HID Global's new Fargo card printers focus on secure printing

New product line of direct-to-card printers has units for small businesses up to enterprise customers


Aug. 31, 2010 -- HID Global's Fargo card printer business unit is out today with a new line of printers aimed to fit the needs of small businesses all the way to government and enterprise- level end users who need to create identification badges and access control cards. Announced today were the DTC1000, the DTC4000 and the DTC4500 "direct- to-card" printers that can handle both the badge printing as well as the card programming/reading. It's been since 2008 that the industry has seen a product launch of this magnitude from Fargo; it was June 2008 when Fargo launched the DTC400e (a predecessor to the printers in today's launch) along with the Personal M30e and C30e card printers. The new line is also notable as they are the first card printers Fargo has launched since the acquisition by ASSA ABLOY's HID Global brand.

The new printers are designed with security in mind. All of the units feature password protection to ensure that only authorize users can print cards, and the high-end model (the DTC4500) can handle specialty security printing features done on card laminates, such as holographic images, as well as ultraviolet printing.

The nature of printing direct-to-card also can make the card printing and programming process even more secure said Alan Fontanella, the senior director of product marketing for HID Global's Identity and Access Management business. Fontanella noted that by handling both the printing and card reading/programming at the same time, "You limit the risk of losing synchronization between the printing and programming." Fontanella said the industry in general has seen what he called an "evolution" from handling card programming and card printing in separate processes and stages to conducting those process at the same time, such as through a direct-to-card type of printer.

The printers can handle a variety of card thicknesses and can handle all manner of card formats and features, from simple barcode printing to high-security ID badges with contact and/or contactless card technology, including HID's own iClass technology. The DTC printers announced today feature a modular design which allows the end-user or integrator to configure different formats for how the unit loads and dispenses cards. The new printers also have an embedded software for template-style card printing, which means users can print cards without needing a computer with dedicated software. The printers allow for either USB or Ethernet connections to the host computer.

Suggested retail on the printers ranges from approximately $2,200 for the DTC1000 to slightly more than $3,000 for the DTC4500.