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Looking for an automated workflow system!

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Print & Cut Systems' started by Silvertip, Nov 10, 2015.

  1. Silvertip

    Silvertip Silvertip Graphics Signs & Designs, Inc.

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    Hi,
    I am close to securing a decal manufacturing job here in N. Mn. and I will need to upgrade everything as my older Roland Versacamm sp540 print/cut and my Graphtec 8000 cutter and my little barebones laminator won't work for the process that I will be setting up.

    This is the scenerio. Each decal file (hundreds literally) from 2 x 2 custom cut without masking to the bigger 36 x 34 custom cut decals with kisscut (?) pre-mask will be in volume of 50 per each order. This will put me into a completely different level of decal manufacturing.

    I have tentative bank backing or I can likely do a lease option. My building is big enough for now. I have a 40 x 70 open floor steel building.

    I will need at least one new printer possibly two. I like Roland but am looking at brands.

    What is most important is being able to do this type of high demand decal manufacturing with the best automation as I can afford (mid-grade maybe).

    This is going to change my direction here at my little sign shop so I want to explore as many options as I possibly can! Any and All replies are welcome if you have large volume decal manufacturing experience or products-talk to me!

    Thank you signs 101 people!
    Regards,
    Barb
     
  2. 2CT Media

    2CT Media Very Active Member

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    50 decals at a time doesn't sound like a lot to me. Maybe there is something I'm not understanding, but we do some equipment decals for chillers intended for large server farms, these are 15" x 22" and include individual cut letters and printed logos.

    We do 500 at a time. including printing HP l260, laminating gfp 463th, cutting Summa s2-160t, weeding, masking, and cutting it takes us 1 shift 10 hours.

    Our normal decals 2" x 4" on average standard contour cut outside, we process 5,000 - 10,000 in a shift when we get these orders every quarter. Are these overly complicated decals that require more automation?


    If you want the best automation look at a Summa DC5, Gerber edge, or similar thermal resin system.
     
  3. CanuckSigns

    CanuckSigns Very Active Member

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    Unless I'm missing something, that doesn't seem like the volume of work that would require anything special. 2 printers, a laminator and a plotter should be able to handle the workload no problem. If they are all printed on the same media, 1 printer may suffice, at our shop when we get busy the bottlenecks are in the people, not the machines.

    Will the files be uploaded to you from the web or something? A simple job number system may suffice, job number gets printed with the job (easily done in versaworks)
     
  4. Silvertip

    Silvertip Silvertip Graphics Signs & Designs, Inc.

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    Misscommunicated amounts!

    Your right haha 50 decals is not much! I should have said 50 of each decal out of 100's of different designs! Each decal would be ordered in 50 at a time increments but they will order hundreds of each item per year!
    For example the last quote I did added up to over $50K and this would be for about a months worth of orders give or take some.
    Sorry I should have explained better! This is a big volume.
    This is for a manufacturing entity. They have an assembly line that they put the machine together with and we would supply all the decals for that assembly line.
     
  5. Andriy

    Andriy Member

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    How about a Zund and a Flatbed Applicator like RollsRover? That should only require 1 person to run everything.
     
  6. CanuckSigns

    CanuckSigns Very Active Member

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    I still think 2 printers, 1 laminator and 1 cutter would suffice for that, depending on your workload with other work, you may need to hire someone to just focus on that client.

    It sounds like once you have the designs done, they are all stock, in that case i would assign the files a item # and incorporate that into your workflow.
     
  7. reQ

    reQ Very Active Member

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    Agree with this 100%. But yes, i would get flatbed laminator instead of regular one. Don't forget, that you can do roll-to-roll printing overnight also.
     
  8. Silvertip

    Silvertip Silvertip Graphics Signs & Designs, Inc.

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    Workload

    There is no way our existing system can keep up with that kind of printing workload. I am talking large volume and large decals as well. Some decals are upwards of 3 ft. The contours are not real complicated but the bigger ones sometimes have holes in them where a handle or something would be.
    If I were to get an order for 50 of each piece say 20 different files with sizes ranging from a few inches upwards to 4 feet every from DAILY in good times to WEEKLY in slower times my Roland would in no way be able to handle that volume of printing. Then there is the laminating of each piece as I don't have a reel up type system. Then cutting each piece because I can't realistically cut more than say 12-15 Ft of graphics and have them all come out exact (even with bleed) then masking. Then I have no way to cut thru the mask to make every piece contour cut around that.
     
  9. reQ

    reQ Very Active Member

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    I don't understand whats your problem... I am also in process of getting contract for 3000+ pieces of 30x120 inch printed & laminated per year. I am running SP540i & 640. If everything will go thru, i will simply get two RF640 + flatbed laminator & get rid of 540i. The amount of decals you can print with these machines is insane, specially with roll-to-roll. Laminating with flatbed is super fast & easy. Contour cutting - get summa flatbed cutter if you want, it will do nice roll-to-roll contour cutting but if you go that way, don't get flatbed laminator, get regular one.
     
  10. 2B

    2B Moderator

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    if you are supplying to an assembly location, are they requiring a certain configuration?
    ie roll labels with a certain core size and what about unwind direction?

    regardless, your numbers should be easily achieved by the configuration the others have listed.
     
  11. nate

    nate Active Member

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    Or you can save yourself the hassle and sub it out. We'd be glad to work on this project for you.
     
  12. Silvertip

    Silvertip Silvertip Graphics Signs & Designs, Inc.

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    Lol My Problem?

    Ok, first of all I do not have a "problem" I simply asked for input as to what I might consider upgrading to! My current system works perfect for what volume that I have. We print/ laminate and cut all day every day...daily. No Issue!
    I am hoping to get work from large manufacturer. I will need to upgrade my systems to handle a much larger volume than what I currently have. I have looked at the Summa F Series and have what I believe to be a pretty good "Show special" from them (SGIA) and I am waiting for more information from Roland.

    I am looking for the best price (of course) with the easiest handling system to keep the babysitters cost down (payroll). Among other things.

    Since I do not currently know what each machine does or can do I stopped here to hopefully get some useful feedback as to resources that I can use to gather information and maybe gain insights into something that I may have missed in my query's!

    Another issue that will be on the table is packaging and labeling. So far our current system has worked fine for all of that and I have a very good job handling system in house and with them already so I am not too worried about handling that. At some point I will likely need to revisit that and get it honed more. Once we have a file it is good until they change it.

    I am hoping to think thru as many of the issues as I possibly can to alleviate the "initial crunch n punch". For those of you out there that have done this type up upgrade..what did you do and why?
    Would you recommend a flatbed over a roll cutter? Right now I have a new Graphtec 8000 series and to be honest the damn thing has never been good for anything past about 4 ft. long. Thankfully I have my 54" Roland with the print / cut. Yes, I have talked to tech support and we have calibrated and worked with the registration marks etc. It is great for cut vinyl but I got what I paid for .....$5k for a cheap plotter.

    I will likely spend a pretty penny getting these upgrades but by my calculations I should be able to pay for everything in 1-2 yrs.
     
  13. CanuckSigns

    CanuckSigns Very Active Member

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    A decent plotter like a summa would contour cut those no problem

    I disagree, we have a single Roland VS-540, and if you pre plan and schedule properly, the amount of work they can produce is amazing. ours doesn't run non stop all the time, but when we get large orders that I think is going to take days or weeks to print, i'm always pleasantly suprised that they print faster than I thought. worst case scenario, buy a take up reel and print overnight.

    Our low end seal laminator will easily laminate a full roll of vinyl through it with 1 person in about 15-20 minutes. A decent plotter like the Summa will contour cut the decals with good accuracy. apply mask with the laminator again (you may want to buy a cheap laminator just for masking as loading/unloading is a pain) I'm not sure what you mean by contour cutting around the mask, we use a ruler & knife for cutting out.

    I'm not trying to dissuade you from getting new equipment, If you want to and you can afford to, go for it.
     
  14. CanuckSigns

    CanuckSigns Very Active Member

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    Just a friendly word of caution, don't put all your eggs in this one basket. We had a similar project come to us a few years ago, thought we hit the jackpot with large frequent orders from 1 client, after a few months they stopped, they did the math and realized that with what they paid us for a few months, they could buy all the equipment they needed and pay someone to do them in house.

    Would you have a contract from this client? I'm not saying don't get excited about this, but go into it with a level head.

    Hope it works out well for you! Congrats!
     
  15. Silvertip

    Silvertip Silvertip Graphics Signs & Designs, Inc.

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    printer overload

    For just one item that I have on file in the amount that I need (50) them in it will take approx. 3 rolls of 48" Controltac. Now multiply that by 10 and you have today's order. Tomorrow...maybe more maybe less but you get the idea. I know what I have and I will need a better system because my one printer simple cannot go that fast.
     
  16. CanuckSigns

    CanuckSigns Very Active Member

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    Ok, if thats the case perhaps "decals" was the wrong choice of words, and yes i would agree you need some major equipment updates to handle that. Decals are relatively small.
     
  17. Silvertip

    Silvertip Silvertip Graphics Signs & Designs, Inc.

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    Eyes wide open!

    Thanks I have been working on this for months! I am quite aware that it could fizz out but I am working on this for a reason and I believe my reasons are solid. What the hell, sometimes things go south and I am not gambling all my eggs! I still have a viable business here and I will go after other markets once I get it going on that level. At least that is the plan. I have been tested and retested by them and I have not failed yet. Don't plan on failing if I get all of their business either.
     
  18. Silvertip

    Silvertip Silvertip Graphics Signs & Designs, Inc.

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    What do you call decals?

    What do you call them?
     
  19. reQ

    reQ Very Active Member

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    THE decals!
     
  20. peavey123

    peavey123 Active Member

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    Monster stickers
     
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