Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category

ID Printing Software Slowdown? Image Size May Be to Blame

Tuesday, August 20th, 2019

It’s the busy season, and ID printing software issues require fast solutions. We can help…

ID Printing Software Data Storage Limits

What is the issue?

You have 1,200 ID cards to print before tomorrow. You use a hi-res camera and your image quality is fantastic. Double-clicking the Asure ID icon, coffee in hand, you wait for the program to open… and then you wait some more. Ten minutes go by. Still, you aren’t up and running. Is this thing broken? The clock is ticking… after several restarts and more waiting, it takes eight deep breaths to resist pounding fists on the keyboard like a disgruntled gorilla. Congrats for refraining. 

During the busy season, waiting for ID printing software to process for a minute can feel like a century. So how come when the pressure is on, your software seems to taunt you with long lag times?

The answer is simple: data storage limits. 

Our Product Support Specialist Alex Licea explains data storage limits and how they impact ID card printing software:

“AsureID uses Microsoft Access as its database manager. All data stored within AsureID and some other ID printing software is saved to a hidden Microsoft Access file with a storage limit of 2 GB. Photos saved from a credential cam or an integrated webcam are rather small (25kb max) but with the use of some cameras the file output of images tends to be quite large (5MB +) This is to allow fine editing in Photoshop or Corel.

Because these photos are large, once they are loaded into AsureID they will be saved onto the Access database. Given that school photographers and other large-volume printers print out in batches of 1000+ at a time, a 5MB photo will not allow for the entire database to be stored in Microsoft Access. This shows up as a severe slow down in AsureID processing, if not total unresponsiveness.” 

In spite of Alex’s sage wisdom and attempt at layman’s words, you’re still not quite sure how to problem solve this one. So what’s the quick fix? To connect with one of our certified specialists today.

ID Printer Support Specialist Alex Licea

We can help

Did you know ADVANTIDGE provides certified tech support from in-house product specialists? Call us today at 800.965.5932 to solve your identity management needs with genuine, caring and experienced technicians. Let us help you find a better way. 

US-China Trade Impacts Identity Management Solutions

Thursday, August 1st, 2019
The cost of imports from China impacting American manufacturers. Photo: Chuttersnap

The US-China trade war continues to impact the landscape for security identity management manufacturers, resellers, and end-user solutions.

What Happened

In May, the Trump Administration announced an increase in import tariffs from 10% to 25% on $200 billion of goods from China. These increases impact both U.S. producers and more recently, consumers. The positive outcomes from these tariffs include increased production and output in protected sectors. Yet many U.S. producers are bearing the brunt of increased material costs which directly impact the consumer. 

How This is Impacting U.S. Business

Increased tariffs on products coming from China raise the cost for many American companies. Many companies absorbed the initial 10% of the trade impact, however, the recent 15% increase now extends to the consumer as prices on products rise. 

Even with tariff hikes, U.S. Manufacturers are optimistic that issues caused will be resolved, but in the interim are sourcing from other countries and raising prices. 

How This is Impacting our Partners

Like the larger manufacturing sector, many of our partners absorbed the initial 10% tariff impact. These new hikes, with more potentially on the horizon, have forced price increases which directly impact the price we extend to our customers.  

The cost of secure ID badge products have been affected, primarily in legacy products. Older model printers and consumables gained the greatest price increase, some with a 30%+ rise in cost. Our partners are making great strides to keep costs down and communicate increases with us before changes are implemented.

Our team at ADVANTIDGE works diligently to bring our clients the best prices and best service possible. With US-China trade changing how businesses operate across the country, we continue to do our utmost to extend fair pricing, while adding value to those we serve. 

Request a quote today for the items your organization uses to see if tariffs have affected your purchases. You can reach a member of our team at 310-531-8505 ext. 2, 8:30 AM to 5 PM PST Monday through Friday.


Finding a better way.

Zebra Ribbon Prices to Increase June 2019

Thursday, July 18th, 2019

Beginning on Monday, June 24th, Zebra ribbon prices increase on certain legacy items. 

The cost of raw materials used to formulate Zebra ribbons rose since early last year. This is primarily due to tariffs placed on products from China and other countries.

In March 2018 the U.S. imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum imports and in July 2018, set a tariff of 25 percent on 800+ categories of goods imported from China. This has impacted the cost of raw materials to manufacturers like Zebra.

Until now, Zebra absorbed many of these cost increases. 

Zebra price increases impact color and monochrome ribbons for the following legacy printers: 

ZXP1, ZXP3, ZXP7 and ZXP8/9, C series, P110i/120i, P330i/430i, P520i, P720i, P640i.

Models not impacted: Ribbons for ZC100/300/350 and the ZC10.

china import tariff

About Zebra Technologies: Zebra is a global manufacturer offering products that connect people, assets, and data. Zebra ID Card Printers provide quality and on-demand ID card printing for many ID card types. Zebra’s Value Line offers ID Card printers that save on space and cost without sacrificing quality.

Zebra Technologies
Photo credit: Hart Wilcox

ADVANTIDGE is committed to providing you competitive pricing and best-in-class service. While the cost of certain raw materials is increasing, impacting Zebra ribbon prices, we will work to make sure your identity management needs are being met. Please call Customer Support at 310-531-8505 and press 3 to let us know how we can serve you in the face of changes like these. 

Finding a better way. 

CA Student ID Cards To Support Suicide Prevention

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2019

A Senate bill which passed at the beginning of the year requires student ID cards to include information for suicide prevention.

As the landscape rapidly changes within our education system, ADVANTIDGE has been working closely alongside schools and school photographers to streamline solutions for the annual issuance of student ID cards.

A big change comes July 1, 2019, as California is enacting a bold stand to support the mental health of its teenage and young adult students.

Senate Bill No. 972 (SB-972) requires the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline telephone number to be printed on all public and private school student ID cards for grades 7-12, as well as community colleges and universities. The goal of this measure is to foster suicide prevention through greater awareness, equipping students as young as 12 years old.

While this bill is an important step towards addressing mental health, it places a new challenge on the shoulders of school administrators and photographers during their busiest time of year.

SB-972 Impact on School Administrators

School administrators are faced with an immediate requirement to redesign their current student ID card templates, ahead of the most demanding time of the year, fall registration.

SB-972 Impact on School Photographers

School photographers provide well over 1 million student ID cards in the state of California alone. This bill introduces additional challenges since many of them only use single-sided printers and have limited control of ID card design.  

The required information from the SB-972 is as follows:

Required:

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1-800-273-8255

Authorized:

  • Crisis Text Line, by texting HOME to 741741
  • Campus police telephone number (colleges and universities)
  • Local suicide prevention hotline telephone number

As those responsible for ID card printing must find a way to incorporate as many as 4 lines of copy onto their current ID card templates, we expect to provide our clients the best solution for their specific application.

At ADVANTIDGE, we provide our clients with the solution tailored to their specific needs. Whether our clients need the most cost effective solution, or the greatest time and effort saver, we can help school administrators and photographers prepare for the 2019 school year with confidence in the face of change.

After reviewing hundreds of approaches we have discovered two typical scenarios which can easily be solved prior to the summer/fall registration frenzy:

Scenario 1: Single-Sided Printers with blank back side of card

As the greatest cost and time saver to schools and photographers working on a single-sided ID card printer system, we recommend SB-972 approved pre-printed ID cards with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline already printed on the back.

This allows you to continue printing your ID card template and include the required information without having to redesign.

SB-972 Pre-printed ID card

ADVANTIDGE provides numerous clients with pre-printed ID cards and can offer your organization blank stock that meets the SB-972 requirements.

Scenario 2: Double-Sided ID Card Printers needing a card template redesign for back side of card

Double-sided ID Card templates will need to be redesigned in order to include the SB-972 required hotline information, and any authorized information which you decide to include. ADVANTIDGE can help you in the following ways:

  • Support you with a one time support session or training to redesign ID Card templates using your preferred ID software
  • Custom design your ID card templates in-house using ID software that we already provided to your organization
  • Upgrade your existing ID card software to a version that allows for back side printing to improve the card design process moving forward

To talk to our team of experts within the education industry, please contact us to start a conversation.

Let us help you to find a better way with the latest printer options

To learn more about how we create success for our clients visit us at https://www.advantidge.com/blog/

Upgraded Support Options for Swiftcolor Printers

Tuesday, May 7th, 2019
Swiftcolor Oversize Printing

The SwiftColor Oversized ID card printer features single pass efficiency for the printing of large, high quality credentials that commonly use 3.5” x 5.5” sized cards. Oversized badges are regularly issued at large events, entertainment venues, health care organizations, festivals, sports teams, high end awards shows, conventions, educational summits and more.

Starting May 2019 additional support options will be available for SwiftColor printers with the goal of offer greater benefits to users. The following options have been added:

  • West Coast friendly service hours, 8 am EST to 8 pm EST, Monday to Friday (Excluding Holidays)
  • Multiple service locations including midwest and east coast
  • Online service portal to track RMA repair status
  • Increased phone support
  • Easy flat labor rate for out of warranty repairs.

The newest service center is located at:

Swiftcolor Service Center
31390 Viking Parkway
Westlake, OH 44145:

Direct line for support: 732-271-7328

[email protected]

For additional questions on support for your existing Swiftcolor printer please contact us for assistance including ongoing supplies for oversized card stock, ink cartridges and more.

Evolis Spare Parts Discontinued For Legacy Card Printers

Tuesday, February 12th, 2019

End of life for Evolis Legacy Printers Pebble4, Dualys3 and Tattoo2

Commercial availability of spare parts ended on December 31, 2018

Pebble4, Dualys3, QB10 and Tattoo2 printers have been withdrawn from the market for several years now, and their spare parts will be withdrawn shortly.

Their commercialization officially ended 2018 so be sure to place any orders prior to this date. Since all support will end for these legacy models we will be reducing our internal inventory of related supplies with the assumption that clients will be moving to the new platform of Primacy printers.

If you need assistance with this transition and would like to consider a trade in upgrade or review the specifications of the new models available, please use the contact us form below so we can assist.

Smart Card Migration Large Institutions

Friday, February 8th, 2019

Many of today’s colleges and universities are beginning to realize that moving away from traditional magnetic stripe (magstripe) and low-frequency proximity (prox) card technologies in favor of high-frequency, contactless “one-card” technology will provide their students, faculty and staff with a more secure and convenient on-campus experience.

Below are some valid questions which present legitimate concerns but just aren’t true.

Q: Do I have to upgrade everything at once?
A: Most institutions take a phased approach which is significantly easier to implement, rather than change out everything at once. If necessary, parallel systems can coexist for months. For example:

*Replace legacy cards with new technology-embedded cards while still preserving magstripe and/or proximity technology.

*Begin issuing new multi-technology cards and phase out old ones over time as students graduate.

*Replace magstripe and prox card readers with multi-technology readers, which will not only continue to support these legacy technologies, but also read more advanced, multi-function Smart Cards.

Q: We have too many access control technologies currently in place to migrate smoothly
A: Using multi-technology cards, you can usually migrate at your own pace regardless of the various access technologies currently in place. What many institutions do not realize is that a single Smart Card can securely house up to four different access control technologies including Weigand™, magstripe, low frequency, high frequency or contact chip.

Q: It’s not possible to support old and new application technologies at the same time
A: Applications that do not support contactless cards – such as library checkout services that still use magstripe or barcode – CAN remain intact and completely operational with multi-technology credentials. Just as multi-technology cards can support various access control technologies, they can also support various applications.

If your organization is challenged by the questions above or have similar concerns around the security of legacy technologies, we look forward to further discussions with your team. We take a consultative approach by asking smart questions that confirm if there is a better to help your company run efficiently and stay protected. Please contact us to share more details about your application, we will follow up with you promptly and look forward to exceeding your expectations with professional services.

The Fastest Retransfer Printer for Secure ID Badges

Wednesday, November 28th, 2018

Until now, high volume applications requiring card personalization have been forced to choose between speed vs quality. In 2019 ADVANTIDGE expects to offer BOTH with the new FARGO HDP6600 printer as a Professional Select Partner for HID. This is the sixth-generation retransfer printer from HID and introduces a completely re-engineered printing design. The HDP6600 is new from the ground up to achieve high-volume, high-quality printing, with lower printed cost per card and best-in-class energy efficiency. As a result, the new printer is expected to be less expensive to operate, easier for us to service and more flexible across a wider range of applications.

These breakthrough card throughput speeds are achieved by combining patent-pending iON™ “instant on” technology with other advancements to enable simultaneous film printing and card retransfer processes. This unique approach reduces the time it takes to print the first card to an industry-low 60 seconds, 2-3x faster than any other laminating model. This cuts average annual wait times by up to 20 hours for printed and laminated cards while enabling overall throughput of up to 230 cards per hour. ADVANTIDGE has offered the ION technology on previous models and the reliability is unmatched.

The new technology eliminates the need for continuous transfer roller heating, improving reliability while cutting energy usage. For large projects, utilizing the new printers is expected to save enterprise users thousands of dollars in annual energy costs.

Another benefit of the new HID FARGO printer is the image and color quality on each ID card. The HDP6600 printer’s true 600 DPI resolution and precision color panel registration enables sharper text, crisper barcode edges and more vibrant colors than possible with other products that use dithering techniques that can only approximate this image quality. Regardless of the software your organization uses to manage card issuance, ADVANTIDGE offers a variety of professional services to insure you get the expected output and support for your secure badging application.

The HDP6600 uses a multi-tasking architecture supported by a 1 gigabyte of memory to help enable its faster card throughput speeds, an industry first. The long list of field-upgradable modules include card flattener, dual-side flipper, and choice of magnetic, contact and contactless encoders plus a programmer option for encoding physical access control system data.

If your organization is struggling to meet the high expectations for speed vs quality, contact the expert team at ADVANTIDGE for an in depth analysis of your current process or upcoming project.

HID FARGO HDPii Card Printer Support

Monday, October 29th, 2018

This page is designed to help support you and your HID FARGO HDPii Printer. ADVANTIDGE takes customer satisfaction seriously and we pride ourselves in exceeding your expectations for service. Our depot service is the most efficient program for repairs with annual maintenance agreements or on a time and materials basis. Our work is performed by factory trained and certified technicians with OEM parts, in order to provide the most reliable service that gets done right the first time.

Our tech services team offers fast and reliable repairs, upgrades, rebuilding of assemblies and hardware functionality testing. Manufacturer certified experts will work to ensure all service needs are satisfied promptly including feedback requests once your support case is closed. To request repair or service on your HDPii printer click here: https://www.advantidge.com/id-card-printer-repair-services-los-angeles/

As one of the top Authorized Repair Centers for HID FARGO HDP Card Printers, we are committed to ensuring your success. We offer the industry’s best technical support via telephone, email or chat via the web with a paid support plan. You can download the latest printer drivers, printer firmware, user’s guides and troubleshooting information here: https://www.hidglobal.com/drivers

ADVANTIDGE manages one of the largest card printer service contracts in the country with annual support to over 600+ badge printers. Regardless as to where you are located we have a plan that will insure you stay up and running with your security badge operations and card issuance. Contact us today for peace of mind and confidence that your FARGO HDPii badge printer is ready to meet the demands of your organization.

To learn more about the unique features of instant issuance card printers, click here: https://www.hidglobal.com/products/card-printers/fargo/hdpiiplus

To learn more about complete solutions for instant issuance of financial cards click here: https://www.hidglobal.com/products/financial-instant-issuance/trism

The Fundamental Shift of IT with Physical Access Control

Friday, October 5th, 2018

While physical security professionals have suspected a shift toward increased involvement of the IT department in physical access control, recent research has shown this to be true. A recent survey of more than 1,500 IT Managers, Directors and staff, as well as Chief Information and Chief Technology Officers, found that IT departments are now more involved than  ever in an organization’s physical access control decisions and implementation.

According to the survey, more than half (55%) of respondents reported IT as primarily responsible or having shared responsibility for access control within their organization. As a result, IT leaders are tasked with spearheading not only the protection of their company’s network- and cyber security related initiatives – but also those set forth by the Physical Security department to protect employees, visitors and assets from internal and external threats. Similarly, the study showed that the IT department will increasingly play a role in physical security to influence technology decisions (76%) through the integration of access control within the ecosystem (72%), by implementing access control technology (59%), and through the management of access control systems (39%).

Along with the added responsibility to help implement security solutions alongside IT-related projects, IT leaders are also increasingly responsible for budgeting decisions within physical security. According to the survey, more than 85% of respondents reported that IT was involved in decisions regarding physical access control technology investments. Have you asked the question: Do you know who is in your building? Do you know who is on your network? Do you have the budget to protect it? Can we identify who is on our team?

If you are concerned about physical access in addition to computer and network security at your facility, ADVANTIDGE encourages you to start the conversation with turnkey solutions that typically cost less than $200 per user. Be confident and a plan before you become the next news headline.