Unscrambling the Wide Format Print Output Mystery
Did you ever wonder why manufacturers of wide format ink jet printers such as Epson, HP and Canon did an excellent job of designing great, cost-effective printers for wide format drawings but failed miserably in providing a productive method for off-loading prints as they are produced? If you use one of these printers, you know that the prints are basically thrown on the floor.
Yes, there is usually a cloth basket to catch the print, but the print is basically on the floor. Sometimes a metal or plastic contraption is associated with these cloth baskets, but figuring out how to effectively use it when making more than one print at a time is difficult. In fact, if you are printing multiple copies or print sets, you will receive results that most users describe as @*&$%! I guarantee that those censored words are not “neat collated sets.”
The reason is probably obvious; off-loading prints was simply not a priority in their design goals. Design objectives such as lowest possible hardware cost and high quality output were of the highest importance. If they could meet these, they would be able to sell lots of ink. The sale of ink is the top objective; the printer is the razor and the ink is the blade. In fact, printers are sold at very little margin, if any, in order to create the need for ink.
To be sure, they also came up with other design objectives like “small foot print” and fast print speed to enhance their position without adding significant hardware cost. To handle large prints in a productive manner would add to the hardware cost and require more floor space.Increasing the cost of the hardware is not acceptable because it impacts the sale of printers to low volume or occasional users that probably don’t require much in the way of off-loading prints.
However, in order for moderate and higher volume users to be productive, printers require solutions for receiving prints that are ergonomic and don’t increase labor costs. Offloading solutions that provide a place for prints to be stacked in an orderly manner for retrieval by professional users saves labor costs. And that is the crux of the issue. Labor savings was never part of the design criteria for these printers.
Printer manufacturers believe that the labor cost incurred by the user to separate, sort and collate prints as well as to pick prints off of the floor is a hidden cost that most users do not recognize and therefore does not affect their ability to sell ink. Maybe someday they will recognize that users who generate higher productivity could indeed sell more ink. In the meantime, solutions for properly offloading prints are available from independent document distribution specialists.
Four Ways to Make Your Large Format Ink Jet Printer More Productive
Here are four ways a paper stacker will improve off loading of prints from your large format ink jet printer and make the printer more productive and efficient:
- Achieve unattended and overnight printing by adding a rugged offload shelf for large quantities of prints
- Print multi-page print sets neatly without fear that prints will fall to the floor or mess up sequential pages
- Provide for online printing from multiple workstations to one printer without the need to stand at the copier or printer waiting to catch prints as they exit
Reduce time for personnel to be at the printer; use time wisely and manage time effectively