As small businesses grow larger, a kind of internal struggle occurs. They find themselves battling to manage the day-to-day challenges that, in the past, may have been relatively easy to handle.
In looking back at my own company, for example, I recall a time about 15 years ago when a few of us were trying to do it all – from sales and production to accounting, equipment, and more. We quickly realized, however, that we were getting burned out and our business was experiencing issues we had never seen before.
In my column about a year ago on the topic of 3D printing (“3D Printing: Putting the 'Additive' in Manufacturing,” June 2013), I wrote about our company’s purchase of a 3D printer. This was at the peak of all the hyperbole about how 3D printing was going to totally change the world. As it turns out, the world is still pretty much the same – the technology hasn’t really affected civilization as we know it.
EFI has introduced the new EFI H1625 LED printer, an entry-level production printer that can output onto rigid and roll media up to 65-in. wide and up to 2-in. thick.
The H1625 features a CMYK + white inkset (two white channels); multi-layer printing; eight-level variable-drop grayscale printheads; dynamic curing LED UV lamps; and a modular table design for scalable rigid-printing depth. It offers print speeds up to 458 sq ft/hr (247 sq ft/hr in Quality mode) and a top resolution of 600 x 1200 dpi;. The machine ships with the EFI Fiery XF RIP.
HP has announced a new HP Latex 300 Printer Series of printers, as well as two new Designjet printer models.
Durst has introduced two new presses: the Rho 312R UV roll printer, and the Rho P10 250HS flatbed.
The Wallcoverings Association – the nonprofit trade association that represents wallcovering manufacturers, distributors, and industry suppliers – held its annual meeting this past February at the Sandpearl Resort in Clearwater Beach, Florida. During the three-day meeting, approximately 150 members of the association and other attendees were given the opportunity to explore new ideas, attend education sessions, and network.
Sometimes you find your niche right away, and sometimes you have to work toward figuring it out. And then, of course, there’s mastering the relevant techniques involved in that particular niche once you’ve decided upon it.
The auto industry, it’s fair to say, rarely does anything in a small fashion. So when Ram Trucks decided to celebrate its Ram 1500 winning back-to-back Truck of the Year honors from Motor Trend magazine, it opted for this towering 145 x 155-foot building wrap on the side of its Chrysler Group headquarters in Auburn Hills, Michigan.
Ink: To a print provider, it’s the equivalent of potable water. Without a good supply of quality ink, your printers go thirsty, your resultant jobs look haggard, and your profits will dry up and wither away.
On a broader scale, ink also plays a critical role in the wide-format industry as a whole. Ink suppliers are being challenged to develop inks that can adhere to more substrates as inkjet is used for an unending variety of applications, but also dry even more quickly while providing a broader color gamut.
Mutoh America has launched two new UV LED printers: the ValueJet 1626UH and the ValueJet 426UF.