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roland 30" verses 54", help!

Discussion in 'Roland' started by Bob 67, Nov 6, 2005.

  1. Bob 67

    Bob 67 Member

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    I run a small sign shop from my home on Vancouver island, BC.
    For the last two years i have been using a master 320xy 24" plotter and
    now would like to purchase a Roland versacamm. I usually do real estate and commercial development signs, but would like to venture into vehicle graphics.
    Is there much difference in quality or print speeds between 30" or 54"
    Seems most Salesman I talk to just want my money! :thankyou:
     
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  2. Barry

    Barry Active Member

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    The print quality on the 2 machines are exactly the same since the machines are pretty much exactly the same in every way except for size. Although both the 30" and 54" machines operate at the same speed the 54" machine can print about 15% more sq feet per hour as the machines print faster side to side than front to back. The extra width of the machine helps in that regard.

    Now here is the big question. If you do any amount of banners or forsee your self doing any amount of banners in the future you will certianly want to pick up the 54" machine. Also if you do 4x8 signs the 54" machine will save you time and money as you can print them in one panel instead of 2.
     
  3. iSign

    iSign Verboten

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    even with only one reply, seeing that Barry got here first, I figured there would be nothing to add... Barry's right. I had to consider the same question (except I was looking at Mimaki printers) I decided to get the larger format. Way over half the jobs I've printed in 3 months have required the larger size, & 90% of the smaller work was effeciently tiled on wider material. Go Big!
     
  4. Bob 67

    Bob 67 Member

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    Thanks Guys,


    Thats kinda the way I was headed, just needed some advise
    from others in the industry as the few here really dont want another sign shop with a color printer, they wont even give me a discount on graphics now.

    Oh well, their lose my gain, Thanks again.:thumb:
     
  5. Colin

    Colin Major Contributor

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    As time goes by, I'm feeling the pressure of getting a LFP and the VersaCamm seems to be the way to go - and I'm also wondering about the size.
    What I'd like to know is, what it would be like for ONE person to handle these images from the larger machine - with laminating too? Is it a two person operation?
     
  6. Barry

    Barry Active Member

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    1 person can do it. Its not easy handling the large prints, but it can be done. Probably the most difficult thing is loading the media into the machine as some of it gets REALLY heavy in 54" lengths.
     
  7. Mason

    Mason Very Active Member

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    I own the 30" I just got it this year and now am wishing I made the jump into the 54 since size really does matter.
     
  8. Kenny

    Kenny Member

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    Question on the Versacamm....when printing an image that is smaller than the media width, does the head move all the way across for each pass, or does it stop short and return? The reason I ask is if it does a full pass you can print extra images like your logo or a repeat customer's graphic in the blank space to maximize use of the extra width....just a thought.
     
  9. Colin

    Colin Major Contributor

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    I would imagine so, you'd just have to have that extra stuff you want to print as part of the overall file that you rip.
     
  10. Barry

    Barry Active Member

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    Kenny,

    You can set it to make a full scan across the media or just over the printed area. Its your choice.
     
  11. Kenny

    Kenny Member

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    Thanks....I can't get these visions of a 540V out of my head....:biggrin:
     
  12. Colin

    Colin Major Contributor

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    I'm in the exact same boat Kenny. It's a big jump for a one-person show.

    After analizing it, it's a tough one because when you think about it, printing images is only a part of what most sign shops do. There's dimensional letters, sandblasted signs, boat lettering, logo design, screen printing, and that large area of signage that is still better done with vinyl. And yet we're being asked to blow $30,000.00 on an aspect of our business which will honestly take a long time to generate that money back back to our wallets - and by that time, you own a dinasaur.
     
  13. paul luszcz

    paul luszcz Active Member

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    I've mentioned this many times on a few bulletin boards, but I'll chime in one more time.

    If you're buying the machine because you can't find a good subcontractor, you should keep looking. The purchase of a 54" printer and a decent laminator can easily run $30K to $50K. A common rule of thumb would suggest you need to be buying $90K to $150K worth of prints to justify the expense.

    Are you?

    There is no question you should be selling the prints. That doesn't mean you should be printing them. It's not easy to find good subcontractors, but it can save you a ton of money.

    By the way, I'm not a subcontractor.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2005
  14. Kenny

    Kenny Member

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    Well, I've pissed away more $ combined on lesser things that won't generate me any income.

    One thing money can't buy is the learning curve and/or experience....food for thought....
     
  15. GregT

    GregT Very Active Member

    Bob 67,
    I purchased a 30" about 6 months ago. I had the same feelings about spending "that" kind of money for a small 2-man shop. Since running the machine, I wouldn't hesitate to go with the 54" if I were to do it again. About the time you figure 30" will be as big as you need, some customer comes in and needs something bigger.

    Go with the 54" in IMO.
     
  16. Bob 67

    Bob 67 Member

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    Thanks Greg,

    I actually ended up buying the sp300v along with a Daige
    Quikmount 54" laminator as i ended up with more of a sq. ft. problem
    than i thought I had.

    Thanks again. Bob
     
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