March '23

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W I D E - F O R M A T P R I N T I N G T he COVID-19 pandemic had a major impact on supply chains in the past cou- ple of years, making the thought of invest- ing in a wide-format UV flatbed printer that much more desirable. In the past, these more industrial printers were out of many small shops' price-range, but with labor costs and the price of certain substrates, like paper, ris- ing dramatically, many are giving flatbeds a second look. So, what does a commercial printer need to know before making the leap into flat- bed printing? e first thing they need to decide is what niche a flatbed printer would fill in their current operation. Do they need to handle smaller jobs more quickly or run their print operations with a smaller labor force? Do they need to be able to print on multiple substrates, including films, corrugated or three-dimensional objects such as mugs or water bottles? e answers to these ques- tions will help determine what size machine is necessary. Becky McConnell, marketing manager for Durst Image Technology US, says it is important for any shop considering such a large press purchase to research the many ways their current clients could benefit from a flatbed printer. It is also important to have the right space for the machine. If a shop has no plans to move into a new building or make major investments in its current facility, it is imper- ative that the shop ensure the printer fits in the current location and that the proper con- ditions are met for facilitating printing with an inkjet flatbed printer, she says. Flatbed What to know before making the leap to this expanding field B Y P A U L A A V E N G L A D Y C H Paula Aven Gladych is a freelance writer based in Denver, Colorado. She can be reached at Projections are Far From Flat 3 8 G R A P H I C S P R O • M A R C H 2 0 2 3 G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M (Image courtesy of swissQPrint)

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