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Choosing Equipment

Discussion in 'Newbie Forum' started by ChadAGG, Sep 6, 2010.

  1. ChadAGG

    ChadAGG New Member

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    I am currently in embroidery and screen printing(apparel). I have been doing this since around 2002. The company is at a point now where it is generating a lot more interest in signs and wraps. I am trying to find equipment where I can get the most bang for my buck(aren't we all? lol). This seems to be a different animal. Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe I should be able to do anything from a simple 1-color decal all the way up to a full blown vehicle wrap? I'd really like to keep this affordable since this will be an add on to our current business. I understand this equipment is not cheap. I guess what I am trying to say is it doesn't have to be the biggest and best. More than anything I just want something that I can count on. I have looked at Roland's Versacamm which seems really nice. I have also looked at the WrapExpress package from SignWarehouse, but I am really not sure how I feel about it. Any help would be greatly appreciated. I'll be out at SGIA next month, so I want to make a list of the stuff I need to check out. Thanks in advance for the help!
     
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  2. CS-SignSupply

    CS-SignSupply Very Active Member

    Welcome to Signs101.

    I like the Roland and Mimaki eco-solvent printers over most out there. You will also need a quality laminator as well.

    Roland just released a 42" VersaCamm that can be run CMYKx2 and a Royal Sovereign or Seal Base laminator would be a great combination
     
  3. ChadAGG

    ChadAGG New Member

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    Do you think 42" would be a decent size once we hit the point of wrapping vehicles?
     
  4. CS-SignSupply

    CS-SignSupply Very Active Member

    Up to your business plan/Budget and clientele I would think. If you want to do it all, you may be forced to go to the biggest and best.

    My 2 cents.... 80/20 rule. Purchase the equipment that will allow you to get 80% of your work done in house. Outsource the other 20% as needed.

    I am sure you will get some better feedback from fellow members that are actual users of the equipment and installers.
     
  5. Mainframe

    Mainframe Very Active Member

    Get a 54" printer, you can't print a 4 foot banner with a 42" printer, you will be sorry if you pick a 42.
     
  6. ChadAGG

    ChadAGG New Member

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    Mainframe, what do you think of the 54" Versacamm?
     
  7. CentralSigns

    CentralSigns Very Active Member

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    I have a 30 in Roland and it does most of what I need. If I went by Cibers 80/20 rule in the last three years I am in the right size machine. Bigger size equals bigger money, ya got to be prepared for that.
     
  8. royster13

    royster13 Very Active Member

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    So does a shop that only has a 42" printer make less money than a shop that has a 54" printer?....I think sometimes shops that have bigger and better equipment loose their competitive edge over shops that do not.....Because they have to price jobs higher to cover the extra equipment and overhead costs....Something to ponder....
     
  9. Malkin

    Malkin Very Active Member

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    I'm not sure if the difference from 30 to 42 to 54 would be enough to make or break a shop.

    It is true that you have more waste when doing short runs on the larger machines. I make a point to gang like jobs together to minimize that.
     
  10. CentralSigns

    CentralSigns Very Active Member

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    Buy instead of lease then if you want to go bigger than it's just a trade in thing. Otherwise ensure that you lease with an agreement that allows you to upgrade during the agreement to a larger machine. These options allow your company to grow into bigger machines or new markets while allowing you to get in on the bottom floor say with a 30 in machine. Most companies will take trade ins on the purchase of new machines. Good point Royster.
     
  11. B Snyder

    B Snyder Very Active Member

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    Where does the 42" media come from?
     
  12. CheapVehicleWrap

    CheapVehicleWrap Very Active Member

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    Why are you not even considering a 64"? Do you already have qualified installers? Have you any idea what digital output or wrapping vehicles is about? Some of the best are in TX. so be prepared for some SERIOUS competition, REAL SERIOUS. This is not a buy and fly type of operation and has little to to with your current operations of embroidery and screen printing.
     
  13. ChadAGG

    ChadAGG New Member

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    Sep 1, 2010
    I do not really consider the price difference between the 30" and 54" all that great. So, if it is going to make my life that much easier I'd prefer to spring for the extra money the first time around. I understand where you are coming from wraps on the "buy and fly." I expect there to be a learning curve with this just like anything else. I had no experience when I started screen printing, but now I am running a fully automatic shop. I added embroidery later again with no experience, and now I have built a rather large embroidery business. The thing is I love this stuff, and I have to know how to do it from the ground up. I guess its just the way I am wired. This is the next logical step for my business. I have a lot of clients that want us doing their signs. I figure being able to do wraps will be an added bonus. I am fortunate enough to be able to put a little more money into this than I was when I started with screen printing and embroidery, so I am looking to start somewhere in the middle versus the very top or very bottom. Now you mentioned 64", do you have any recommendations? That seems like that may be on the tops side though. I am still in the early stages of all this. I just really want to know what I should be looking at while I am at SGIA. Thanks for all the responses so far guys I really do appreciate it!!
     
  14. gcrocker

    gcrocker New Member

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    Mutoh 48"

    I am very happy with the print quality of my Mutoh 48" (ValueJet) from Signwarehouse. The price was good and I have not had to turn any work away because I did not have the right size (yet).

    Garrick
     
  15. Mainframe

    Mainframe Very Active Member

    To answer your question, -I Love it!, It is everything I need in a printer/cutter, I recommend it highly. Try to look for a solid dealer that has a good tech on board, that is important. Good luck on your choice, also, the 4 foot wide banners & prints pay for the machine, all the smaller stuff is gravy. If you can keep a printer busy you will make money, waste is not an issue. I am amazed when I print a 4' x 14' double strike, I let it dry for a while & it runs back in & prints back over EXACTLY where it printed the first time.:thumb:
     
  16. visual800

    visual800 Very Active Member

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    I dont think in your first venture out you should be looking to own or lease anything. i think the smart move would be to farm out prints and see how it goes. you can get digital printing so cheap now how can you afford to buy equipment

    my 2 cents
     
  17. Techman

    Techman Major Contributor

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    I had a 36" printer..
    Right away I found I needed a bigger one.

    I got a 60" printer and ran many hundreds of feet of 54 inch material and rarely ran 60" material. About 20% was under 36 inches.
    If I were to get another printer again. I would definably get at least a 54 inch machine.
     
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