If you select led uv printer, it’s natural to think about the obvious physical attributes of the unit under consideration – roll-fed or flatbed design(or hybrid), width or format, the number of ink colours (including white or metallics), (eco) solvent, UV-curable or latex inks, the plethora of supported substrates, resolution and print modes and speeds. High volume users, especially with flatbed printers, might want to consider automation alternatives for unattended operation and multiple-shift working.
But exactly what the purchaser for any new wide-format printer also need to be contemplating is the type and quality of job information that this device can capture and pass on for production management and analysis. Even when that certain latte coffee printer will be the totality of the printing business, you need to integrate it with your production and business systems to maximise the benefit you are able to achieve from this as well as minimise the price from the operation and maintenance.
And also providing an audit trail for quality assurance purposes, automatically gathering accurate and detailed production information allows wide-format print service providers to find out exactly what each job costs, not only in regards to substrate and ink usage but moreover, in operator and machine time. Many wide-format print providers rely on ‘per square metre’ costs that often assume rather idealised working conditions.
During busy periods operators are unlikely to make time to log or record their activities but unforeseen manual intervention is surely an unpredictable and frequently costly element in production that can make the distinction between profit and loss on the particular job. Re-running jobs on account of un-noticed faults in incoming files, by way of example, can be a sure-fire way to lose money on the job.
The greater this facet of operations might be captured and analysed, the higher the knowledge of true production costs that could be achieved. This info helps to identify profitable types of work – and customers – to ensure these may be actively pursued, while providing earlier warning of problems that cause delays and escalate production costs, whether due to supplied artwork or by internal practices.
The functionality of different manufacturers’ products varies in this way but ideally a large-format printer will be able to record and communicate for every job its dimensions or linear meterage, the substrate used, the resolution and printing mode (single or multiple-pass, for instance) and colour management 70dexepky, machine status (printing, idle, offline for maintenance or fault conditions), operator input, and ink and media usage. For roll-fed devices, a ‘media remaining’ indicator can also be extremely useful for planning work.
Capturing and communicating data with this type involves the uv printer and also the RIP, hence the amount of integration in between the two then onward in the RIP to your production workflow system and/or MIS are important factors to question about. Although many RIP/front-end systems have got a facility to output data in simple common file formats for example CSV or Excel-compatible spreadsheet, automatic data transfer will reduce the potential of error or delay. If operators have to undertake additional processes to capture or transfer this data, it is not as likely that it will probably be done, especially at peak times after it is perhaps most significant to find out exactly what’s experiencing the store and how long it’s taking.