April '21

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8 2 G R A P H I C S P R O A P R I L 2 0 2 1 G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M make printing an attractive ad- dition or startup investment." Today's roll-to-roll printers have years of proven success on the mar- ket, and they oer print shops a vast number of options. PICKING YOUR PRINTER To get the process started of adding a roll-to-roll printer to your shop, you must rst commit to a printer. ere are numerous manufacturers and dis- tributors who will help you on your way, and the perfect place to see these printers in action is at a trade show. An interac- tive environment to see, touch, hear, and even smell the printer in action is worth its weight in gold. You can get your ques- tions answered, do comparison shopping, and even build relationships that will help you long after the show is over. With in-person trade shows just getting going again this year, some manufacturers are oering demos and small group classes to interact with their machines. And to truly maximize your investment, match up your printer's best features with the applications and end uses you plan to tar- get most. PREPPING FOR THE PRINTER So where do you begin the process of adding one to your shop? First thing is to look at the conguration of the print- er you want to purchase and make sure you have the space, power, and internet connectivity available to operate the machine. "Make sure you have the physical space to load and operate the print- er in an ecient manner," says Ken Parsley, Mutoh America. "Most shops with a roll printer will also want to have a laminator and a vinyl cutter to optimize the products they oer. "Customers need to make sure they have an adequate environment for their machine, which includes hav- ing the right power, climate con- trol, ventilation (if needed), space, etc., specied by the manufacturer," Parsley adds. e printer manufacturer or dis- tributor you decide to work with will have the necessary documenta- tion with space requirements. Most printer experts recommend getting as large a printer as you can to be able to handle the most possible applications. Keep in mind that print width does not equal machine width. For exam- ple, when you bring a 72" printer into Today's roll-to-roll printers have years of success on the market and offer print shops a vast number of options, including packaging labels. (Image courtesy of Mimaki) The Epson SureColor S40600 can produce banners at 215 ft 2 per hour. Match up your printer's best features with the applications you plan to target most. (Image courtesy Epson) Visit for a more in-depth look into the technical aspects of roll-to-roll printers and which features your shop truly needs. PRINTER PRE-PURCHASE CONSIDERATIONS 1. Internet line installation 2. Computer/networking installation 3. Electrical power installation 4. Vent line installation 5. Air conditioning (if needed) 6. Lighting 7. Safety equipment 8. Layout 9. Media storage

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