Step 4. Volume Requirements
Knowing the estimated daily and annual printing volume is very important in helping you choose the right printer. This section will help you consider saving upfront with a lower level printer, compared to saving in the long run on production time and supplies cost.
Handfed vs. Batch Printing
Some entry-level printers only offer handfed printing since they don’t have input or output hoppers. Handfed printers require each card to be manually loaded one at a time, and are ideal for organizations that only print a few cards per day.
Input & Output Hopper Capacity
Input hoppers hold the blank cards before printing, while output hoppers hold the printed cards as they come out of the printer.
A full colored print can take 12-35 seconds per card depending on which printer you use. Organizations with high volume print requirements can save time and production costs by selecting a faster printer. Organizations with low to medium volume programs will be impacted less dramatically by printer speeds, and should focus on other factors.
Max Ribbon Yield
Instead of ink or toner, ID card printers use ribbons to print. Each ribbon has a set number of prints that it can produce, which is called the ribbon yield. Larger ribbons need to be changed less often, saving time and labor, and tend to have a lower cost per print.