Sign & Digital Graphics

October '17

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10 • October 2017 • G R A N D F O R M A T GRAND FORMAT won't be able to keep up," Gornick says. "The good news is that today, shops can get very fast, high-quality industrial style printers with advanced technologies at lower price points than ever before." But turning a project around on time can also be subjected to factors beyond a printer's speed. After the print comes off the printer, other factors come into play such as lamination steps, cutting and Large banner projects and wall coverings are applications that can easily be completed on grand-format printers. (Image courtesy of Roland DGA) trimming, and other finishing steps such as sewing, adding grommets etc., and of course the packing and shipping of the product. Considering the technological aspects as well as including every part of the printing process—equipment, inks and media—is vitally important to successful completion of an on-time project. But to be sure, the printer is central. "Turnaround time is also impacted if the platform is not wide enough, or if the printed goods require lamination or cutting on another device," Maxwell explains. "Products such as the UJV55- 320 superwide UV-LED printer or CJV Series cut-and-print devices aid in improving the turnaround time with integrated technologies such as instant cure—or in the case of the CJV Series— print then cut without additional inter- action with the machine. These types of features can vastly improve the ability of a PSP to provide jobs quickly." Valade sees a direct correlation between printer size and efficiency in turnaround time. "To be competitive in today's market," Valade says, "a sign shop really needs to invest in a qual- ity 54-inch or 64-inch inkjet. Having a printer or printer/cutter of this size will allow an operation to maximize versatil- ity and productivity, while also reducing turnaround time." Bigger Opportunities The mid-range, wide-format printers are absolute workhorses. Sign shops have turned to them for years to tackle jobs from banners to vehicle wraps. It's when the projects start outsizing the equip- ment when sign professionals should be considering a step to the grand-format side, which is typically defined as a printer with over 100-inch width. "Sign companies should consider a larger printer if the work they are taking on requires more post processing such as paneling," Maxwell says. "Once a PSP starts sending jobs off to be seamed or find themselves in need of overlaps for a pan- eling purpose, then they should consider going wider to reduce time and cost." The UJV55-320 super-wide-format UV-LED printer is a 128" roll-to-roll model that supports media up to 127.9" wide for oversized graphics and panels, or can print simultaneously onto two 60" rolls. (Image courtesy of Mimaki USA)

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