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  • Small shop here...

    We are presently outsourcing our banners and posters but want to bring it in house. The volume is not great but we are needing faster turn than we can provide through our sources. I think the volume will grow once we bring it in house.

    What machine would you recommend?

    Typical product requests are 4x8 vinyl banners and smaller. Posters ranging from 16x20 to 24x36.

    Thanks for your comments.

    George

  • #2
    Canon PROGRAF PRO-4000S
    Canon PROGRAF iPF8400S

    What about these?

    Comment


    • #3
      We are a small print shop as well. We have had a few wide format Epsons over the years for proofs and posters (currently Epson 9900). Certainly not running round the clock and can go weeks sometimes without printing a poster. We recently added an Eco Solvent Epson https://epson.ca/surecolor-s-series-...rinters#s40600 for vinyl banners as well as printing on vinyl labels and mounting onto coroplast and foam core. Runs fantastic and looks amazing. We got it on a rebate so it was reasonably priced to get us in the door.

      One thing I do like about our Epson 9900 for posters is that it will print bleeds. I keep 2 widths on hand, a 36" roll and a 44" (maximum width). It is so nice when we get a job that I can print and finish right from the Epson as it prints edge to edge on the sheet and cuts the other end so I get a complete poster ready to roll up and deliver.

      Comment


      • #4
        I feel a 44" printer is fine for us. I just hope to make a wise choice.

        Comment


        • #5
          We print ours on an Epson Pro 9880. We've had that thing for over 10 years. It takes a while to print one, but, then, we only print 5 - 10 per year. The cost is very reasonable. It's in the back of my mind that we only paid about $4,000 - $6,000 (USD) new when we bought it.

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          • #6
            When you can send the banners to someone Like B2signs.com for $0.89 per square foot, including hems and grommets, How can you do them in house cheaper? The cost of the supplies and ink, for heavy coverage is more than that on an older machine.

            Comment


            • #7
              I have a Canon imagePROGRAF w8400 44" that I bought in 2006. Still runs great and only broke down three times. But if I were to do it all over again, I would get a solvent printer. Especially now, they are cheap! Back in 2006 they were still very expensive. If you are going to do 4 x 8 banners, a 44" aqueous printer isn't going to work. There isn't much 44" stock so you will really be limited to 42" - 3.5'. You will get tired of customers asking you for a four foot tall banner and have to explain that you can only do three and a half feet tall. Plus, they are not very durable unless you laminate them, which is laborious and expensive. Speaking of expensive, the substrates and the ink cost more than the solvent printer substrates and inks. For example, my Canon takes 330ml tanks which cost me $160. That Epson S40600 that Wanderings mentioned (which I am considering buying as well- it's on sale), the inks cost $152 for 700ml tanks. You are getting more than twice the ink for less money. I also compared satin paper, 36" rolls x 8mil. For both printers, they are around $113 each but the roll for the solvent machine is 165' long compared tot the aqueous roll which is only 100'.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by BertThePrinter View Post
                When you can send the banners to someone Like B2signs.com for $0.89 per square foot, including hems and grommets, How can you do them in house cheaper? The cost of the supplies and ink, for heavy coverage is more than that on an older machine.
                Sure I agree, but that won’t work for my customers that need it this afternoon or tomorrow morning.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Just keep in mind what you are getting into.

                  You will need the wide format printer, backup set of ink, rolls of media which can get out of hand quickly, a rotary trimmer, cutting table & mat, 24" / 36" / 48" straight edges, grommet press, hemming tape, etc.

                  Then you will find that many customers want mounts so you will need a wide format laminator, rolls of lamination film, foamboard, gatorboard, coroplast, a-frames, stakes, banner retractors, etc...

                  Do you have the room?

                  That said, we have all of the above and still farm out whatever we can to signs365.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    You really want something better than dye or pigment for outdoor banners.

                    We had a Canon 8400 and upgraded to the PRO 4000. They're both awesome for fine art and can hold their own against almost anything. But the prints are fairly delicate and susceptible to scratching.

                    I would look strongly at Latex or Solvent.

                    Now if you go that route, you'll probably also end up buying a plotter to cut vinyl and decals....

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                    • #11
                      Good info from all. Thanks for sharing your experience.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        We got a package deal, 64" Epson Eco Solvent printer, heat assist laminator for mounting on foam core and coroplast, mutoh cutter (does custom die cut on labels, really neat), 124" clamp rule, grommet press plus the RIP and software to run everything. I think all in it was around $30,000 Canadian. It did get us setup though and we were surprised at how much work came in for it immediately.

                        Like the OP part of getting into it was speed. As I am sure most print shops know, most clients want everything yesterday. Waiting a few days or even a week sometimes is just not good and has people going elsewhere. This has given us even more flexibility to do more in-house then we could before.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by wonderings View Post
                          We are a small print shop as well. We have had a few wide format Epsons over the years for proofs and posters (currently Epson 9900). Certainly not running round the clock and can go weeks sometimes without printing a poster. We recently added an Eco Solvent Epson https://epson.ca/surecolor-s-series-...rinters#s40600 for vinyl banners as well as printing on vinyl labels and mounting onto coroplast and foam core. Runs fantastic and looks amazing. We got it on a rebate so it was reasonably priced to get us in the door.

                          One thing I do like about our Epson 9900 for posters is that it will print bleeds. I keep 2 widths on hand, a 36" roll and a 44" (maximum width). It is so nice when we get a job that I can print and finish right from the Epson as it prints edge to edge on the sheet and cuts the other end so I get a complete poster ready to roll up and deliver.
                          Interested in the Epson 40600 after reading your post again. Would this machine handle all for us? Items such as 24x36 posters, 4x8 vinyl banners, Coroplast signs?
                          Thanks for the info.
                          Neal

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            You can print on just about anything, though we have an Epson 9900 for posters, which would give much finer prints as it has 12 colours compared to the 4 colour CMYK of the 40600. Still will look nice though. We have done some prints mounted on foamcore that looked amazing, colours were really vibrant but again not as sharp if you really get up close, but very eye pleasing.

                            We print on vinyl for pull up banners and outdoor hanging banners with grommets, again looks fantastic. We print on a vinyl label and then mount to coroplast and foamcore.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by wonderings View Post
                              You can print on just about anything, though we have an Epson 9900 for posters, which would give much finer prints as it has 12 colours compared to the 4 colour CMYK of the 40600. Still will look nice though. We have done some prints mounted on foamcore that looked amazing, colours were really vibrant but again not as sharp if you really get up close, but very eye pleasing.

                              We print on vinyl for pull up banners and outdoor hanging banners with grommets, again looks fantastic. We print on a vinyl label and then mount to coroplast and foamcore.
                              Very helpful. Thanks.

                              Comment

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