Sign & Digital Graphics

October '17

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6 • October 2017 • G R A N D F O R M A T GRAND FORMAT S hops looking to grow their business often look at where they'd like to be in the future—say five years from now. In addition to thinking about new markets, new customers, perhaps a bigger facility, they inevitably consider ways to improve their equipment and efficiencies. With digital printers, there's a case to be made about when and why to "upgrade." When is the right time to expand oper- ations? Why would an upgraded printer add to the bottom line? To answer these questions, we should begin by addressing how a number of sign shops first originated—using a smaller THE WHY OF WIDER PRINTING Considerations for upgrading from a large to a grand-format digital printer B Y R Y A N F U G L E R Ryan Fugler is a freelance writer for the sign industry and a former editor of WRAPS mag- azine. He can be reached at rnfugler@gmail. com with questions or comments. printer—with a focus on moving up in printer size and pro- ductivity. "This really depends upon the starting point," explains Daniel Valade, product manager, color products at Roland DGA. "If you upgrade from a 20-inch printer to a 64-inch model, the ROI difference will be more dramatic than if you go from a 20-inch to 30-inch printer." This example makes sense when thinking about more than tripling your printer size versus more of a modest increase. Sign makers should expect to produce more when employing bigger, faster, heavier-duty equipment. But what if the change was even greater than threefold? What if sign shops took a leap to over 100-inch printers? How would that look in the grand scheme of their businesses? This brings forward a topic that likely has crossed the minds of many sign-shop professionals: Making the switch from wide- format to grand-format printers. G E T T I N G T O G R A N D F O R M A T Mutoh's ValueJet 1638X printer can handle substrates up to 63.97" wide and uses a dual printhead system that has been specifically developed for high-quality volume production of sign and display graphics. (Image courtesy of Mutoh America)

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