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printer/cutter what should i choose

Discussion in 'Labels and Decals' started by CHP Supply, Apr 14, 2018.

  1. CHP Supply

    CHP Supply New Member

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    Apr 14, 2018
    975 Lionel-Boulet
    Hello everyone
    we are a small medium manufacturer of industrial product ( pressure washer and industrial vacuum ), all of goods are made in steel and then powder coated, we outsource our sticker that we used, but i am looking to buy a printer cutter to do it in house.

    first its not about money issue, but to be self-sufficient at the end, that move if i do it will cost me far more than continuing doing what we do. we already have in house design departement, we have the space i still have a room 20 x 30 that i could use for that

    question, do i should buy a bigger machine than what i need ( i am looking for a roland SG-300 ) , i dont know the use since i never own one, i wanted to use it only for us. i have no plan to print for other, but sometime when you have the equipment opportunity knock at the door

    i read on other post latex printer might be more adequated for my needs but do their media will work with powder painted surface

    i know nothing about printing, feel free to propose something i might looking the wrong side

    sorry for my typo i am a french frog canadian :)

    regards
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2018
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  2. ChicagoGraphics

    ChicagoGraphics Major Contributor

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    You probably cheaper off just out sourcing your decals as you are now then owning your own printer.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  3. equippaint

    equippaint Active Member

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    Youre not going to save anything making your own. Theres more to it than just owning the printer.
    This is like buying a $10k zero turn mower to save that $20 the kid charges you to cut your lawn every week. You'll break even in 10 years (maybe 30 in canada) and throw away all your time you spent doing the job when you could have been doing sales or something else that actually grows your business.
     
  4. Ian Stewart-Koster

    Ian Stewart-Koster Active Member

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    As above...
    Profits start to occur after 1000s of hours of use- not counting the learning curve...
    We outsourced our printing for 18 years, before getting our own printer- and despite having a printer, we still outsource some printing...
     
  5. CHP Supply

    CHP Supply New Member

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    Apr 14, 2018
    975 Lionel-Boulet
    as i said , i am not looking to save money i know that printer will cost far more than outsource my sticker, i am looking to be self suficient, we have more than 75 models that we produce, keeping all sticker is real headache since they all small batch and we change sticker every year or so

    i dont say i will go that way , but speaking with people who know that field will help me
     
  6. The Raven

    The Raven New Member

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    Why don’t you check Summa DC5-SX? It’s the best thermal printer cutter combination out there and unlike inkjets it doesn’t need constant use, servicing and cleanups to keep the heads from clogging. Very low power unit, no ventilation needed because no harmful outgassing, and you don’t need lamination to get 5 years outdoor performance. Spot colors are available, so are metallics and chrome/gold, and I think it would be a better choice for your particular need. It’s cutting performance is better than any brand as well.

    You can get really nice used ones, and performance-wise a DC4 is the same with the DC5 series. The difference is network connection availability of the 5 series vs UsB only 4 series, color touch screen vs B&W and a 7x faster processor which is really not necessary, especially if you are printing vector graphics. Airmark sells them, and the customer support is awesome too.

    With thermal printing, you can also print on colored plotter vinyl which would give you a whole new set of options.

    They come in 30” and 54” sizes. 30” can hold 5 rolls of ribbons, 54” can hold 8 at a time. Unless you want to print large graphics or a lot of different spot colors in a single batch, the smaller SX should work better doing decals. Easier to deal and store the shorter roll media too.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2018
    • Like Like x 1
  7. CHP Supply

    CHP Supply New Member

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    Apr 14, 2018
    975 Lionel-Boulet

    I did look for that printer , but on summa web site their printer are invisible unless I am not on the right on
     
  8. equippaint

    equippaint Active Member

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    For what you are doing, this was a pretty good suggestion by raven. Print costs are higher than a latex or solvent but you wont need to laminate. You can do some cool stuff with them too.
    Id go with a 30" for what youre looking to do. We make a lot of equipment decals and never need over 30" material for them even though we have a 54" printer.
     
  9. The Raven

    The Raven New Member

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    “Why did DC5 disappear from your website?” was my first question at Sign Expo in Orlando and the Summa guys pointed me the way to Airmark’s stand. DC5 is handled by Airmark in North America. Check their website instead.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2018
  10. Hazzmatte

    Hazzmatte New Member

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    Have to agree with most, outsourcing is the better business decision. Unfortunately as small business men we can’t be entirely self sufficient - we need vendors. To invest in a printer is costly plus the learning curve huge. There will be problems and there will be headaches when you printer or software aren’t working like should. As much as the sales reps may tell you it’s not a plug and play set up.

    You also have to give thought to lamination equipment as well. Most printer ink won’t hold up to chemicals or gasoline. I would think you would want the decals laminated as well.

    BUT if you want to do it because your curious and maybe a hobby as well then go for it. Roland 300 would be a good choice. Be prepared to burn hours of your life learning the craft and tricks of the trade!

    Cheers!
     
  11. ikarasu

    ikarasu Active Member

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    I used to work in a manufacturing place that decided to do all its own packaging. They spent hundreds of thousands on equipment to do that - Had to hire a few guys just to take care of packaging. Took up a ton of space... within 3 years, they sold all the equipment and went back to outsourcing.

    Being self sufficient is one thing, but in the end its going to cost you a lot, and i mean a lot more than outsourcing is. If you still dont care about the price....

    You'll also need a laminator. I'd suggest hp latex's print + cut since it doesnt take up too much space, and a laminator. You'll also need a 4x8 table to work on minimum.. bigger if possible.

    HP Latex Print & Cut Solution - HP 115 54in Printer and 54in HP Latex Edition Vinyl Cutter Printer + Cutter, set you back about 15k Canadian.

    Royal Sovereign RSC-1402CW 55" Wide Format Laminator Laminator, about 7K.

    so 22K, plus you need vinyls, laminates, etc. A decent rip computer...


    lets say about $1300 for a roll of good material (You want it to last the same length as your products.. which I hope lasts 7+ years!) we'll say about $2-3 in material for 12" x 12" square, after including waste/lead for cutting. 40-50 cents in ink... another 20-30 cents in wear and tear, you're looking at about $4 per 12" sticker.

    So theres your cost - I imagine your paying more for your stickers, but after you factor in cost of the equipment... you'll see your ROI is probably a few years... but now lets consider the non cost factors.

    You have to train someone to run the printer. It's not like a desktop printer - You can load your companies logo in, and the red will come out orange, blue will come out purple... You'll spend hundreds of hours trying to nail your colors right. And without a $4000 device, and hundreds of hours of more training... it'll never be spot on.

    Once you learn how to rip, you'll have to learn how to laminate, how to cut, and realize it's not a click of a button... itll take you or one of your guys a good day/half a day everytime you want to print decals... even small amounts. It takes us the same amount of time to print/cut 100 decals, as it does 10,000 decals. So for small runs... you're not going to really save anything.

    Now lets say you master everything. All the material/time lost while training aside... It takes one tiny mistake, and you're throwing away hundreds of dollars worth of material and labor. Laminator pressure not down enough? The whole batch is garbage... Cutting not deep enough? Garbage... forget to change one color to match your design? garbage,...

    Get the idea? I'm not against you doing everything in house, just know what you'll be getting into. Being self sufficient is fine... But unless you want to spend half of your time running a printer instead of your business, you're still going to be reliant on training an employee to run the printers.. and when he leaves, start from scratch.

    I think it's a bad idea...us sign shops, we outsource a ton of stuff we dont do in house. We dont do our own powder coating, we don't do our own metal bending (Most of the time), it just doesnt make sense for us to take on them tasks when someone else can do it far cheaper, far quicker, and more importantly... far better quality than we could do it.

    So realize the quality of your work wont be as good as a shop that specializes in it - If you're ok with that... Talk to Grimco, or NDgraphics. Tell them your needs, and they'll be more than happy to show you sample prints, and go over the pros/cons of each machine. I've found they're pretty honest about machine limitations, and stand behind the products they sell.
     
  12. CHP Supply

    CHP Supply New Member

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    Apr 14, 2018
    975 Lionel-Boulet
    After a few week i did some research and speak with some vendor , of course no one tell me it was a bad idea they are looking for a sale. I start to looking seriously with summa , its straight foward and since we already have a few thermal printer (zebra) and required no maintenance at all, it will probably my best bet, our sticker is simple ,but we have 75 different model which is all in smal batches,

    For replying to some question , we dont even do our cutting and metal bending because it cost 1 000 000$ for a laser cutter and 120 000$ a bender + the space, but we have our own weldind departement and our powder paint shop and assembly line , but for a printer is far less then that, we speak 25k and the space is limited to a room iam not looking for a ink printer that will be far too complex for us
     
  13. The Raven

    The Raven New Member

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    I attached some samples of stckers from a Summa.DC4/5.
     

    Attached Files:

  14. CHP Supply

    CHP Supply New Member

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    Apr 14, 2018
    975 Lionel-Boulet
    Drew from summa sent me some sample I should receive them soon then I will See if I go that way
     
  15. Thomas Fischetti

    Thomas Fischetti Member

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    I have been on a lean budget since starting up, I purchased a heavily used and not working mutoh vj 1324 printer, I did a deep deep clean of the whole machine. Soaked print heads, cleaned out all ink lines, cleaned out the capping station, rebuilt the pump with new tubing and grease. After re-calibrating it works like new. Nozzle checks are perfect.
    Purpose of this story.... haha, don't be afraid to buy used and get into a machine! I am so confident now in working on my machine and replacing parts myself. It saved me so much money.

    Second piece of advice from my short experience, Don't buy a cheap new cutter, buy a used higher end cutter. I started out with a cheaper sign warehouse cutter...terrible wast of time. Sent it back, and invested in a small graphtec ce6000 to get our feet on the ground. It did the job, barely. It was frustrating to use but it worked most of the time. Then we just bought a used summa s120t for a great price, and it is insanely productive. Accurate cuts and reading on registration marks every single time. I prefer summa over graphtec every day.

    Just my two cents, if you have any questions feel free to message me! Goodluck with the search, its a fun world having your own equipment. You can really get creative.
     
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