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Scanning for a New Life in Print

(December 2011) posted on Tue Dec 13, 2011

How large-format scanners are driving new demand for print services.

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By Michael Antoniak

There, members can log into their account, check on the latest projects out of bid, review all plans, download scan sets or individual files, or order prints. “We probably end up printing 30 percent of what we scan,” says Geiser. “It’s always at full-size of the original sheet. With all blueprints, our members want them at full scale.”

Printing is handled in house with another Océ product, the wide-format ColorWave 600. The roll-fed color toner printer handles media up to 42-inches wide. The printer is also used to print copies of plans requested by visitors to the physical Planning Room at the organization’s headquarters. Long term, the trend is definitely to access plans online.

“More and more, people want to see those plans in a digital form,” Geiser concludes. “We’re the source, whatever they need to know about a project, from beginning to end,” he says.

A shifting emphasis to color
“In the past, our business was what you’d expect from the typical reprographics house: a lot of work in black and white, a lot of blueprint reproduction,” says Don Bitterman, president of Precision Images ( in Portland, Oregon.

“But with the economy down the way it’s been the past few years, we’ve had to shift emphasis to where most of the business is today and that’s in color.”

Large-format color figures in that strategy. Growth there has been helped by the large-format Graphtec CS-610 color scanner purchased a little more than two years ago. The unit handles originals up to 42-inches wide and 0.8-inches thick. For larger work, multiple scans are captured then assembled with Graphtec software.

It has proven a powerful engine for driving business to the company’s wide-format printers, says Bitterman. The shop’s printer lineup includes the Hewlett Packard Z61000 60-inch inkjet, the HP Latex 2500 printer, and Canon’s imageProGraf iPF8300. “The Z6100 is our workhorse, while the 2500 is great for outputting banners,” says Bitterman. “The Canon gives us 12-colors for the real high-end work.”

Much wide-format printing starts at the scanner. “There is no such thing as a typical color-scanning job,” he continues. “If someone comes to us with any job, and we think we can make it work, we’ll do it.”