Suddenly it is a diversity of requirements as chief security officers review and buy ID card printers.

According to recent Security Magazine research, the top five elements include ease-of-use, performance of the printer, durability of the card, image quality and, by the way, security features.

The Crystal Bay Club Casino, on Lake Tahoe's North Shore in Nevada, uses two single-sided printers that are optimized for fast color printing to create more than 100,000 player loyalty cards per year. The cards are pre-printed with the casino's logo, so only one pass is required to personalize the front of the card with each player's name and account number. "Our goal in choosing the card printers (Zebra Card Printer Solutions) was to provide on-the-spot player tracking cards for our casino guests," reported James Hunnell, acting slot manager for Crystal Bay Club Casino. Barona Casino, located on the Barona Indian tribal lands 30 miles northeast of San Diego, also issues personalized membership cards to players on demand via its Club Barona program.

Another printer advance is reverse-transfer printers. Embedded in the Prima 3 from Ultra Electronics, reverse transfer process works like this: The ID card images are transferred (or sublimated) from the dye film onto a clear film which is then laminated entirely onto the card, with the image underneath.

Durability is on Hi Touch’s list of card printer features. Armed with a dual side color printing module, one HiTi model boasts an optional lamination module.

At Team NiSCA, it now has Windows Vista compatible drivers.

In addition, a new Team NiSCA single sided printer provides a simple and affordable out-of-the-box solution for high quality high durability ID cards with low maintenance requirements. The printer is small enough to fit into an office overhead bin or under a counter.

And late last year, In Paris, Datacard Group talked about fast-track production when the Nigeria government issued desktop card printers to issue 70 million voters’ cards in just two months.

In addition, new printer technology allows end-users to print cards and badges using a variety of materials. From Digital Identification Solutions, its EDIsecure XID Retransfer technology makes it possible to print onto materials, including PVC, PVH, ABS, Polycarbonate and pure PET. Even Digicards and Lasercards can be personalized with the Digital Identification solutions.

There are more sophisticated visitor management systems that allow integration into a network and access control system.

SIDEBAR: New Visitor ID Solutions

There are sophisticated as well as simpler ways to identify and welcome visitors.

One example comes from STOPware and its PassagePoint enterprise-level visitor management solution. Extensive customization, integration and configuration capabilities make it easy to implement a visitor management solution either globally or locally, including the ability to control operations from a centralized location, customize screens and lists.

Aimed a visitor management, TEMPbadge has developed coating and printing technology to create materials that reveal a message, color or design after a specified time period.

Speaking right out of the box, Brady People ID has made the task of ordering and implementing a visitor management badging system easy thanks to TEMPbadge Solution Packs. Solution packs are available in both manual (badges written by hand) and printable (badges completed using a direct thermal printer) versions.