With the advent of wide format printing, it has become no longer necessary to settle for the limitations of smaller cut sheets or rolls. Also, it is no longer necessary to try to tape together several sheets of paper to make a larger presentation of printed materials.
Wide format and Grand format printing is possible using a roll width that can be anywhere between 18 and 195 inches. Some type of inkjet technology is used in all wide format printers. The finishing touches, however, are what distinguish quality wide format printing companies from their competitors due to the use of three top grade technologies that have come to define the wide format printing industry and specifically the process of finishing.
Automation for Faster Speeds
As most people in the printing world know, the finishing touches put on any print project are what really draws the attention of a client. Trying to manually finish the pieces you print out might be a good idea if you are working on a high-value project for a customer who is willing to pay a premium price; however, if you are in the volume business and need to finish up pieces quickly, manual finishing is generally not a viable option.
Instead of trying to manually finish pieces, finding technology that uses automation for the finishing touches is a must. Automation will not only increase the rate of workflow, but it can also be essential when seeking to please customers who want uniformity in the pieces that they order.
Extra Large Cutting Tables
While much emphasis might be placed on the quality of the wide format printer, the automation device used, and other methods of reproduction (such as continuous feed technology), many printers simply overlook the need for more basic equipment to get the job done correctly. Investing in an extra-large cutting table will create the ability to process and finish large jobs simply, and more easily, with less waste and with higher profits.
Instead of having to spread out a print job on the floor and risk dirtying or fouling a piece that urgently needs to be finished, extra-large cutting tables can allow a printer to both achieve simple finishes, such as cutting to the appropriate and agreed upon size, and will also allow for the ability to achieve complex cut patterns and shapes. Extra-large finishing tables are also a must for those who have invested in a continuous feed, automated printers that speed up the printing process.
Stay on Top of New Substrates
As the printing process becomes ever more rapid and more automated, it is important to make sure that quality is not being sacrificed. While improving printing speed and efficiency is certainly important with regard to increasing the volume of a business, one should never sacrifice quality for higher output.
When beginning to incorporate new technologies into printing services, it is extremely important to test these printing technologies with respect to the different substrates and mediums that are offered. You might very well find that certain media need different variations with regard to speed in order to continue to provide the highest quality.
Printers with Built-In Cutters
When people in the wide format printing industry hear about printers with built-in
cutters, their immediate tendency is often to immediately buy into the hype and do away with old manual cutting machines. While printers with built-in cutters have certainly offered a number of benefits and helped to streamline certain aspects of wide format printing, like kiss cut labels, for example, it is necessary to consider one’s potential customer base before making a decision.
While built-in cutters work well for straight cuts and simple size crops, they might not work well when attempting to complete large volumes of business that require angled or patterned cuts. In fact, considerable time might be lost by opting for built-in cutters and throwing away a manual cutting machine. Furthermore, by finding customers who need custom cuts, or even thicker materials than can easily be cut manually or with mechanical cutters, it might even be possible to increase one’s profit margin because non-rectangular cut pieces typically draw a significantly increased price.
The Most Important Considerations for Wide Format Cutting and Routing
The wide format printing industry is only going to continue to grow and become more competitive during the coming years. While many companies will focus on improving their printing technologies, they might also run the risk of overlooking or ignoring a more fundamental aspect with regard to wide format printing: the cutting and routing process.
Quality prints are certainly important, and printers offering efficient, speedy, automated printing technologies will be able to increase their volume. However, a bottleneck in production can certainly develop without having the cutting and routing technology necessary to stay in close coordination with increased printing speed and width.
To continue to offer profitable quality wide format printing services, it is essential to stay on top of the cutting solutions which are available.