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Smart-51 Printers

Buy IDP Smart-51 ID Card Printers

The IDP Smart-51 Series are mid-range ID card printers designed for speed and reliability. A 300 dpi (dots-per-inch) print resolution using direct-to-card printing technology equates to high quality graphics covering the card surface edge-to-edge. Speed is enhanced by efficiency with large capacity input and output hoppers that promote high-volume card printing without interruption. Meet your exact card badging needs with the choice of single-sided printing, dual-sided printing, and lamination capabilities. Configuration upgrades for your Smart-51 printer include Ethernet connectivity and encoding for magnetic stripes, contact smart cards, and contactless smart cards.

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Have Questions about IDP Smart-51 Card Printers? We Have Answers!

What are the Main Features and Benefits of the IDP Smart-51 ID Card Printer?

IDP Smart-51 card printers offer top-level results at an affordable price. Speed and efficiency are aided by an easy-to-operate design that is built tough to withstand years of continuous use. The Smart-51 series is an ideal choice to create employee credential cards, student ID cards, membership cards, loyalty program cards, and event name badges.

Key features offered by the Smart-50:

  • Single- or dual-sided printing capabilities
  • Lamination upgrade with a laminator module in dual-sided models
  • Direct-to-card printing for edge-to-edge card surface coverage
  • High print speeds that clock in at a maximum 17 seconds per card (YMCKO single-sided printing)
  • Large-capacity input hopper holding 100 cards in its default state and 200 cards with the cover open
  • Flexibility to accept transparent cards
  • Built for durability from the inside out – a metal frame and steel ball bearings are hiding under the Smart-51’s sleek exterior.
  • 300 dpi for excellent image reproduction
  • Refined printing with FINE™ Imaging Technology
Should I Choose the Single-Sided Smart-51 or the Dual-Sided Smart-51?

dual-sided ID card printer card

The decision to purchase a dual-sided ID card printer over a single-sided printer depends on the credentials that need to be included on your cards. If you’ll only be displaying the cardholder’s photo and name on the card, then the single-sided Smart-51 will be adequate to fulfill your needs. On the other hand, if more information is required for security and access, you should select the dual-sided Smart-51 printer (also called a duplex or double-sided printer) that prints on both sides of a card at one time.

Don’t take a chance on reinserting your printed cards back into your single-sided printer to print on the blank side. You’ll make your Smart-51 vulnerable to external elements such as debris and fingertip oils that may damage the printhead – damage that isn’t covered by your warranty and may result in expensive repairs.

Why Would I Need to Laminate my Cards?

Just because cards are composed of a PVC or composite plastic does not guarantee card durability or protection against credential fading.

Lamination offers three primary benefits to a plastic ID card:

  • Lamination extends the life of your card by protecting it from wear, such as being swiped in a magnetic stripe reader
  • Lamination protects your cards from fading and dye migration when exposed to the sun
  • Holographic lamination increases the security of your cards by making them difficult to copy

Choose a laminating printer if your cards will be swiped in a magnetic stripe reader or barcode reader, will be worn in extreme conditions such as in the sun, or if your cards need high-security features. The Smart-51 with lamination is highly recommended for organizations in manufacturing, construction, healthcare, law enforcement or the military. Lamination is available for dual-sided Smart-51 printers.

I Need to be Able to Store or Access Data on my Cards. What are my Card Encoding Options?

Barcode Code Printing

Barcode Code Printing cardWith barcode encoding, the data is not stored within the barcode, but rather electronically in a computer. To store the desired information, you’ll need an IDP Smart-51 printer or software with encoding capabilities. The remaining requirement is the use of an authentic IDP printer ribbon that comes with a black resin panel to create crisp, easy-to-scan barcodes.

Requirements: All IDP Smart-51 printers can add a 1-D or 2-D barcode to a plastic card. To read the barcode, you simply need a barcode scanner connected to a computer housing the barcode's data.


Magnetic Stripe Encoding

Magnetic Stripe Encoding cardUnlike a barcode, a magnetic stripe stores information within itself. Let’s consider access control; a card holds data that will unlock preprogrammed doors. Simply swipe the card through a magnetic strip reader to validate your entry and the door will unlock.

There are two types of magnetic stripe cards:
High Coercivity (HiCo) magnetic stripe cards are harder to erase and are used in applications where cards are frequently used or need to have a long life. HighCo stripes are resistant to damage from most magnets or magnetic fields and therefore are most often used for access control, time and attendance, and gift cards.

Low Coercivity (LoCo) magnetic stripe cards require a lower amount of energy to record and are easier to erase. LoCo stripes can be damaged by even brief contact with a magnetic field. LoCo cards are typically used for applications where the card is only used for a short time, such as hotel room keys.

Requirements: To use magnetic stripe cards, you will need a magnetic stripe encoding IDP Smart-51 printer and mid-level or fully-featured ID software.

Smart Card and Proximity Card Encoding

Smart Card and Proximity Card Encoding

Similar to magnetic stripes, data for smart cards are stored directly onto the smart chip component. A smart card offers added functionality and can hold up to 100 times more data than a magnetic stripe. It can be reconfigured to add, erase, or edit hosted data.

Smart cards can be categorized into two categories:
contact smart card has an integrated chip. As the name implies, a contact smart card must come into direct contact with the reader to access the information.

contactless smart card has a chip and an antenna. To read the data, the card needs only to be within a specified distance to the reader (varies by the reader), but doesn't need to make direct contact.

Note: Proximity cards and contactless smart cards are similar, but there are important differences. Proximity cards come pre-programmed and do not need to be encoded. Some printers can read data written to a proximity card, but data on most* proximity cards cannot be added, erased, or edited.

Requirements: To use a contact or contactless smart card, you'll need a smart card encoding Smart-51 printer and fully-featured ID software. When ordering your printer, specify that you require contact or contactless encoding.

*Some cards, such as iClass cards, include non-editable, pre-programmed proximity data and a smart chip for encoding your own data.