Sign & Digital Graphics

November '17

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36 • 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 Moultonboro, New Hampshire, says it depends on workflow, volume and future desired capacity. "While you don't ever want to be struggling to keep up, buying too much capacity and having it idle is very expensive. Look for equipment that is designed for expandability with upgrade paths to add capacity as needed at a rea- sonable cost. Make sure in the buying cycle that it's a real upgrade, an upgrade path can be a powerful selling tool but they often are not realistic and when the time comes, they are not available." D'Amico says it gets down to under- standing what your customers needs are and what they are willing to pay for that work. Then it is "straight forward" to do an ROI that focuses on these ele- ments. "Printers need to understand that a higher-end device drives more profit- ability to your bottom line. If you have the volume and there is a sufficient profit for that volume then a more productive machine can be a more sound decision. You'll be surprised if you crunch the numbers that it does not take as much work as you might think to rationalize the faster, more productive machines." According to Paar there are a cou- ple of factors at play when it comes to print speed—turnaround time versus image quality. "Most printers experi- ence a divergence between the two at the higher published print speeds. What might have looked good on a spec sheet ends up looking like unsellable output at the highest speeds. An important first step in evaluating any printer is in deter- mining the fastest sellable print speed for your specific application," he adds. "The next step is in determining how the new printer can accommodate your current For dedicated, high-volume production EFI's newest offering is a UV-LED printer, the EFI VUTEk 5r, which offers a number of in-line features, including finishing options, that drive throughput. (Image courtesy of EFI) peak volumes plus the potential volume increases as your business grows in the coming years." SDG: Is continuous printing a priority? "It all comes down to how well your printer handles peak print volumes. That's were continuous printing can help make a difference," Paar says. D'Amico reports that unattended printing can be an important driver in overall operating cost. "Durst has many customers who set up a job and let it run unattended on a second or third shift. When you consider that labor is one of your largest cost factors, then the abil- ity to run unattended can allow you to produce work at a very low cost." SDG: Ink types to consider " UV-curable ink is the most versatile ink on the market by far," says Currier. "It can be used for the widest range of appli- cations and substrate types. Other inks are much more specific to a narrow range of materials that they were designed for. Most shops have room for and require multiple ink types but UV-curable is always the primary ink set." Wozny says speed is what sets UV and LED-UV print technologies apart in pro- duction graphics printing. "EFI inks are proven in their ability to offer accurate, high-end color as well as in their ability to adhere to just about all the common rigid and roll media substrates needed. The additional difference in those inks' performance is the speed. Many VUTEk customers choose V U T E k H S series printers to replace or augment work they are producing on multiple, slower solvent or latex devices." Proper printer selection truly depends on the customer's print needs and desired throughput, according to Durst's Larry D'Amico. "You would also need to consider whether you are look- ing at rigid or roll printing applications. If you need both, I would suggest the Durst Rho P10 Series, which does both very well." (Image courtesy of Durst Image Technology US)

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