DISTRIBUTED ISSUANCE SYSTEM
A distributed or Over-The-Counter (OTC) issuance system is an effective alternative to a centralised system. By design, a distributed system is more flexibility because it allows for more customisable solutions to meet any sort of organisational needs. The individual printers can be dispersed at multiple sites, and networked to share one central database. It offers scalability, cost savings and shorten delivery time, resulting in an improved public delivery service.
A distributed issuance printing solution may generally have the following benefits:Simple to operate by local staff, with minimal supervision
Compact and operable within an office environment
Relatively lower in cost compared to high-volume printing equipment
Ability to visually inspect every card produced before customer acceptance
On-the-spot processing and card production
An illustration of a distributed issuance system
“Because the distributed issuance concept typically requires application, processing and the actual printing of the identification card within a very short period of time, the challenge befalls on the organisation to ensure that their staff or machine operator is properly trained to familiarise with the system."
To minimise the risk of the issuance process being compromised, governments such as Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia are now using encryption techniques to protect data and enforce confidentiality during the application, transmission and storage stages. A physical audit on inventories and supplies such as cards or other consumables should also be performed regularly to prevent under-stocking that can lead to interrupted operations, or worse, internal fraud.
In addition, this concept would require a quick assessment and decision by the staff regarding the validity of the documents presented by the applicant. In such scenario, the process could be driven by an automated online retrieval of the applicant’s information from a central database such as name, registration number, address; or in the context of national ID, regulatory issues that may conflict with the applicant’s card re-issuance, for example a driver’s license suspension or police blacklisting.
Essential criteria for an optimised distributed system
When considering the right printing solution for a distributed system, scalability, reliability, convenience and security are key elements to have, especially when it involves equipment with high-duty cycles.
A printing solution with a modular architecture, offers organisations versatility as upgradeable modules can easily be added to meet specific operational requirements, such as dual-side printing, laser engraving, lamination, and card encodings. Solutions like HID’s range of FARGO® printers allow organisations to build a printing system that precisely meet current needs, and also facilitates scalability when the issuance volume requires an expansion. As a distributed issuance system operates on a networked architecture, the number of printers needed can be added or reduced easily on the network.
High-duty cycle printers are generally exposed to high operating temperatures and contaminants such as debris, which can affect the quality of the finished card, or even worse, disrupt the printing operations. For an uninterrupted productivity, organisations should opt for printers that are ruggedised for continuous operation in tough environments. Industrial card printers such as the HID FARGO® HDP6600 is especially suited for this demanding and laborious setting.
With solid metal cabinetry and precision-engineered interior components, the HID FARGO® HDP6600 ensures a stable and reliable printing over high-volume continuous runs. Built for ease-of-use in challenging environments, the printer’s standard features include internal temperature sensors, airflow and filtration system, canopy dust seals and multiple-line cleaning stations.
As distributed issuance systems are usually operated by local office staff, printing equipment should offer ease of maintenance without the need to rely on constant technical support. This allows the operators to focus on other office functions, ensuring operations run smoothly with very minimal downtime.
Today’s advanced printers are equipped with an automatic diagnostic system to alert operators when issues arise. The quicker the problem can be diagnosed, the more quickly troubleshooting can be done to get the printers back online. Printers like HID FARGO® DTC5500LMX ID card printer and laminator requires minimal training for operators because of its simple design and intuitive functions. The printer is an affordable, eco-friendly solution that provides high quality card production, and features wasteless laminated for an ultra-low cost-per-card. Designed to meet the need of budget-conscious organisations, the DTC5500LMX includes standard dual card hoppers and support high-capacity, full colour ribbon and laminate consumables – keeping costs at a minimum while maximising productivity.
Geographically dispersed offices in a distributed system may present significant management challenges in ensuring that the system remains secure. Managing security across multiple locations can be complex, and introduces more opportunities for security lapses or breaches.
The printing solution should be located in a secured and protected area, as a first line of security against unwanted access. In addition, physical locks can limit access to the printer components such as card input/ output hoppers and rejected cards. It will also protect other consumables and valuable assets such as printing ribbons and films.
Electronic security is also critical. Ideally, operator access to each printer is controlled via personal identification numbers (PIN). Print job data packets should meet or exceed advanced encryption standards, such as (AES) 256-bit data encryption, to ensure system privacy, integrity and authentication to the final issuance endpoint.