Sign & Digital Graphics

October '19

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48 • October 2019 • S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S How much should shops expect to spend on a first machine? Valade reports that price will depend upon the specific type and size of the printer. "A 4-color eco-solvent printer/ cutter (with integrated printing and con- tour cutting capabilities) like Roland's 54-inch wide True VIS SG-540 has an MSRP of $12,995, while the 30-inch S G -300 costs $9,995 M S R P . Roland printers come with Roland VersaWorks RIP software, which saves thousands of dollars over having to buy software to run the printer," says Valade. "Some models include a media take- up unit, while others would require a separate take-up. There are other costs to consider (i.e., inks, materi- als and finishing equipment), but it's possible to get a new wide-format printer for under $10,000, ranging up to $25,000-$30,000 for higher productivity models," he adds. "For the first machine, a shop can expect to spend anywhere between $10,000- $20,000 on the printer and finishing equipment," says McCausland. "In addition to the printer, shops will want to install a laminator and/or cutter. Epson recently launched the SureColor S40600 Print Cut Edition that would be ideal for an entry-level shop. The bundle package includes the Epson SureColor S40600 roll-to-roll printer, Graphtec cutter, and ONYX software to maximize productivity and streamline workflow." Rugen reports that most commercial printers these days range from $7,500 to $90,000. The cost will be directly related to the size of the printer as well as the ink type. However, many shops expect to set aside about $25,000 for a typical 64-inch eco-solvent printer because of the range of projects, or applications, it can produce. "The main concern is getting enough business to pay for the machine as quickly as possible, so it is wise to choose a printer that can do a wide range of projects as a started to open up market possibilities. As the shop gains business, it can then invest in more specialized equipment." How much shop space is needed? How long does it take to become proficient? Is a warranty necessary? McCausland says that it takes time to become proficient in the machinery and software. "I would estimate approx- imately 1-3 months for the machinery and 1-3 months for the accompanying software and RIP systems." "For an entry level sign shop, war- ranty for equipment is necessary. The equipment needs to be running for the business to be successful, a new sign shop cannot afford for the machinery to not be working correctly," he says. "The amount of space needed will depend on the size of the printer being purchased and any other finishing equip- ment needed for desired applications. This can include a laminator, a prep table and other post-print processing equip- ment needed. It's important to ensure you have sufficient room not only for the printer, but also for laying out graphics and storing materials," states Valade. Rugen adds that resellers of wide- format printers can assist in determining shop space and in fact should do so. He says that the placement of these devices will require a clean room, as dust free as possible, and environmentally controlled (heat, cool and humidity). In addition, most projects will require some large table space for preparing the application for mounting on boards, or other rigid media. Will the finished project need to be protected with a laminate? If so, count on doubling that space needed for just the printer itself. Image courtesy of Epson America Inc. Image courtesy of Roland DGA. DIGITAL PRINTING AND FINISHING DIGITAL GRAPHICS For those wanting to offer printing on textiles and rigid substrates for things like soft-signage, high-end POP displays or customized goods and promo products, dye-sublimation printing is a great option.

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