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What'll happen next?


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Post Tue Nov 04, 2003 12:14 am

What'll happen next?

With all the hype surrounding solvent inket print and cut machines (such as the new Versacamm) - it seems like machines such as the colorcamm and Gerber edge are about to become obsolete due to their high running costs.

The main advantage of the solvent inkjets are lower running costs. I have always been of the opinion that running costs for the edge and colorcamm are artificially high. Surely there is room for ribbon suppliers to dramatically slash costs (and yet still make a profit) to allow the old thermal transfer machines to continue on making a profit for their users. Roland have presumably done their sums and decided to consign the colorcamm to the waste bin by bringing out a machine like the versacamm.

Only today I received a mailshot from Spandex offering the Gerber edge at a lower price than ever before. Will they also respond by slashing the prices of ribbbons to allow these machines to remain competitive? and will aftermarket ribbon suppliers do the same?

What do you think?

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Post Tue Nov 04, 2003 1:00 am

I agree Phill, ink is the way to go but as manufacturers change over from thermal transfer to ink they may well keep the prices up on ribbons in the hope people will reinvest in new machines.

A point I would make is that this printing thing is being over used at the moment. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve seen vehicles with some fantastic images that catch your eye but once they’ve passed by you have no recollection of the basic who, what, where or when. At the moment people seem hell bent on covering things with these fancy prints at the expense of good advertising with simple words.
I think a great deal of skill and restraint is called for in using them, perhaps lessons will be learnt eventually and they will be put to good use, but at the moment there seems to be a lot of prints being applied for no better reason than we can.


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Post Tue Nov 04, 2003 5:11 am

I also think the days of thermal are numbered sort of - I have both thermal and inkjet - funnily enough our thermal still churns out huge amounts of tiny metallic foiled decals etc. The Roland ribbons are totally overpriced , but that is how the printer guys get you - by the consumables!!

Alan - Design skills should not get left behind with a digital printer - the basics still apply whatever method of signmaking you use. In the early days of vinyl cutting the same thing applied , ppl used 17 fonts and 17 colours on a dog's breakfast of a sign , cos they could :)

The advantagesof a full colour inkjet print and cut is not that great for vehicle wraps and vehicle signage - although a moving billboard ls the most cost effective advertising one can get.
Where it scores are other areas like die cut decals , short run POS etc where no screenprinter can compete in terms of deliver , quality and price.
Banners in full colour are eyecatching. Areas like artwork reproduction , large format photography , plan printing , fabric printing point of sale , instore display , event signage , flexface , backlit floor graphics , micropore see thru etc etc are items that one cant really do well without a printer.
There is an old saying , a picture is worth a 1000 words - it still applys today - and eye popping graphic of a steaming plate of food makes one salivate - words can't do that.
What really happens with a larger format inkjet is that it takes the signmaker out of just the realms of signmaking to the world of printing.

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