Start Here November '21

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Page 87 of 102 83 S T A R T H E R E 2 0 2 1 Prepping For The Printer So where do you begin the process of adding one to your shop? First thing is to look at the configuration of the printer 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 printer in an efficient 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 offer. "Customers need to make sure they have an adequate environment for their machine, which includes having the right power, climate con- trol, ventilation (if needed), space, etc., specified by the manufacturer." The printer manufacturer or distributor you decide to work with will have the necessary documentation 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 example, when you bring a 72" printer into your shop, the actual machine width will be closer to 100". You'll also need to decide what kind of ink you want to print with. "Roll-to-roll printers support the widest range of inks," Max- well says. "Customers can choose from eco-solvent and UV-LED options for the longest outdoor capability, or latex and sublimation for more personalized and interior applications." Your ink deci- sion will also determine factors such as your need for ventilation, curing, cartridge versus bulk, as well as OEM versus third party. Lastly, you'll want a strong computer. "Keep in mind that the better computer specifications you have, the faster the RIP can process images and start printing," says David Lopez, Epson America Inc. Once you have your machine picked out, the process moves pretty quickly. "Typically, plan on about 10 to 14 days assuming that all the pre-installation work has been done and (is) ready to go," says Tom Wittenberg, HP. A good industry rule of thumb is that your printer should last you at least seven years before new technology and options make it less profitable to continue without a replacement or upgrade. (Image courtesy Epson) The Epson SureColor S40600 can produce banners at 215 ft 2 per hour. Keep in mind that print width does not equal machine width. (Image courtesy Epson) Printer Pre-Purchase Considerations • Internet line installation • Computer/networking installation • Electrical power installation • Vent line installation • Air conditioning (if needed) • Lighting • Safety equipment • Layout • Media storage

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