Ribbons for ID Card Printers

Different ribbon types for different ID card printers?

There are a number of ID card printer ribbons-the most commonly used ribbons include the YMCKO, YMCKOK, YMCKOK, YMCK, O, YMCKK, KO or KrO, K or monochrome resin black ribbon, and black sublimation ribbon.

Multi-color ID card printing ribbons

The YMCKOK ribbon is usually used with a duplex, or dual-sided, printer when applying full color to the front and black to the back of the ID card. It is one of the most common types of ribbon, having six panels.

The first five panels (YMCKO) are used for the front of the card, and the sixth panel (K) is used for the back. Each image (panel set) contains six panels. A six-panel YMCKOK ribbon rated at 300 images will actually print 300 cards.

The YMCKK ribbon is only used with a laminating duplex printer when printing resin black (K) on the back and full color on the front of the ID card. Just like the YMCKOK ribbon, a YMCKK ribbon prints the same amount of images as cards. This means that 500 images will produce 500 cards.

Single color ID card printing ribbons

KO or KrO is a two paneled, resin black ribbon that is protected by the O (overlamination) panel. This type of ribbon is usually used for simple tasks and industrial use because the color is limited to black. The O panel provides protection from aging and UV exposure. Ideal for printing text and barcodes, it should not be used for printing photos.

K or monochrome resin black ribbon is a continuous black ribbon without any

Panels. It is ideal for economical, industrial printing of black barcodes and text. It is the simplest type of ribbon, and lacks an O panel. This can be remedied easily by using a lamination printer. Again, it is not a good choice for printing photos.

If you insist on going black and white, black sublimation ribbons produce smooth shades of gray. They are better at for printing black and white photos, but they don’t print text very well and they can’t produce a barcode that is readable by infrared.

Dual-sided ID card printing and single-sided printing ribbons

The YMCKO ribbon is the most common type of ID card printer ribbon used for full color printing. The YMCKO ribbon can be used in all dual-sided and single-sided printers. It is an ideal ribbon for dual-sided full color printing sans lamination. This ribbon can be used in for most purposes but because of ribbon waste it isn’t the most cost-effective choice. If the ribbon is set for 400 images, for example, it will print only 200 cards per ribbon because it is using two images per card.

The YMCK ribbon should only be used in conjunction with a laminating printer. The YMCK doesn’t have a built in O panel as it is only a four-panel ribbon, and thus it must be protected by a heavy overlaminate. It is another good choice for ID card printing laminating gone side and using full color on both sides. A YMCK ribbon set at 300 images will print 300 single-sided cards, or half that ( 150 ) in double-sided cards.

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