PrintVis for the Large/Wide Format Industry
What is wide format? Well this would be your POP/POS (point of purchase/point of sale) banners, vinyl wall graphics, billboards, vehicle wraps, signs, etc. Most are now produced on digital printers, the advent of which has allowed for short-quantity runs, last-minute ordering, multiple substrates and variable versions and data.
Printers and plotters in many variations are now in the market at increasingly reasonable prices with impressive quality – in this league of products some companies have extremely large format screen print machines which make truly beautiful work.
The rise of digital printing has become quite the game changer, simultaneously allowing for high-quality work and quickfire scheduling.
Large Format Print & Finishing
When setting up large format print we make sure to group the post-print activities in logical sets of components, such as stitching, eyeletting and mounting with all work processes and material bits involved – easy to pick for estimation and easy to present on quotes and job tickets.
Due to the nature of signs, banners, POP displays, etc., finishing is a key concern for the large/wide format print industry. Finishing of paper posters and billboards often includes lamination, glue-onboard and/or laser die-cutting. Most treatment and finishing of printed large format items requires skill and precision from the employees. Air bubbles in lamination is a genuine threat to the production – and the same goes for board gluing.
Humidity, draft and lack of drying space are other constraints to the production. As finishing is the heavy part of the price, these companies will try to focus their attention to bringing the production time in this area down and minimize the time between processes. Problems with glue or foil must be investigated and the batches with problems must be taken out of production and returned to the vendor again.
The finishing of banners requires bench work and is also the greater part of the price of the finished product. Activities include sewing the sides and bottoms (with lead strings for weight) and putting eyelets or grippers in the corners. For banners which are many times the size of the capacity of the digital printer there is welding or sewing to make the finished product. If the labor force is skilled and diligent the products are durable, and if not – the products can be ruined in wind and weather.
PrintVis has ways of calculating these large formats – even if the size is larger than the machine. The user input is often types of eyelets or roll-ups, and the system will automatically find the price based on templates and formulae for this part of the industry. The tradeoff between diligence and price is a key issue, as well as managing delivery milestones with a production involving so much hands-on work.
As order quantities are often small, it is vital that the ordering process can be quick and easy. With the correct setup, order time can be reduced dramatically. With steady customers the order process goes preferably through a customer-specific web interface – using their own item numbers and ordering a number of different items simultaneously. Bulk ordering of larger quantities with many different recipients of items is also one of the many areas for which PrintVis is able to support and provide management.