5 Questions to Ask Before Investing in a Large Flatbed Printer
Investing in an expensive piece of equipment often requires a lot of careful consideration. It can be tempting to have unlimited access to the equipment functions since it’s available when you need it. However, when it is just as expensive as a luxury vehicle, you may want to take a step back to make sure you can afford it.
For this reason, it’s crucial to ask yourself a few questions to determine your readiness to invest in a large format flatbed printer. It comes with many benefits, and you’ll eventually earn an incredible return on your investment, but it is still vital to ensure that it is the right time to buy a flatbed printer. Here are five questions to ask yourself that will help you make the decision:
- How Much Is the Upkeep?
The amount you’ll spend on buying the printer isn’t the end of the expenses you’ll have to make for it. You’ll also have to take care of other financial responsibilities, like its upkeep. You’ll have to buy ink, media, and other printer consumables. There are also the utility costs of running the machine. To ensure your printer works well for a long time, you’ll have to have it serviced and maintained. Additionally, you must also determine the financial implications of training an operator to run the printer and if your employees have the time to learn the skills necessary to do so. Otherwise, you’ll need to hire someone to do it.
- What Are Your Alternatives?
Having a printer that you can access at any time has a world of benefits, but if it’s out of your budget, you may want to consider other alternatives. For instance, you can work with a third-party printer in the meantime while you’re saving enough money to afford your own. If you already have a printer that isn’t functioning as well as it used to, you can try having it fixed or replacing some components.
- Do You Need Roll-to-Roll Capabilities?
Flatbed printers are perfect for numerous applications, but some jobs are better suited for a roll-to-roll printer. The type of ink used is also a significant factor since flatbeds are usually UV, whereas roll-to-roll printers can use solvent, latex, dye-sublimation, aqueous, and UV inks. If you want a machine that can do both, you can opt for hybrid printers, although this will considerably slow down production since you’ll have to work with one functionality at a time. Still, roll-to-roll printers require more manual labour and material than flatbed printers, which is another point to consider.
- How Will You Integrate Your Other Equipment?
If you have other machines or equipment, think about how you can integrate it with a large format flatbed printer. If you work in a large production house with numerous kinds of printer brands and models, then you’ll have to account for the software you use. This is another important factor that may dictate the equipment you’ll purchase in the future.
Today’s UV printers require software to process and manage your printers and workflows. Each manufacturer utilises its own software that is often proprietary, which means you’ll have to work with equipment from the same brand. If this is a problem, you can use third-party options instead, although they often come at an additional cost.
- Do You Have Any Partnership Opportunities?
Having a reliable partner with you will make a flatbed printer investment much more affordable, especially if they’re knowledgeable in it. If something goes wrong and you’re not sure of what to do, your partner can step in to offer their expertise. They can also help support the cost of a flatbed printer, making it a viable option for your business.
Flatbed printers are an excellent investment to make, especially if you’re thinking of starting your own business. However, it’s essential to make sure you’re ready for it. Asking yourself these questions will help you determine if you’re prepared to invest in a flatbed printer and ensure you have enough resources to support its upkeep and maintenance.
Axzyra is the leading provider of specialist inkjet machinery in the UK. Our product suite includes flatbed printers, UV printers, direct to object printers, and various other equipment that will give your business the edge it needs to surpass your competitors. We also offer a range of inkjet training, print head flush, and recovery services. Get in touch with us today to learn more!