Campus Cards, College and University Identification and Security

With Eltron On-site Printer, St. John Fisher College Cuts Badge Preparation to Less than a Minute

Monday, June 9, 2003

All on Rochester (NY) campus use badges - access to residence halls, computer rooms, meals, library and even the Buffalo Bills!

St. John Fisher College is the idyllic liberal arts college, with 18

buildings spread over 140 park-like acres. With 2,200 full-time and 1,000 part-time students, the college offers 27 academic liberal arts majors and nine pre-professional programs. It also is committed to protecting students and automating operations.

“We employ magnetic stripe badges for our students, faculty, alumni and vendors,” reports Mike McCarthy, director of security for St. John Fisher College. “The biggest reason we selected the Eltron printer was to cut down on printing time. At orientation, when the students are lined up out the door, we’ve substantially reduced the amount of time it takes to produce a badge. Printing time has dropped from 3 to 3 1/2 minutes to less than one minute with the Eltron printer.”

According to McCarthy, badges are used by all students, including the 1,200 on-campus students for access to their residence halls, which are locked down 24/7, as well as the College’s computer rooms, which are locked after hours. Faculty, staff, and students also use their badges in the meal program, and students check out books at the library with their badges. Badges for vendors are also printed.

“For example,” McCarthy explains, “a vendor may maintain washers and dryers in residence halls each week. That person comes to us and picks up his badge, which we keep in a lockbox. Once done, he returns his badge to us and it is kept in the lockbox until needed the next time.” Each summer, the campus becomes the training grounds for the NFL Buffalo Bills football squad. Although the Bills already have their own ID cards, St. John Fisher College prints up new badges, with special colors and codes, for those authorized to access restricted areas such as the team’s locker rooms, workout rooms and residences.

Interfaces to Identicard access control system “Our primary goal was to help Fisher badge all students and staff while assuring that the magnetic stripe badging system would interface with the College’s Identicard access control system,” relates Terry Rivet, executive vice president of Securitronics (Rochester), the integrator. “We also needed to assure the printer would provide good quality images quickly and be able to handle high traffic, high volume output. Often, many badges need to be printed at once. Also, the printer needs to be used almost every day, so it needed to be reliable.”

Rivet and McCarthy saw the Eltron P420 printer at the ASIS Conference in Philadelphia in the fall of 2002. It appeared easier to use than their previous printer and met their requirements. The College soon purchased it.

The standalone P420 dual-sided color printer encodes magnetic stripe cards and prints sharp, readable ID photographs, graphics, and text edge-to-edge in seconds. The reject hopper separates cards that fail encoding prior to printing, saving valuable printer ribbon. The enclosure includes a viewing window to monitor the printing process without opening the unit. The P420 printer ribbon synchronizes automatically, eliminating the need for operator intervention. A self-cleaning cartridge thoroughly removes dust before printing, eliminating card rejects due to dust contamination.

“It takes very little time to learn how to operate the printer, less than 15 minutes,” McCarthy says.


Zebra Eltron - 1001 Flynn Road-Camarillo, Calif. 93012-8706 - Phone 805.579.1800 - website

Mike McCarthy
Director of Security, St. John Fisher College
[email protected]

Terry Rivet
Executive Vice President, Securitronics
[email protected] [end] 

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