each of these supplies.

Ink

direct to card print

Ink is the most crucial component of PVC card printing. Ink for PVC card printing differs from standard ink used for paper printing. PVC card printing ink must be formulated to adhere to the plastic surface of the card, making it durable and resistant to wear and tear. The two most common types of ink used for PVC card printing are dye-sublimation (dye-sub) and thermal resin.

Dye-sub ink is a type of ink that uses heat to transfer the dye from a ribbon onto the PVC card. Dye-sub ink is also known as direct-to-card printing, as you print directly from the printhead onto the PVC card.

The dye is absorbed into the PVC material, making it permanent and resistant to fading, peeling, and smudging. Dye-sub ink is preferred for printing high-quality, full-colour images on PVC cards. Dye-sub ink is mainly used for the DS card printer range. This ink allows you to print in 300 dpi. However, it does not allow for over-the-edge printing. Meaning that cards will have a white border around the edge. 

retransfer print

Thermal resin ink, on the other hand, is a type of ink that uses heat to transfer the ink from a ribbon onto the PVC card. Thermal ink is also known as retransfer card printing; it is a two-step process.

Firstly, the card design is printed onto a durable overlay transfer film.

Secondly, the overlay film is bonded onto the card’s surface using a combination of heat and pressure. Thermal resin ink is ideal for printing text and barcodes on PVC cards as it creates sharp, durable images. It produces cards with over-the-edge printing and has a higher dpi than dye sublimation. It can go up to 600 dpi, which is a very high resolution for desktop printers.

Thermal resin ink is found in the CR805 range of card printers 

Ribbons

Card printer ribbons

Ribbons are another essential component of PVC card printing. They are used to transfer ink onto the surface of the PVC card. There are two types of ribbons: dye-sublimation and thermal resin ribbons. Dye-sub ribbons are used with dye-sub ink, while thermal resin ribbons are used with thermal resin ink.

Dye-sub ribbons contain three colour panels (cyan, magenta, and yellow) and one black panel. During printing, the dye from the ribbon is transferred onto the PVC card in a process called sublimation. Sublimation is when a solid substance turns directly into a gas without passing through a liquid state. The heat applied during printing causes the dye to vaporise and permeate the PVC material, creating a permanent, full-colour image. Dye-sublimation printer ribbons deliver colour-rich graphics, crisp text and precise barcode printing.

Our direct-to-card printers and DS range offer great ribbons supplies. 

On the other hand, thermal resin ribbons contain a single panel of ink, which is transferred onto the PVC card using heat and pressure. This is great for the CR805 card printer with the CR805 Retransfer Ribbon. 

Cleaning Supplies

Cleaning kit for card printers

Keeping your PVC card printer clean is essential to ensure that it functions correctly and produces high-quality prints. A dirty printer can result in poor print quality and even damage the printer's internal components. Cleaning supplies for PVC card printers include cleaning cards, cleaning swabs, and cleaning rollers.

Cleaning kits contain cleaning cards inserted into the printer's card feed and run through the printer to remove any dirt, debris, or ink residue from the printer's internal components. Cleaning swabs are used to clean hard-to-reach areas in the printer, such as the printhead and rollers. Cleaning rollers are used to remove any dirt or debris from the printer's rollers, which can cause paper jams or poor print quality.

By cleaning your card printer regularly, you can reduce costly repairs and increase the lifetime of your card printer. 

When is the optimal time to clean your card printer?

  • After every ribbon change.
  • After 500 card prints.
  • After the printhead has been replaced or repaired.

These will make sure that your card printer is kept up to standard.

PVC Cards

PVC blank cards

The final essential component of PVC card printing is the PVC card itself. PVC cards are made from a type of plastic called polyvinyl chloride. They are durable, water-resistant, and can withstand wear and tear, making them ideal for various applications. PVC cards come in various colours and can be customised using a PVC card printer with text, images, and graphics. PVC cards come standard with a 30ml thickness and CR80 size, the same size as a credit card. 

If you want to create cards with different designs and sizes, we can print those at our factories. Please contact us for more about this. 

Choosing the Right Printing Supplies for PVC Card Printing

Print colours

Choosing the right printing supplies for PVC card printing is crucial to ensure the quality and durability of the final product. Here are some tips for choosing the right printing supplies:

  1. Choose the right ink: As mentioned earlier, dye-sub ink is ideal for printing high-quality, full-colour images, while thermal resin ink is better for printing text and barcodes. When choosing the ink, consider the type of image you want to print on the PVC card. You will not have to worry about this as the card printers come with the ink supplied. This is just helpful to know when you are buying the card printer for the first time. 

  2. Choose the right ribbon: Make sure to choose the right ribbon for your card printer. Using the wrong ribbon can result in poor print quality and even damage the printer's internal components. We will usually supply you with the correct ribbons with your card printer. For example, if you'd like to print white on your blue card, you must buy a white ribbon. We can supply this for you and help you produce eye-catching cards. 

  3. Choose the right PVC card: Consider the type and colour of the PVC card you want to print on. Choose a card that is compatible with your printer and can withstand the application it will be used for. For example, you will be given a standard PVC blank card; however, if you'd like to print a card with technology, you can do so. Please remember that printing with a DTC card printer (DS Range), you may have issues of the printer skipping over the chip of a technology card, because it prints from the printhead. It may damage the printer so rather do this as a factory job and get a hold of us for that. Otherwise, the DS range prints beautiful jobs for the blank cards. 

  4. Use high-quality cleaning supplies: Keeping your PVC card printer clean is essential to ensure that it functions correctly and produces high-quality prints. Use high-quality cleaning supplies to ensure that your printer stays in good condition. We supply you with a basic cleaning kit when you purchase a ribbon with your card printer. 

  5. Consider the brand: Choose a reputable brand for your printing supplies. Reputable brands are more likely to produce high-quality, reliable products lasting longer and provide better results. The Entrust Sigma DS range of card printers is a great brand to go for if you're stuck on which brands are good. 

DS Card Printer

DS3 card printer

The DS card printer is a popular PVC card printer in South Africa. It is known for its high-quality prints and ease of use. The DS card printer uses dye-sub ink and dye-sub ribbons to produce high-quality, full-colour images on PVC cards. The printer can print in colour and black and white. Depending on what kind of design you are going for. It is a very versatile card printer, making it suitable for printing text, images, QR and barcodes.

When choosing printing supplies for the DS card printer, it is essential to choose the right ink and ribbon for the printer. The printer is compatible with the YMCKO dye-sub ribbon, which contains four colour panels (yellow, magenta, cyan, and black) and an overlay panel for added durability. The printer is also compatible with the monochrome black ribbon, which is ideal for printing text and barcodes in black and white. Customers usually have this ribbon for the back of the card where only details and barcodes are displayed. 

The DS card printer also requires regular cleaning to ensure that it functions correctly and produces high-quality prints. We offer cleaning kits, swabs, and rollers specifically designed for the DS card printer.

The DS card printers are the easiest to use printers in the industry. We provide online support for our customers who need assistance. We also supply a training course which is paid for once off. 

If you'd like help with our support team, please feel free to contact us; we'd be happy to help. We charge a fee for call-ups and meet-ups, but we assure you that you will get the best support possible for your business. 

Conclusion

Card solutions

In conclusion, PVC card printing requires specific supplies that differ from regular paper printing. The main supplies required for PVC card printing are ink, ribbons, cleaning supplies, and PVC cards.

Choosing the right printing supplies is crucial to ensure the quality and durability of the final product. Consider the type of image you want to print on the PVC card, the type of card you are printing on, and colour of the PVC card, and the brand of the printing supplies when choosing your supplies.

The DS card printer is a popular PVC card printer in South Africa known for its high-quality prints and ease of use. When choosing printing supplies for the DS card printer, it is essential to choose the right ink, ribbon, and cleaning supplies for the printer.

We know that this can be a daunting experience when you know nothing about card printers, however, we are here to help make this process more simple and easy for you. We care about your business and want to help you make the right choices.

Whatever issues or concerns you have, please feel free to get in touch with us and one of our friendly staff members will happily assist you. 


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