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slitting printed vinyl rolls

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Print & Cut Systems' started by iSign, May 3, 2005.

  1. iSign

    iSign Verboten

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    I've been doing more & more decals & labels & I'm looking at an inkjet printer to offer lower cost labels on items that don't need the UV stability of edge prints.

    I have a few accounts lined up that will be interested in very large quantity repeat order business if I can offer the quality & prices that I believe I will be able to.

    ...without getting into which inkjet equipment on this thread what I really want to know is if I can print several yards of material with a reasonable amount of space between each decal across the length of the roll & then roll it up straight on a 3" core & slit the whole deal, core & all, with a clean & accurate cut?

    I asked this on another board & so far I recieved a link to THIS ONE that looks pretty good... the smallest model called the Baby seems to be available in lengths from 50" up to over 100" The site said "starting at $1500"
    The "Baby" is a manual hand-crank unit that you would pre-cut the 3" core to the required lengths & mount them to the take-up roll, then as you crank you can have up to the full 6 included blades (or more) set up to cut at once while you crank the material from the original roll to the new cores.

    I was also sent a link to THIS model which has the vinyl roll spin on an electric powered spindle & a standard single edge razor that leverages into the material & continues to cut right through the core. I like that concept better but at $3200 for an 18" machine, I wonder what else may be out there?
     
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  2. iSign

    iSign Verboten

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    where are all you inkjet guys??
    some of you all have bought these machines already right???

    Hasn't anyone else ran across the need for slitting down large orders onto smaller cores & paved the way for the late comers to the inkjet game like myself??
     
  3. Dennis Raap

    Dennis Raap Active Member

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    Doug just to let you know your post is visible but no help here :help:
     
  4. iSign

    iSign Verboten

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    Thanks Dennis... maybe I'm not as late to the inkjet party as I thought... either that or the need for slitting up rolls isn't as common as I thought?

    anyway, if I find out anything elsewhere I'll add it here if it may help others in the future.
     
  5. Barry

    Barry Active Member

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    Honestly I have never slit a roll and I do tons of labels... I generally just cut them up individually... I normally dont make over 1500 labels at a time though.
     
  6. Fred Weiss

    Fred Weiss Merchant Member

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    I've had one customer in seven years want his labels on a long roll. I usually supply them in single columns about 12" high neatly trimmed on my paper cutter to size.
     
  7. iSign

    iSign Verboten

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    I was just reminded by my supplier who I've been discussing a Mimaki JV3 with that unlike my Edge, the inkjet I'm looking at is a friction feed device & although it should track very well... if I'm printing 50 yards of decals with a minimum of space between them across the 30" length of the roll... when wound up on a core the margin for my tracking being out of square to the roll could create an expensive problem.

    One of the factors encouraging me to look at this machine is a client needing to place orders of between 25,000 & 50,000 pieces of 2" x 4" full color labels every month.

    If I can match the price of 5.5¢ each, they will put their purchasing intent in writing for me before I buy the machine, but the latest development is that they are applying the labels to juice bottles by hand & have found the process to much more efficient from 2" wide rolls they recieve from their current off-island supplier.

    An order of 25,000 would would take about 200 yds. of 30" material, cost about $750 in materials & yield about $625 over that material cost. Even after factoring in my time this job would make the lease payment on the machine, so I am interested in solving the "slitting" issue.

    If anyone sees any weak areas of my calculations or has any input on the Mimaki, or my hopes for handling a label contract like this, I'm all ears.
     
  8. Barry

    Barry Active Member

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    I calculate my cost at about $1 per sq foot on average, a 2x4 decal will cost about 5.55555555 cents. With a bulk ink system you could probably drop the cost a bit.

    First problem for you is going to be that if they are hand applying all these labels its going to be a MAJOR pain in the but for them. Eco-sol/Sol inks tend to break down the vinyl and make it really mushy. They are very difficult to apply by hand without transfer tape. There are vinyls that do not break down as much and are easy to apply, but they are more expensive and will push you out of your target price range.

    Tracking is going ot be an issue as well. Over 50 yards the vinyl will drift one way or anyother. If your lucky and manage to print the whole roll, your probably going to mess them up while slitting the rolls.

    Honestly this sounds like a good job to outsource to someone who has the proper equipment to print roll labels.
     
  9. Kevin T

    Kevin T Member

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    We've slit rolls of Edge graphics down to smaller rolls but never inkjet.
     
  10. signguy95

    signguy95 Active Member

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    Have you checked into getting a label maker? I think signwarehouse has them, and it is probably a cheaper investment that a printer is...check their website, www.signwarehouse.com
     
  11. iSign

    iSign Verboten

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    Kevin, what did you use?

    signguy.. interesting thought & I will take a look, but even though the label demands are speeding up my inkjet interest I reall like the 30" possibilities, the direct print to banner options & the price for full color banners (& labels)
     
  12. Kevin T

    Kevin T Member

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    Another supplier:Big Laugh

    Sorry I should have been more specific. We sent the rolls out to a local company who does finishing for the offset print industry (folding, stapling, binding, etc...). They also do slitting so we sent over about 8 x 150' rolls and they slit each roll into 11 smaller rolls. This is what the client wanted. They were warning labels and such. It worked beautifully. I think it cost us about $150 to slit everything and I charged $5 per small roll (88 x $5 =$440) plus the printing from the Edge. Not bad for doing nothing.:smile:
     
  13. Fred Weiss

    Fred Weiss Merchant Member

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    I guess I'm confused now that you've stated the size of the label.

    At 2" x 4", even without gaps and with perfect running conditions, you would only be getting 99¢ a square foot selling price if the labels are going for 5.5¢ each. By the time you figure in gaps and waste, you'll likely be down to 70¢ to 75¢ a square foot.

    Then there's printheads that wear out and other stuff. I think you'll be doing well to clear 10¢ per foot.

    Even considering the volume, you would make more money just focusing on banners and other wide format needs where you can get a much nicer markup and a lot less finishing work. Most of the people I know with Mimakis are getting orders for 10 banners here and 25 banners there priced in the $5 to $8 a foot range.

    The last time I ordered banners from a shop I deal with who has an Arizona, I waited behind a 31,000 square foot order.
     
  14. baxter gamble

    baxter gamble Member

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    Have you checked Discount Labels? They are so competitive that it's hard for us to print most label jobs anymore.
     
  15. iSign

    iSign Verboten

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    well I sure appreciate the opportunity to get some others thoughts on this question. I have thought of discount labels & checked with them. The dificulty on this job is that the labels described above are for 12 oz juice bottles & there are 13 flavors. They also have 8 oz. bottles (smaller labels) & 16 oz bottles (bigger labels)... plus they have black & white back labels with ingredients etc. (all 3 sizes)... so there are over 75 unique labels that discount labels would want to print 5,000 at a time for any decent price. My client is a relatively small business with a minimum cash flow & although they can project with reasonable accuracy which flavors will sell how much after doing this for several years... they can't afford to buy the labels 6 months in advance, so they are interested in a local supplier who will offer shorter runs. I've always done short run work on my edge, but their color labels need to cost 30¢ when done on the edge.

    The labels sizes are actually 3-7/8" x 1-7/8" I am under the impression that my material cost for these would be around 3¢ Since this juice company is growing, & I've seen how popular their product is for the 10 years I've lived here I think their projections of over 500,000 labels a year (just in the front full color 12 oz. size) is reasonably accurate.

    At the time that I met this client I printed a few thousand 30¢ labels just to get them through an emergency where they needed to find a new supplier. They were using a mainland "discount labels" type of supplier, & ordering more then they wanted to, when for reasons I'm not sure of, that supplier became unavailable (?)

    For juice that sells for $1.85, they obviously don't want to pay 30¢ for a label that will last 5 years in the sun... but there is no good label source on Maui & I thought maybe I should become that source. (actually I have already been trying to with ads under labels in all 3 phone books for the last few years)... expensive Edge labels are a good product for some of the high end bath products & specialty food & beverage items I've produced labels for... but cheaper label printing capabilities could open up some additional opportunities here in Maui)

    When I first mentioned that I was considering bringing in new equipment that could be competitive I asked them if 7¢ labels would interest them. At that time they felt that price might work for them, but they have since found a company in Honolulu (local, but on a different island) that just produced 25,000 on small rolls & charged 5.5¢ They are happy with the quality & not i mpressed with the 3 week turnaround.. but there was some first time artwork set-up time in there I'm sure. My contact told me the term "plate" was mentioned, so I think that means off-set printing?

    I know I wouldn't be printing 50 yd rolls non-stop... maybe just 20 ft. sections, but before the question of slitting came up, the quantities dangling in front of me looked like a profitable contract to have in advance of an inkjet purchase, even if I had to beat 5.5¢ instead of the 6 or 7¢ I was hoping for . The slitting has changed a lot of my optimism at this point though.
     
  16. Techman

    Techman Major Contributor

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    There is no way they will use this type of sticker label much longer. If they are growing at that rate. A press printed label and application machine is magnitudes cheaper to run. Its just a matter of time before they get a labeling machine to match.

    The labeling machine can run pruduct thru it and label as fast as they can feed them. Labeling machines are very inexpensive. You can build one in just about a week . All they are is basically a hot melt glue pot under a track. The product picks up a dab of glue and then a label all in one swipe.
     
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