Start Here October '22

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46 S T A R T H E R E 2 0 2 2 buying heads every eight to 12 months for machines that can have as many as eight heads, your investment on consumables can quickly add up. Ink: One of the biggest holes you can step in is not fully understanding ink cost. is cost can be well hidden. Smaller ink cartridges sound less costly but not when you compare. Models that have bulk ink systems are almost always cheaper to oper- ate and, in some cases, thousands of dol- lars less when comparing equal volumes. Ink costs are widely available on the internet. Most use the unit "cc," but "ml" is the same volume. Take the total cost of the package and divide the number of cc or ml to get the per cc or ml cost. Now, find out how much total volume ink comes with that brand and multiply cc or ml cost. Do the same for the brand you are comparing it with, and it will reveal the true cost of ink. We did a five-year own- ership term study on a well-known brand, and it saved us over $50,000. NEVER BUY A KNOCKOFF You hear quite a few horror stories when you have been doing this for a long time and have worked many trade shows. I have a customer that bought a knockoff that disappeared from the market after a few years and left him and his business dead in the water — and he still owed $18,000 on his machine. TECHNICAL SUPPORT Know before you go! Every company you ask will say they have service. is is maybe the biggest issue that leaves buyers disappointed and upset. Even big names can fall short, so don't assume that the big name means great support. Be careful with dealerships that sell many different brands and types of equip- ment — they cannot be experts at every- thing. Seek out the specialist companies that focus on one brand and do it great. is information can be obtained through user forums, special UV Facebook groups, and social media platforms. Mimaki has eight different types of ink suited for different products. (Image courtesy Mimaki) The UV printing market is one of the fastest-growing segments in the print industry. (Image courtesy Roland DGA)

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