How the newest digital printing technology is helping sign shops thrive

Westmount Signs produced and installed these wall graphics in partnership with Trusscore as part of an art walk in downtown Kitchener, Ont.

What type of digital printing equipment have you had in the past?

TB: We have had a long relationship with Roland DG, starting out with our purchase of a CAMM-1 plotter/printer combo. We leapt into the 21st century with a Roland SOLJET and later to a Pro 4. When we were doing on-site printing for PGA and LPGA golf tournaments in Regina, Sask., we needed a printer we could easily transport, so we added a Roland DG VersaCAMM that fit into a minivan. 

Last year, we upgraded to the new TrueVIS VG2 64-in. printer/cutter. We were so happy with the VG2’s performance and colour accuracy that we recently replaced our VersaCAMM with another TrueVIS VG2 in a 1371-mm (54-in.) width. Surprisingly, because Roland DG printers retain their value so well, our upgrade costs have been minimal.

AJ: O’Hare has been running Roland DG printers pretty much since digital printing technology took over the industry. We choose Roland DG equipment for its reliability, outstanding colour, and its advanced technology.

 

What features were most important to you when selecting a new wide-format digital printer?

TB: Reliability and consistency as well as print quality – these features are so interwoven that I can’t place a value on one attribute over another. The fact that I can run prints unattended night after night also really helps my bottom line. The print quality is perfect. I couldn’t ask for better vibrancy or colour accuracy.

Having two TrueVIS machines gives us the flexibility to print on one while cutting on the other. This also provides redundancy in the unlikely event that one requires service. The increased efficiency in the ink as well as lower consumable costs and reduced packaging are the icing on the cake.

AJ: When our old printer was ready for an upgrade, we explored the newest technology and the Roland DG TrueVIS VG2 really caught our eye with its vibrant colour and outstanding print consistency. In addition, the print time was faster with a higher quality print, and the dry time was faster as well.

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An artist created the graphics for this new building to represent the site’s heritage as one of Kitchener’s famous
garment factories.

How important is colour to your clients?

TB: Colour is critical, and, for us, original equipment manufacturer (OEM) inks are key. We only run Roland DG ink and feel that is an important reason we consistently get such good results. I have seen some prints produced by other shops around town fade away. We have never had that kind of problem. There are prints that came off our SOLJET over 10 years ago on outside windows that still look great. I have never had to replace a faded print, or a damaged printhead for that matter.

AJ: Colour is very important to us and our clients. The colour range on the TrueVIS has created more options for our customers. We run TR2 ink with magenta, cyan, yellow, orange, light black, green, and black, which gives us a colour gamut that most other sign shops can’t compete with.

 

What impact has having modern digital printing equipment had on your business? 

TB: Another signmaker once said, “If the printers are running, I am making money,” and that still rings true. Digital printing really adds value to our product line up. Each generation of digital printing equipment has brought increased performance and productivity features—that’s been a big driver of our growth and our reputation.

AJ: Having modern digital printing equipment has created new services we can offer our clients—services other shops may not be able to offer. The vibrancy of colours stands out and makes people notice our work. The print quality has kept our fleet wraps consistent over time and across vehicles. The increased speed has helped us produce more work in less time. The cutting option is so precise that we get jobs done right the first time. All in all, the new equipment has modernized O’Hare Signs and is helping us keep up with the competition, even though we are a smaller company.

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