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Protecting Your Investment: The Value of Using Genuine HID Consumables

Today’s high-performance ID card printers allow organizations to print exceptional-quality credentials quickly and at high volumes — as such, they are an important investment. Carefully evaluating and selecting the right solution to create and issue the cards and IDs that will keep your assets and people safe and secure is a worthwhile endeavor.  

Take for example the last time you made the investment in a best-in-class, HID® card printer — no doubt you took the time and effort to ensure that the features and functions met your organization’s required security levels, volume needs, quality expectations and aesthetic sensibilities. After such a comprehensive evaluation and well-thought-out purchase decision, doesn’t it make just as much good business sense to ensure that your investment remains protected for years to come?

One of the best ways to protect such a worthy investment is to use only genuine HID-manufactured consumables for the operation and ongoing maintenance of your ID card printer.

What Are “Consumables”?

Consumables are defined as those supplies that are “consumed” during the regular operation and/or maintenance of your ID card printer. Print ribbons, film, overlaminates and cards are categorized as printing consumables whereas cleaning rollers, swabs, pads and cleaning cards comprise those consumables reserved for the care and maintenance of your printer.

Why Using Genuine HID Consumables Is So Important

The value of using genuine HID consumables with your HID card printer cannot be overstated. First and foremost, using genuine HID consumables for the printing and laminating of your cards and IDs optimizes your printer’s overall performance and ensures that the warranty on your investment remains intact. Secondly, genuine HID consumables utilize RFID technology to accurately communicate critical information to the printer operator such as confirmation that the correct type of ribbon or film is installed. This same technology also enables the printer driver to auto-configure print settings based on the materials loaded into the printer — helping eliminate registration issues and ensuring your cards and IDs print as expected.

As an added bonus, genuine HID consumables also transmit material status — warning operators when supplies are running low and in need of replenishment. This aids operators in being able to plan ahead and ensure productivity remains high —avoiding unexpected periods of downtime.

The Threat of Counterfeit Consumables

Unfortunately, buyers can fall prey to unscrupulous vendors that sell counterfeit consumables. Counterfeit consumables are defined as those that are falsely marketed by non-HID-affiliated third parties as being compatible with HID products when in fact, they are not. All too often, buyers are unsuspectingly lured by bargain basement pricing for these types of print ribbons and other supplies. But as the old saying goes, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” That certainly holds true here. Not only are counterfeit consumables usually comprised of sub-par materials that can undermine the longevity and durability of your cards and IDs, but these imitation supplies also have the potential to damage the inner mechanics of your card printer. Much to the chagrin of unsuspecting bargain hunters, the pennies saved from purchasing inferior, non-HID-manufactured consumables can end up costing buyers hundreds if not thousands of dollars in printer repairs or expensive printhead replacements.

As is the norm for high-quality card printers, HID FARGO® card printers and encoders require highly specialized media to function properly. So, to maximize printed card quality and durability, printhead life and printer/encoder reliability, HID strongly recommends that only genuine HID FARGO consumables be used. More importantly, buyers should also beware that HID warranties are void (where not prohibited by law) when non-HID consumables are used. With so much at stake, it’s easy to discern why using only genuine HID consumables is so critical. It is simply not worth the risk to do otherwise.

How Else Can Genuine HID Consumables Help Protect My Printer Investment?

Beyond the value in using genuine HID printing consumables, maintaining your card printer with genuine HID cleaning supplies is just as important to ensure its longevity and performance.

Unsurprisingly, simple maintenance is often overlooked, causing printing issues that range from small annoyances to disastrous, expensive complications and unnecessary downtime. In fact, a recent review of ID card printer repairs revealed that almost 25 percent of the printers received for warranty-related service didn’t need to be serviced at all — they only needed to be cleaned!


Using only genuine HID consumables for the operation and care of your HID card printer not only ensures ongoing high performance and high-quality output, but it also helps protect your investment for years to come.

Learn more about genuine HID FARGO consumables or contact us at [email protected].

For a list of tips that will keep your printer working at peak performance, we invite you to download our informative eBook The Ultimate Cleaning Guide For ID Card Printers — Easy Tips To Protect Your Investment.

Debbie Kappl is a Senior Product Marketing Manager with HID Global and brings over 20 years of experience marketing hardware and software security technologies spanning ID card printing, host access and integration, and B2B supply chain management and payment solutions. Prior to joining HID in 2015, Debbie served as a senior marketer, product evangelist and educator in both product marketing and sales support management roles for U.S. Bank and Attachmate Corporation. She is based in Minneapolis, MN.