Sign & Digital Graphics

November '18

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S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S • November 2018 • 35 however, because it requires a print oper- ator to change substrates frequently for different jobs. Some printers choose to knock out multiple jobs that use the same substrate all at once or back-to-back, so they don't have to change the same substrate out and then back in again. In fast-turn shops where that level of plan- ning can be a luxury, printers can reduce waste by holding on to unused portions of substrate that can be used for smaller jobs to be run between larger jobs." Johansen says that if a shop has enough job volume to justify more than a single shift, obviously a second shift can be more cost effective than new equipment in many cases, but not all. "Before deciding between adding a shift or adding equipment to keep up with demand, work out the cost of the labor you're considering versus the total cost of ownership ( TCO) of the equipment you're considering. There's no one-size- fits-all answer." Michael Maxwell, senior manager at Mimaki USA, Suwanee, Georgia, adds that proper planning at the beginning of the production week is a must. "Looking at the different media to be printed on and the delivery times will help minimize downtime. As an example, queuing up all jobs for vinyl that will be laminated and potentially cut allows operators to load the printer and start sending files. Most production bottlenecks are manual pro- cesses, such as loading and unloading media, setting head heights, and adjusting This cornhole game was printed using Ricoh flat- bed printing technology. The RICOH Pro T7210 flatbed offers sign shops the ability to handle diverse materials in a wide range thicknesses, helping them to further broaden their revenue streams and enter new markets. (Images cour- tesy Ricoh USA.) Roland's Texart RT-640 fabric printer is a good fit for sub- limation printing workflows for applications ranging from fabric banners and branded apparel to promotional items and interior décor. (Images courtesy of Roland DGA)

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