Wide-format Output--The Bigger Picture
"A wide-format printer's width; ease of use; output quality; and automated handling features, such as on-line ink replenishing and automatic calibration, are all part of a system designed for high productivity, which is what the commercial printer is interested in the most, when thoughts of wide-format printing hit," Crowley advises.
"As for software RIPs, the variety of RIPs available for the particular device and the ease of use of these RIPs make it easier for commercial printers to select total systems that fit their clients' needs."
Mark Radogna, senior product manager at Epson America, advises commercial printers to look closely at media flexibility when considering the move to a wide-format device. "The ability of a wide-format printer to run a wide variety of substrates and thicknesses, and to offer a strong level of photographic quality that rivals any traditional offset press technology, is a very important consideration for commercial printers," Radogna reveals.
"Commercial printers do not want to wait forever to get a decent wide-format print. They need output in large quantities, but with high quality and at top speeds. The shop wants to be able to deliver enough wide-format jobs to pay off the printer ASAP," he says.
Perhaps it might prove a prudent business move to calculate profit horizons not solely by the standard scope of general commercial printing, but also by the larger-than-life possibilities of the burgeoning wide-format environment. To that end, Printing Impressions offers this look at recent equipment upgrades, new product launches and timely tidbits from the technological forces fueling the rise of wide format within certain segments of the commercial printing sector, notably quick print shops, in-house prepress operations and select segments of the in-plant printing environment.
Check out the various sidebars in this article as a select sampling of wide-format digital output tools, some of which may provide new profit centers for the digitally progressive commercial printer.