In many cases where your NFC Tags have been encoded with unique data or UID scanned, you may want to be able to visually identify each NFC tag. In these cases, we print directly onto the tag surface an ID which will match the tag encoding or be able to be cross referenced in a spreadsheet.
This is called ID Printing. This guide specifically covers ordering ID printing on standard labels. However, for disc tags, keyfobs and other products, the spreadsheet setup and principle is the same.
The most common type of ID print is a unique numeric or alphanumeric (text and numbers) sequence designed to match the encoding. In these instances, you would supply a spreadsheet (as detailed below) with essentially two columns. The first is the ID to be printed on the surface and the second is the data to be encoded to the tag. We take care of the rest.
Numeric/Text ID Print
This is where the 14 digit alphanumeric UID (unique ID) of the chip is scanned from the NFC tag and then printed on the surface. While perfectly possible, in reality, we don't usually recommend this because the UID can be visually difficult to read. A typically better way is that we scan the UID from the tags and create a spreadsheet with two columns, the first is a simple sequence of ID's and the second is the UID's. We then ID print the simple sequence onto the tags and provide the spreadsheet to you. Essentially, '12345' is a lot easier to read from the surface of the tag than '049C64D2452B80' !
QR Code Printing
We can ID print QR Codes (or datamatrix) onto the surface of the tags to create multi-function NFC/QR labels. The QR Code can either be the same on every tag - for example if you are doing a marketing project - or we can print a unique QR Code onto every tag. The QR Code data can either be the same as the NFC encoding or different to the NFC encoding. In addition, a unique alphanumeric or numeric sequence can be printed as well.
QR Code with ID Print
In some cases we can also print simple artwork or logos. Note that the print is a simple black (not greyscale) so things need to kept very simple. However a simple call to action or NFC logo can usually be printed alongside. Logo/artwork printing can usually be combined with a UID print or even a unique (or single) QR Code print. We do charge extra for this but we try an keep costs to minimum. Send us your basic artwork or logo before you order and we can have a look to see what we can do.
Artwork with ID Print
When you are ordering ID print you can choose between single ID print and variable ID print.
Single ID print is where every single tag in the order is printed with the same thing. This may be because they are all encoded with the same data and you just want to be able to know which tags they were. Or they might be printed with an order reference, order date or office/branch number.
Variable ID print is where each tag or groups of tags are printed with something different. This would be used for asset, unique marketing tags or similar.
If you aren't sure, then just contact us. The first time you order a complex encoding, QR Code and ID print batch it can be confusing and we understand that !
Example 1. A variable encode + ID print order
In this first example, the spreadsheet shows a simple order with variable encoding (all the tags are encoded with different data). Each tag is unique as indicated by a quantity of 1. The tags are printed with a sequential ID of 'A1234', 'A1235' which matches the encoding on the tags of A1234, etc. Note that there's no requirement for the ID print to mirror the encoding in any way - we print whatever you put in the ID column and encode the Data column.
This example would be ordered online with 'Variable Encoding', 'No UID Scan', and 'Variable ID Print' . Remember to indicate clearly on the spreadsheet whether the tags are to be locked or unlocked.
Example 1 Variable encoding with a variable ID print.
Example 2. A complex encoding, QR Code, ID print order with batches
In this second example, we have a more complex order where there's an ID print on the tags combined with a QR code. The QR Code data doesn't match the NFC tag. Each encoding line is replicated either 10 or 20 times and the order is divided into two labelled batches of 'North A' and 'North B'. A total of 70 tags are ordered here.
This example would be ordered online with 'Variable Encoding', 'No UID Scan' and 'Variable ID Print' . Remember to indicate clearly on the spreadsheet whether the tags are to be locked or unlocked.
Example 2 Encoding with ID print, QR print, variable encoding and batches.
Seritag use thermal transfer printing directly onto the surface of the tag. We use a carefully selected resin based ink to ensure that the print is fade, scratch, heat and chemical resistant. While other print methods are cheaper and wax based inks might be faster, we are confident that our ID print process is the best available.
Technically, we can ID print onto all our tags. However, we typically only print on the 38mm white faced tag and very occasionally the 38mm clear tag. It is possible to print on the 22mm white face tag but there's very little space so the ID needs to be quite short. For technical reasons, it isn't possible to safely print a QR Code on the 22mm tags.
We have the ability to print barcodes (the ones with the vertical lines) on the tags but this is a non-standard procedure and requires a different setup. Please contact us if you require barcode printing and we can run you through the options.
In almost all instances, Seritag will place the ID print in the middle of tag as clearly as we can. If it is your first order, we will email you a 'proof' of how it will look which may be a photo or may be a pdf file showing the layout. Please allow a little extra lead time for this process. Subsequent orders that are the same will not require a proof. We generally avoid to print over the chip and feedback loop bond areas on the tag which means that some flexibility in the design is necessary. We have printed a very large number of tags with a large variety of designs. We know what we are doing and will work with you to get the best result.