Sign & Digital Graphics

November '17

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34 • November 2017 • S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S DIGITAL PRINTING AND FINISHING DIGITAL GRAPHICS As with any purchase, it really pays for you to do your homework and to care- fully analyze your future goals. While there are a wide variety of machines on the market, at the end of the day it's your daily workflow, desired output and your balance sheet that will determine which type printer is right for your business. When preparing your shopping/ checklist, it's only natural to think about the attributes of each device—such as roll-fed versus flatbed versus hybrid models. You also need to consider media width size, how many ink colors (includ- ing white and/or metallics), eco solvent, UV-curable or latex inks, the host of sup- ported substrates, resolution and print modes and speeds. It all boils down to do you need a unit with all the bells and whistles? And, most importantly, how high-end of a model do you really need? To answer some of these questions and help take some stress out of the pur- chasing process, we spoke with a number of the leading suppliers and polled them about some of the most important points to consider and questions to ask when buying a new printer in this class. SDG: How do you weigh all the bells and whistles vs. some of the bells and whistles? How high end do you really need? Randy Paar, marketing manager, Display Graphics, Canon Solutions America, Itasca, Illinois, points out that the actual value of the bells and whistles will mean different things to different people. "Determining what features are important for the type of work you are producing is key—however it is only a starting point in the evaluation. Besides your immediate business needs; con- sider where your business is headed, one, three or five years from now. Will today's printer purchase still be a good decision in the future?" He says to also consider how those bells and whistles can impact your busi- ness. "You really need to separate the must haves from the nice to haves. Will those features allow you to be more pro- ductive, reduce waste, increase quality, or allow you to branch out into entirely new applications or vertical markets or all the above?" "Printing companies shouldn't buy bells and whistles for the sake of having a lot of different features to manage," says Mike Wozny, senior product manager, EFI Inkjet, Meredith, New Hampshire. "The point is to automate and streamline to get the best possible product at the lowest total cost. With regards to imag- ing quality, on a press like the VUTEk HS series, we see how the combination of EFI's pin and cure and variable-drop grayscale imaging handles requirements for superior image quality and accuracy in the production setting, but the point is not to replace other key aspects of the color imaging process that can and should be handled upstream as they are on Fiery digital front ends. For many VUTEk HS125 Pro customers, the most important bells and whistles come in the form of semi- or fully automated material handling," he adds. Larry D'Amico, director of sales, Durst Image Technology U S , L L C , Rochester, New York, says the decision to purchase any printer needs to start with your customers and their applications. "I find too often companies buy equip- ment without a clear understanding of what they want to do with it and which customers and applications they want to "For productive rigid substrate printing we recommend the Océ Arizona 6100 series UV flatbed printers," says Randy Paar of Canon Solutions America. "These printers utilize an 8'x10' print area that can be configured as two four feet by 8' print zones." (Image courtesy of Canon Solutions America Inc.)

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