Start Here November '21

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Page 81 of 102 77 S T A R T H E R E 2 0 2 1 Your First Printer and Initial Output Expectations Maxwell believes it's important to find out what your target applications are before discussing an entry point. "Different tech- nologies serve an array of applications — what suits one may not suit another; getting a good handle on target applications, produc- tion volumes and a growth forecast is necessary," he says. "Will the primary applications be indoor or outdoor? Signs and banners? Soft signage? Rigid graphics or printing on objects? What's the minimum width required? What are the projected volumes in 3, 6, 12 months and beyond?" Conrad notes its best to buy for next year. "If you are setting up a sign shop to print banners and displays, but know you'll be growing into vehicle wraps a year from now, don't skimp on the 54" printer when you really need a 64" wide printer. Stepping over nickels to pick up pennies is not a good habit to get into. If you have the ability to finance with a good program or if you have the extra capital, be sure to invest in the equipment you need now that will also handle expected output demands over the next year or three, so you are not struggling to keep up with client projects," he explains. Valade says that when purchasing your first printer, you should consider who your customers will be as well as your output requirements. "In the case of an existing business that's expanding, rather than just starting up, additional factors should be considered. If a print ser- vice provider already has clients, it's important to think about how quickly your printer purchase will help you ramp up production and/or expand your product offerings. Conversely, if we're talking about a startup shop, productivity needs may not be as urgent. A priner/cutter can help you cover the applications currently in highest demand, like signage, decals, and vehicle wraps. (Image courtesy Roland DGA) It's important to find out what your target applications are before discussing an entry point. Consider UV-LED inkjet printers with the combined functions of both printing and cutting. (Image courtesy Mimaki USA)

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