Sign & Digital Graphics

October '17

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12 • October 2017 • G R A N D F O R M A T and where potential pitfalls may lay in hiding. In the business of printing, there is always the possibility of incurring stop- pages for any number of reasons. For sign shops, this shouldn't be the cause of using the wrong printer. "Bottlenecks in production cause delays and order fulfillment problems," says Conrad. "Having the right printer for the job is important to keep up with workflow demand. Sometimes this means adding printer capacity or going wider to accommodate new application oppor- tunities." Gornick agrees, expanding by saying, "Shops should upgrade to a larger printer when they can't keep up with production demand and turnaround times required by their customers. A good indicator that that is the case is if there are bottlenecks in productivity, and staff are frequently working late and/or multiple shifts are needed to keep up with demands." It's also important to note the other components that go into the printing process and how they can impact a spe- cific project. "With so many different substrates available, custom ICC profiles can be a necessity for accurately reproducing spe- cific colors when moving on from one application to the next," Valade says. "Efficient profiles ensure that enough ink is laid down to reproduce colors without resulting in oversaturation, which can prolong the amount of drying/curing time required. The quicker the graphics dry, the faster you can start laminating." "Other challenges include the con- cern of print quality issues," Maxwell says. "Mimaki has put a specific amount of emphasis on this particular concern," says Maxwell, pointing to specific qual- ity-focused technologies that, "greatly reduce the imperfections that can occur with inkjet reducing misprints, wasted time, and materials." So often, it's easy to look solely at the machine to gauge a print job when there are so many other factors to ponder. Ink is one of those elements that plays a very big role as the printer size expands. Plainly, it's an educational process to determine how a printer upgrade will impact business. One must take into account not only the size but the addi- tional features and the market's demand. "Once you've done your homework and you determine that it's smart to go wider, you need to be prepared to sup- port the demand your new efforts will generate," says Conrad. "Don't wait until you have jobs in house before you search for your wider printer. There are plenty of finance options available that allow you to defer payments while you build your wider business account base." And once a sign shop makes that deci- sion to go wider, it can start to weigh the investment versus the potential return. Employing a wider printer allows shops to tackle a broader range of projects and improve turnaround times. (Image courtesy of Roland DGA) SDG Plainly, it's an educational process to determine how a printer upgrade will impact business.

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