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Advise on printing number plates

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Shaun Wakelin

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Post Sat Sep 23, 2017 6:19 pm

Advise on printing number plates

Some advise please I have registered with dvla to do plates just waiting on reply from them but need some advise I understand tennants plastic do a oki printer and software to do them but I have a oki c711n so can I use that to do them if so anyone know recommended settings also can I use flexi Sign I have sort of done a mock up template but notice tennants do a lg sign programe Aswel I don't mind buying from there but don't want it to be pointless if I can use stuff I have
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Robert Lambie

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Post Mon Sep 25, 2017 6:50 am

Re: Advise on printing number plates

I know little about Number Plate manufacturing other than the basics as its not something i have ever been involved as its not signs as such. I remember when the legislation switched to registered firms only producing these and there being some printer options with the setup. from memory these were Thermal ribbon printers, rather than inkjet. so whatever your OKI printer is, ide imagine if thats a thermal printer, it maybe OK. I know a company that uses one of these setups daily and my take on it from them is that other than plates your very limited in width of the machine and what can be produced with the machines. But i am going back about 5 years ago now so that could all be changed.
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David Hammond

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Post Mon Sep 25, 2017 8:37 am

Re: Advise on printing number plates

I may be wrong, but I seem to recall that Tenants modify the firmware on the OKI's to print denser, and also the increase the maximum length of the media the printer will feed.
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Martin Pearson

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Post Mon Sep 25, 2017 2:33 pm

Re: Advise on printing number plates

Try a search on the forum, there is a post on here somewhere where People were using Oki printers. I thought as David has said that they were modified (which they are) but apparently if your just doing number plates then they don't need to be.
Also sure I have read about people using flexi for templates.

I am still registered but can't honestly remember the last time I made one, the vehicle part suppliers like Dingbros & TMS do them so cheaply it just wasn't worth switching the machine on.

What are you going to do about keeping Records ? You will need software to record the details for each plate you sell.

Robert they are laser printers not thermal, my concern about using mine was the length of time plates would last without fading if done on a laser printer, for that reason I never used mine & just use to do them with cad cut vinyl :lol:
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Robert Lambie

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Post Mon Sep 25, 2017 8:02 pm

Re: Advise on printing number plates

Martin Pearson wrote:Robert they are laser printers not thermal, my concern about using mine was the length of time plates would last without fading if done on a laser printer, for that reason I never used mine & just use to do them with cad cut vinyl :lol:


The ones i am referring to was definitely Thermal Martin.
The company I was referring to in the previous post actually called me to talk about the options and costs that their rep had gave them. And the one key point I picked up on was it being thermal because i remember thinking it would be costly long run and how long before the machine was phased out for inkjet...
Maybe the OKI ones are completely different, i don't know mate. :smiles:
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Kevin Flowers

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Post Mon Sep 25, 2017 8:21 pm

Re: Advise on printing number plates

Rob
your thinking back to the arc, mostly all laser now. Tennants do modify the OKI's but the standard ones will print with no problems.

If you are not using software ensure you get your spacings correct
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Robert Lambie

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Post Mon Sep 25, 2017 8:53 pm

Re: Advise on printing number plates

Kevin Flowers wrote:Rob your thinking back to the arc


:lol: :lol: :lol:
This was when the law changed from sign makers being allowed to make "show plates".
Please tell me that wasn't "that" long ago! :blushing:

I'm away to get my bus pass... :lol:
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Hussein Ibrahim

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Post Mon Sep 25, 2017 11:13 pm

Re: Advise on printing number plates

Hi,

Here comes my essay on the topic...

As David Has Said Tenants Say they modify the firmwire, and there are some settings that need to be set up on the printers settings.

My Personal Opinion is until i mess about with an Oki Printer When i get a chance (not sure when LOL) i wont be able confirm for certain if youd get away on your c711 since like david said the fuser temperature needs to be modified so the toner will burn/laser onto the reflective media correctly or else the powder will just wipe off with your finger and you wont have a correctly printed full black letters.

I think its worth a shot to see if the printer will do this through changing the printer preferences via settings and using some blank reflectives.

Make sure you know what number plate method system you want to use as well if youve not already looked into this, the 2 part, or 3 part system or reflective system and if your going to do coloured plates such as showplates or just black and white.

With regards to the Program, i think its beneficial but youd need the full sign version and not just the number plate version if you wanted to do showplates.

Tennants Will only warrant there specific media if you purchase there own printer as well which is something else to bare in mind.
Also the software you'l have to renew the license every year so bare this in mind to.

I Bought the Oki C511 about 2 years back from Tennants which i hardly used due to ill health, and out of the 20 odd times i used it i kept experiencing problems with it and it was supposed to double up as a normal office printer which i initially thought was handy.

ofcourse this wasnt the case and was sent from pillar to post with getting it sorted. therefore if anyone buys from tennants unless its changed now service wise make sure you know who your account manager is from day one and get a direct line to them. all other managers and reps were a no go.

Eventually changed from the colour c511 printer to Citizen Thermal Printer CL-S621 for the sake of ease and thinking what could possibly go wrong. - its only a thermal Ribbon Printer. - Yeah Seems like a dumb ass mistake downgrading so to speak.

Ofcourse with the Oki Printers you can do a vast ranged size number plates etc moterbikes and smaller plates, Range Rover and Jaguar Shaped Plates etc etc and small health and safety signs etc.

You are however limited to only the normal Size number plates with the Thermal Printer. - think this confirms Roberts post on the thermal printers and that both methods Thermal and Laser are still used.

You Would Need to keep thorough Records as well as Martin Said. I think Keeping it on Paper and Digitally would be prudent to do.

Finishing off I had a normal software updates on the Laptop and well, the Thermal Printer Settings must have Changed because the alignment of prints were completely out. and as much as I have to give credit where credit is due to my account manager who was efficient. Id just lost faith to even phone up since it was at the exact time my software license had just expired as well and NOW simply using it as a label printer.

I did test if the thermal printer would print off the number plates in corel draw after creating a template and it worked the same as the software which is worth noting.

thats my two bits on the matter but il take a look through my laptop screenshots as im sure ive got my old c511 settings somewhere.

Also I was told that c511 models and above were manufactured normally to take the number plate media without changing the software from a seperate printer company, but havn't put it to the test.
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Martin Pearson

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Post Tue Sep 26, 2017 1:00 am

Re: Advise on printing number plates

Robert, it was the Oki printers I was talking about lol, the Oki printers are laser printers :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Martin Oxenham

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Post Wed Sep 27, 2017 12:29 pm

Re: Advise on printing number plates

Hi

We have been using the Oki system since it came out over Twelve years ago and have got through a few printers.
The Oki ones are Laser or Led to be exact. We have always printed from Flexisign with no problems, just make up the template to the exact size of the material. We print onto the clear films which are sandwiched between the perspex and reflective sheet, both have glue on them. We have a C531 at the moment and these are slightly adapted by Tennants but that is only required if you are printing colour as in the GB badges. I don't know your printer but I would just order some films from tennants and try it. Don't try to print onto the reflectives. You can buy the printer from Tennants but you need to specify if you are printing onto the clear sheets or reflectives and they modify the firmwear to suit.
I have bought a few just off the net in the past which were not modified and theses were fine for just the numbers but no good for GB. You will need to be registered with the DVLA for tennants to supply you.
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Stephen Morriss

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Post Fri Sep 29, 2017 11:27 am

Re: Advise on printing number plates

My Canon laser prints onto the clear sheets no problem and I've found the black is a lot denser than some recent new plates I've looked at.
I reverse print onto the clear and stick onto the glue/reflective base plate with a roller.
However I don't do many and normally just get the local Autoparts to make them up and deliver them to me with my details on.

Steve

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