Equipment to carry out access control and handle reception areas - Part 2

The previous entry was dedicated to equipment used at reception areas and for the purpose of access control, and our primary focus was computers and scanners.

Equipment to carry out access control and handle reception areas - Part 2

But the two types of equipment we mentioned are not everything we need, so today we shall continue the subject and take a closer look at the best printers.

What printers should one use to print out ID badges for an event?

Some time ago, we discussed methods of printing ID badges. Now, the time has come to recommend a number of printer models, divided according to the methods defined a couple of weeks ago.

Printing plastic cards

As far as printing of plastic cards is concerned, CONREGO recommends equipment manufactured by Evolis, the Zenius Classic model. The printer has a feed mechanism that holds 50 PVC cards, and it will take approximately 20 minutes to print them all with coloured material. However, if you opt for printing in black and white, it will only take 6 minutes to have 50 cards ready to use. This way, the average time of printing a single card is 5-7 seconds, depending on the area of printing defined for that particular project.

The mentioned equipment provides 300dpi printouts of good quality. You need to keep in mind, though, that plastic card printers have a print head that is susceptible to damage. Therefore, it is not advisable to print perforated cards.

Approximate price (Dec 2016): 750$

Thermal transfer printing

The Zebra GX430t printer is the only product we are familiar with that offers excellent printing parameters of adequate width (104mm) at a reasonable price. This printer model is capable of applying material at 300dpi resolution, which is a standard for offset prints.

Approximate price (Dec 2016): 500$

Printing self-adhesive labels

We have chosen the best printer based on such criteria as quality and printing speed. Its size, the availability of consumables, and the low cost of purchase and use were also among the aspects that we took into account. What is the model we gave the highest grade? It is Brother QL570. Among its many advantages, there are its excellent design perfectly matching our HP notebooks in aluminium colour, its superb quality and speed of printing on 62x100mm labels, compact size, and its price. All of the aforementioned qualities made it unnecessary for us to look for any additional options. In August 2016, we bought 10 of these printers.

Approximate price (Dec 2016): 70$

Ink or laser printing

The product range for such equipment is much more diverse than in the case of the printers we have discussed earlier. What is more, the devil is in the detail. You need to consider the maximum thickness of paper fed to the printer, the quality and speed of printing, the type of toner, the cost of use, etc. Unfortunately, none of the products tested by CONREGO has beat the others by any stretch. Consequently, we are forced to abstain from giving recommendations.

What are the tools you need to handle reception areas during an event?

Will you need any other equipment? In addition to notebooks, scanners, and printers, you may also need network equipment, such as switches or Wi-Fi routers. It will all depend on the location you work at. Many locations provide good Wi-Fi range near reception areas. Unfortunately, it is more difficult to predict the availability and stability of Internet connection at entrances to the rooms where you would like to activate the Access Control module. But I will discuss that some other time.

You also need to take into account that in “risky” locations, such as outdoor events, it is worth considering buying an emergency UPS system which will provide power supply for at least an hour should there be a power outage.

And this concludes the subject of equipment at an event. Best of luck!

Tomasz Chrościechowski

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