Tech talk: Butler University Success Story


Zebra Success Story: Butler University cuts hours off new students registration
Campus Prints Faster, Longer-Lasting ID Cards with Zebra® ZXP Series 7™

Butler University Logo

Since Butler's founding in 1855, the University has challenged and supported students in a liberal-arts environment that fosters both intellectual and social growth while providing practical, "real-world" skills. With over 60 major academic fields of study in six colleges, multiple opportunities to study abroad, and renowned faculty, Butler's curriculum gives students an experience of a lifetime and an edge that defies the norm. The university serves approximately 4,900 undergraduate and graduate students annually, and has been consistently rising in the prestigious U.S. News & World Report annual rankings of colleges (currently #2 among Midwest Regional Universities). 

On the Butler University campus, your student ID is your all-access pass into the library, athletic center, and usually your next meal. When incoming students register, they receive the laminated photo cards and carry them with them at all times. Loaded with "Dawg Bucks," their student ID cards act like debit cards for purchases at campus dining spots, some select off-campus restaurants and the campus bookstore.During high-volume new student registration - when hundreds of students need cards in a short time-frame - fast ID card creation is critical. When cumbersome printing slowed the process, Butler began looking for a better way. Previously, card creation required a two-step process to print and then laminate, adding up to considerable time for each card.

"A separate laminate step added about 45 seconds to creating each
ID card, which was unacceptable when we were trying to process 
200 students in a couple of hours," said Eddie Marsh, systems analyst.
"When you've got mom, dad, grandma, grandpa, brother and sister
waiting with the student, it's high-stress for us if printing is slow."

Cards also didn't last as long as the typical student's college career. Less than halfway through their four years on campus, the cards would begin fading under normal use and printed dye bled onto wallets.

In a trial, Zebra's ZXP Series™ 7 card printers performed with the speed that Butler needs for high-volume printing. "When I first saw the Zebra printers, I was really impressed with the speed," said Theresa Hilliard, who handles ID cards and vehicle registration at Butler. Beyond faster printing, the ZXP Series 7 card printer provides photo-like printing and ease of use. It automatically adjusts to the thickness of the card, and ribbon loading takes just a few seconds. Critically, the ZXP Series 7 integrates printing and lamination in one step, reducing the overall time to print the barcoded, magnetic stripe cards. Butler deployed the printers well before new student registration. While two printers reside normally in the campus police department, the university brings them to a more central location for registration, requiring wireless network printing. When Butler needed help connecting printers to a sub-network for registration, Zebra's tech support team quickly rewrote the print drivers to get the printers to communicate with the network. 

For new student registration, integrated printing and lamination gives Butler University back approximately 45 seconds on every card. Across 200 students, that saves 2.5 hours, allowing staff handling registration to complete the process sooner. With 750 cards on each ribbon, versus 250 with previous printers, staff doesn't have to stop to replace ribbons as often. Marsh also says that the ZXP Series 7 printers are ready to go when turned on, without the warm-up time required of previous printers. All-in-one printing and lamination likewise saves the university on supply costs.With a magnetic stripe and barcoding, Butler University's ID cards work hard for students. The cards printed on the ZXP Series 7 printers are proving to be more durable over time - a critical requirement for the high usage students put them through. With digital printing, color photos don't fade and printed dye doesn't wear off or transfer to wallets, reducing frustrating for students andcampus staff. 

"When someone comes into our office for  a replacement card,
the printer is ready to go and we have their cards right away.
They comment, 'That was fast!"
- Theresa Hilliard (Butler University)

Request your quote today! And if you're thinking of replacing your current printer, check out the Trade-In options available from Zebra!

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