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Need suggestions for printer/cutter

Discussion in 'Product and Supplier Referrals' started by Robbit, Jun 13, 2018.

  1. Robbit

    Robbit New Member

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    Hello,
    I work for a business where we make displays for the 12 volt industry and all the printing we need we have another shop do. The owner would like to do as much as we can do in-house, that task is going to fall on me. I have an IT background and I'm good at figuring things out but I have no talent for graphic arts so something that's easy to use for the basic tasks but is pretty powerful once you figure it out would be super.
    What my boss is looking for is a printer/cutter, under $10,000, low/affordable cost per square inch, great print quality and 54 inch or greater print capability. The majority of the printing is going to be on matte vinyl that gets attached to wood panels. We also would be printing the inserts for backlit displays. There is no need for the ability for metallic inks but we are unsure if we should get a machine capable of using white ink.
    I know in that price range we won't be able to get it all. Any suggestions would be very helpful and if you have any questions please feel free to ask.
     
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  2. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

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    https://www.uscutter.com/HP-Latex-115-Print-Cut-Solution
     
    • Disagree Disagree x 1
  3. Robbit

    Robbit New Member

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    That's the exact one I was looking at the other night. I felt that it looked like a good choice but not knowing anything in this field I figured it would be good to find out.
     
  4. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

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    I've looked at the HP115 as a good starter machine. I don't have personal use experience with it but that is the machine I'd get if I was to start printing. Right now it's a better fit for me to keep outsourcing because I don't have enough time in the day to take on the remedial task of printing and laminating, but if I did I'd be looking at the 115.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. bob

    bob Major Contributor

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    And since you don't print it's doubtful that you know your a$$ from a warm biscuit about the care and feeding of printers.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

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    Yea Bob, it's not like I ever owned and used a printer before because of course you would know that.
     
  7. Gino

    Gino Major Contributor

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    So robbit, you want to skirt around using a professional sign shop and start your own in-house shop. Very nice. And you want us to help you ruin another fellow sign maker's business. Hard thing to do. In this hand I have a sign shop to help..... and in the other hand I have some guy who wants to save money and perhaps do harm to the industry.

    I'd say, keep subbing out the work, until you can aquire real sign equipment, cause besides the printer, you'll need a cutter, laminator and someone to run it, plus feed it. Buying it is the easy part, but like mentioned, maintaining it and running it correctly takes real knowhow.


    Good luck...........
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

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    Huh??
     
  9. Christy Nowland

    Christy Nowland New Member

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    I just was in the market for the EXACT SAME TYPE MACHINE. Something in the $10,000 either a printer/plotter in one (which I could not afford in my price range, so I ended up going with a printer & a seperate plotter 54”. I got mine for $10,362 to be exact and the machines I got normally together cost over $20,000 but luckily Signwarehouse (where I got my machines) had it already on sale and I told them I had $10,000 to pay right then and they got both machine down to a total of $10,300 that’s including SHIPPING!! I ended up getting the PrismJet VJ54. It should be in by Monday/Tuesday week, but I’ve heard they both are great machines so check it out, and the software that comes with it is AWESOME! I already had the similar software for my current 32” plotter which i bought from Signwarehouse and I have no complaints and customer service is GREAT!
     
  10. BigfishDM

    BigfishDM Major Contributor

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    Just like others recommended, EXCEPT you should use me instead. Those other companies don't do anything to support this community, I can be a better source than others.
     
  11. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

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    So thumbs down my post? Do you have pricing online that I can see?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  12. BigfishDM

    BigfishDM Major Contributor

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    Lol heck yes, US Cutter doesnt do anything to support this group, I have been supporting this group for a long time and anytime there is an opportunity for Latex equipment I feel like I can be a better solution. Not always, but often times I can. Yes I have pricing online for the equipment and if you need material pricing I can email that over to you. I also have a branch in Texas and get out there about every 6 weeks to visit clients out there.
     
  13. DerbyCitySignGuy

    DerbyCitySignGuy Active Member

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    How much printing is being outsourced right now? In addition to the printer/plotter you're going to need a laminator, some finishing equipment, and an employee (plus you're likely to also need someone to assist them from time to time depending on what you're doing) to run everything. If your boss's plan is to drop some equipment in your lap and expect you to do all of this in your "free time" you guys are in for a rude awakening. This "little" operation is going to monopolize a lot of time.

    Personally, unless I was outsourcing more than $40-50k a year, I wouldn't even consider setting up an operation like this.

    [Edit: If your boss is dead set on this, I'd say talk to Ganz. They're good people.]
     
  14. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

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    Thanks. Website address?
     
  15. Robbit

    Robbit New Member

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    I'm not starting my own shop, I have my own side business I do and that has nothing to do with printing. This is my employer who wants to get the printer/cutter, strictly for in-house use, no commercial use. He put the task of finding a proper machine, upkeep and running onto me. I have extensive experience running, maintenance and upkeep of multiple types of machines ranging in cost and complexity. After the initial headaches getting the machine running and all that comes with that I have no concerns that I'll have that machine running 100%

    Thank you BigFishDM, I'll keep that in mind when we're ready to order it.

    DerbyCitySignGuy; I don't know the exact number, I can get that later if you wish but from what I know it's over 50k a year.
     
  16. BigfishDM

    BigfishDM Major Contributor

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    It's on my signature of all my messages, www.gansdigital.com
     
  17. Gino

    Gino Major Contributor

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    I used the word 'you' as in a general sense of the word. Whether it's you or your employer, the idea is still..... to skirt around your local suppliers. I understand, cause if I can fix a leaky pipe or a faulty switch, I won't call an electrician, but then again, I don't go out and buy all the tools and equipment for the business either. Kinda like you have a printer hooked up to the office computer. I wouldn't think you'd buy a few 8.5" x 11's for something.

    Good luck.................
     
  18. equippaint

    equippaint Active Member

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    Tx, It sounds like you keep pretty busy doing installs and if you get a printer you will potentially have to give up some of your available time to run it. I doubt that running your own prints will match what you can make hustling business and installs. It seems like you have a pretty good system going. Although you buying a printer makes more sense than a small company doing a limited amount of stuff for in house projects.

    Robbit, if you spend 50k a year in prints, I would venture to say that could potentially take up 1/2 of your time making them in house. By the time you pay for materials and labor overhead, you wont be saving much of anything. There aren't many manufacturers that do this stuff in house for good reason and even many of the big guys like Deere Co sub it out. As a business, you should focus on your core competencies, otherwise you end up stepping over dollars to pick up pennies.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  19. DerbyCitySignGuy

    DerbyCitySignGuy Active Member

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    I'd say at least half, likely more, especially in the beginning.

    Your boss is definitely going to have to hire another person and depending on how he pays for all of the equipment and how much the company is outsourcing, it's probably going to be a couple years before he sees any ROI. It'll probably save him money in the long run, but it's going to be expensive to get off the ground and it's going to be a major headache.
     
  20. Robbit

    Robbit New Member

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    So I have an idea on how time is spent, if I have the artwork and layout all set how much time is spent on just watching the machine? After the print job is going and everything is running how it should do I have time to open my laptop and work on another project until the next step?
     
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