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Paper weight

Discussion in 'General Chit-Chat' started by Dracis2, Mar 16, 2019.

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  1. Dracis2

    Dracis2 New Member

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    Well seems the epson gs6000 I got locally is about as useful as a paper weight....print head is clogged i pulled the dampers there clogged seems only thing at is not clogged are the lines

    I have another entire printhead that came with it but unsure with epson if this can just simply be swapped out or it's worth spending 1000s on this machine to have a tech fix it any thoughts?

    Really I just need a printer that I can do occasional wraps and cut out sticker runs on I probably do three or 4 wraps or store fronts a month and then hardly anything all winter

    Must be 48inches or bigger as well as most of my signs are 4x8 back lit cabinets
     
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  2. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

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    Have you looked into just outsourcing and not fooling around with a printer at all?
     
  3. Dracis2

    Dracis2 New Member

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    Mar 2, 2019
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    I have been outsourcing for some but no body wants to do the projects I need and if the fo there charging me an arm and a leg and in the long run costs me more than I make
     
  4. Dracis2

    Dracis2 New Member

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    If I had a fully operational printer I could do a lot more even do interior work in the winter but it's not feasible to advertise and give people great work at great prices without my own equipment
     
  5. Fred Weiss

    Fred Weiss Merchant Member

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    :pops_blinking: No offense intended but it sounds like you're paraphrasing a sarcastic joke that's been floating around for years:

    "I bought this machine so I could make cheap signs."
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. Bly

    Bly Very Active Member

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    A latex might be better for your workflow.
    They don't mind sitting for a while.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  7. Dracis 2: I think your analysis is flawed. When you consider initial cost of the printer, maintenance (and repair, in your case) costs, overhead (shop space for printer and materials storage), and operating costs, you will have to be doing a lot more than "three or 4 wraps or store fronts a month".

    Let's say you are doing four "medium sized" wraps a month that use 300 sq. ft. each. Cast vinyl air egress film with a compatible clear top laminate materials cost (with ink) will be around $2.50 sq. ft. 1200 sq. ft. x $2.50 = $3000.00. The same product can be ordered, printed and laminated, for $4.00 sq. ft. That leaves a difference of $1800.00. That $1800.00 needs to pay for your printer, laminator, cost of shop space, and labor. Equipment cost (amortized over 5 years) will be around $300.00/month, 200 sq. ft. shop space in commercial district at $5.00 sq. ft will be another $100.00/month. Add another $50.00 for heating and ventilating. That leaves $1350.00 for labor, or 54 hours at a burdened labor rate of $25.00/hr. That amount of work handling material, monitoring printing, and laminating trimming will take about 40 hours a month, or $1000.00. That leaves $350.00/ month profit assuming your employee is 100% efficient, no mistakes are made, and you are in a low rent district. When you consider down time and employee overhead, cigarette breaks, etc. you will be lucky to break even, and will probably end up paying more for in-shop production than outsourcing. As far as I'm concerned, I would need to be doing at least 2x – 3x that volume in order to justify doing it in-house. If you are doing smaller jobs, the cost per sq. ft. is higher, making outsourcing even more compelling. Likewise, if you are using cheaper materials, your labor, equipment and overhead cost are still the same, and your margins are even thinner.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. Dracis2

    Dracis2 New Member

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    Such a great analogy I indeed would need much more workflow which I have turned down more jobs than I want to count due to not enough equipment I feel stuck with window tint and wrapping single color.....I have had so many people ask for full color wraps for there trucks and semi trailers landscape trailers etc and I have to turn them away I know what it would take to be able to be a full fledged sign shop and I have most everything to build pylon signs from welders and shop space all the way to a old bucket truck
     
  9. Dracis2

    Dracis2 New Member

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    Mar 2, 2019
    Niagara Falls NY
    A printer and a laminator is really all I'm lacking before I can make the switch from small time stuff to a daily full time carreer of having a shop
     
  10. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

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    At a minimum you'll need to spend 15-20k on a latex printer and laminator combo.
     
  11. Dracis2

    Dracis2 New Member

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    Mar 2, 2019
    Niagara Falls NY
    Is latex really the way to go? I've never used latex printers always been inkjet or solvent
     
  12. Latex is cheaper to operate and more versatile, and is beginning to challenge solvent based printers in terms if color and durability. If I were getting into the wrap business, I would look long and hard at the new crop of latex printers. For my purposes, Eco-solvent is a no-go.
     
  13. I outsource everything I possibly can to concentrate my time on design, project management and sales. As long as I can mark things up and still be competitive, I would rather spend my time attending to tasks that pay the best. If I have to cut vinyl, operate a printer, weld frames, or sweep the floors I don't make a third as much as I could be designing original art. Yes, I can (and have) hired employees to do that stuff, but for the volume I do I save money by keeping my overhead and payroll low.

    The exception to that is installation and maintenance. A guy with a small bucket truck can make $120/hr. in my market servicing and installing signs. After expenses, I am better off doing design work, but I have 40+ years experience, a solid reputation, and a book of clients that keeps me as busy as I want to be. At this point, I am out-sourcing installation, but for an up and coming sign company I would recommend investing in installation and maintenance equipment before investing in a fabrication plant. You can buy wholesale signs and digital prints and have them shipped to you, but installation is a local thing and always will be.
     
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