Sign & Digital Graphics

October '19

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50 • October 2019 • 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 of applications making them very adapt- able to many jobs. Once again, the ink resides on the surface, so some scratch resistance is lowered and adhesion may require a promoter, but overall the inks perform well." Rugen adds that dye sublimation inks vary from one manufacturer to the next and the dye sublimation and textile printing market can be complex regarding choice in materials and inks. "In addition, sub- limation requires the use of heat presses and that is an added cost to this ink usage. However, the products produced using dye sublimation are long lasting and any- thing with a polyester coating can be printed." McCausland says in signage, offering color consistency is necessary. "Print shops must be ready and able to offer an expanded color gamut and successfully match any color a client throws their way. The solvent ink indus- try is evolving due to rapid advancement in technology and ink chemistry—now allowing PSPs to reach 98% Pantone and ensure efficient, precise and repeat- able performance. Ink technology has expanded outside the traditional CYMK color scheme, with successful formula- tions for red, white and metallic silver in higher end signage printers, such as the Epson SureColor S80600." He points out that solvent ink chemis- try and technology embeds colorant into the media to establish a more permanent bond between substrate and ink, pen- etrating media to form a durable bond able to withstand water, scratching and fading. In contrast, latex inks lay on top of the substrate and never fully take on specific attributes of the substrate, result- ing in duller, less consistent color. One of the primary drivers of this is the match- ing of ink and piezo printhead technol- ogy. For example, our latest generation Epson PrecisionCore TFP printheads delivers incredible accuracy and color consistency so print shops can be con- fident in producing the right colors for their customer's brands and projects." How do you justify the cost? How much do I need to sell? Valade says it is important to deter- mine how much business you would need to generate to cover the invest- ment and operation costs of your first printer. He points out that the dealer you are purchasing from should be able to assist with some general benchmark calculations based on ink and material costs, running time and average selling costs. Those will help determine what profit you can make per item (or per hour) that you print, which in turn will tell you how quickly you'll pay for your investment and how much you can make on an ongoing basis. "To figure out how to pay for a wide- format printer, simply start with the cost of the machine and then use your selling prices for applications. If you can define what applications you will be producing and what you are charging for them, you will probably find that an average shop will pay for a $25,000 printer in less than 3 years," Rugen says. Roland's Daniel Valade says traditionally, users looking to have a wide mix of applications will choose an eco-solvent printer or printer/cutter to get started, as they offer the most com- monly requested applications, like outdoor signage, posters, banners, apparel heat transfers, and labels/decals. Images courtesy of Roland DGA. Image courtesy of Roland DGA.

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