Types of Plastic Card Printer Ribbons

By: Lisa Mason


Plastic card printers are a wonderful piece of equipment that can make a great addition to any office or business. They allow you to create your own ID cards anytime you have a need for one. Some of these printers use ribbons which will need to be replaced. It is important to know a little about the different types of plastic card printer ribbons available so you can find the ones that are needed for your particular machine.

Part of determining which type of ID card printer ribbons needed for your unit will be based on the type of printer that you have. For example, the brand of ID card printer along with the make and model are the biggest factors that will determine the type of ribbons you need. Each company that manufactures a card printer also makes the ribbons for that particular machine. It is always best to use the one that is designed for your specific unit.

Ribbon Types

There are several different types of plastic card printer ribbons available. Understanding a little about them will help you determine which one would be right for you. For example, ribbons are referred to by a code that lets the buyer know what type of ribbon they are purchasing.

Here are some examples of the codes used and what they stand for:

YMCKO = Yellow Magenta Cyan Black Overlay

YMCKT = Yellow Magenta Cyan Black and Topcoat

YMCKK = Yellow Magenta Cyan 2 Black Resin Panels

YMCKT-KT = Yellow Magenta Cyan Black and Topcoat, Black and Topcoat Reverse

YMCK = Yellow Magenta Cyan Black

Some ID card printer ribbons have holographic overlays which are excellent for added security because the hologram image is impossible to duplicate. It is a three-dimensional image that does not need any type of special device to view.

How to Choose the Right Ribbon

Choosing the printer ribbons that suit your machine is very important. If you buy the wrong ribbons it could make it difficult to read the ID card or it is even possible for the card printer to simply do nothing at all. Certain types could even damage your unit making it necessary for you to replace the machine. Using a different brand ribbon could even void your printer's warranty. It would make a lot more sense to buy the right one to begin with and save all of this aggravation and extra money.

Buying a ribbon for your identification card printer machine may seem like a simple process that wouldn't take much thought. However, this is not the case. Even though it is a small part of the machine, the ribbon is a vital part that must be the right type and style before your machine will work properly.

When you need to replace your printer card ribbon, you should begin by using the printer brand of the machine you have. After finding the brand name you can then search for the type of ribbon needed for the particular model and make that you have. This will make it easier to find the ribbon that was designed specifically for your unit.

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