From the day you start planning on which type of ID card printer you’re about to obtain, it may come up also to your mind about overlays and laminates can be added to your ID card for extra protecting layer security. You might think both overlays and laminates are obtainable in a single-function card printer. In this topic let us understand the difference between the two.

What is Overlays?            In general, most of the direct to card printer uses dye film with a color panel composition of YMCKO. An extra panel Overlay or we call it O – panel in another way, this the clear coating panel that will protect the image formed by YMCK. An overlay is printed automatically during the process of dye sublimation, it serves also as a prevention in fading caused by sunlight ultraviolet, protects for any minimal scratches caused by friction, and maintains the glossiness quality.

Overlay or overcoat secures printed text and graphics or images in every printed card. There is no need of any extra heating process to print an overlay. Overlay cannot give extra card durability or prolong the life of your ID cards. It will only protect the printed images in the cards surface but not the card physically.

What is Laminates or Lamination?            A clear film protecting layer in ID card mostly required in a prestige level of card issuance like national ID, license, certificate and membership or loyalty card program. The laminate film comes separately from color dye film, fitted in a laminator module, and applied thermally later the print process. Laminates film helps prolong the life of ID card which has a long period validity. It seal the printed surface protect against card contaminations to chemical, exposure to rough & rugged environment. There is a thickness variants of laminates film it depends on your requirements.

Applying a lamination in your card will extend its lifespan, it will also protect from wear & tear or abrasion. This widely works for cards highly used in swiping often in a readers daily.  A laminates with holographic security embedded is an additional security that prevent someone having motive of counterfeit cards or fraudulence attempts.

Lamination process cannot be provided by a card printer, it is require an inline laminating module in doing so. It may not work with standard card of less quality as the heat been used during the process, a composite PET card must be recommended. Applying laminate in your card may add extra cost as it needs laminates film and laminating module.

Conclusion – Overlays is a standard print image protection from ultra violet fading while laminates is an extra protections that secure both printed images and the physical card itself. Both are design to protect the print in your ID cards from any elements that may cause of fading. However if your ID card does overlay or laminates it is still depends on how the card is used or how the card holder treat their card.

In our printer variants most of the models supports printing with overlays, there is a particular models that could support inline laminator if you wishes too. Contact SmartWorld computer and speak to our experts, will help to make it easy for you if what is the appropriate solution to your needs. Dial +9714 2612287 or +9714 2206464 or email: enquiries@smartworld.ae.

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