Sign & Digital Graphics

October '17

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G R A N D F O R M A T • October 2017 • 7 Considerations in Upgrading Printers come in all sizes and speeds. They have different fea- tures and qualities that set them apart from others. Shop owners that remember their very first printers will likely tell you that they have benefitted from upgrading in subsequent years. But what led to that decision? More pointedly, what elements should sign shop owners consider when upgrading? "The volume, output size and turnaround time required for typical jobs, as well as the print speed required, should all be considered when determining the printer size," Valade says. "In addition, wider printers often allow the option to use specialty inks like light cyan, light magenta and light black, which can improve image quality and add value." Grand format printers can easily handle large outdoor graphics such as this black-and-white red carpet event for HBO's The Defiant Ones. (Image courtesy of OKI Data Americas) The ColorPainter H3-104s from Oki Data can handle materials up to 103.6" wide and prints with low-odor solvent inks that offer great outdoor durability and a wide color gamut. (Image cour- tesy of OKI Data Americas) Job Volume Shops should already have a good sense of the volume they can handle. However, this can change as the market fluctuates and demand increases. "Customer demand will dictate the opportunity to go wider," says David Conrad, Director of Sales and Marketing, Mutoh America Inc. "As application oppor- tunities demand wider output, you need to be prepared to look at wider printers. The market will dictate the need for wider output." Along with addressing issues with volume, shops should explore how they can be truly adaptable with their equipment. "While addressing expected volume is important, PSPs should also be looking into scalability," says Michael Maxwell, Sr. Manager, Sales Promotions at Mimaki USA, "as this makes it very easy to respond to growth needs over a period of time regardless of technology and elimi- nates the need to tie up capital all at once. Most Mimaki printers boast higher print speeds, and all of the products offered by Mimaki are scalable and affordable so volume increases can be addressed as needed." Output Size "This is one of the more important questions to address initially," Maxwell says. "Most of the printed goods can be paneled and made for larger needs even with a smaller printable width; however, these processes require skilled workers or post-printing processes to realize final results. If a PSP expects a larger portion of their work to be 8 feet to 10 feet for example, it would

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