So you are buying a production inkjet press! Congratulations! Whether you have chosen a machine, or you are still shopping, here are some tips that will help you make the right choice and help your rollout go smoothly.
If you are shopping for an inkjet, talking to vendors, looking at their off-the-shelf samples and looking at print volumes, one thing you should remember to do is look at the bigger picture. How will the new systems (you likely need at least 2) fit into your shop? What paper will work for your customer applications? Can you get a paper that will meet their quality requirements? What will it look like with your clients’ data on it? Will your clients accept the changes in paper stock, the ink quality and the colours produced? Will the selected paper stock perform well on your post-processing equipment?
Not getting solid answers to these questions before making the financial commitment has caused some multi-million dollar fiascos. You do not want to create one of those legendary stories, do you? Here are some guidelines to help ensure success.
Once you have narrowed your choice down to a few options, you should get your vendors to print some samples of your customer applications on the paper stock you have chosen. You can then run these samples through your post-processing equipment to see how it performs. It is far better to ensure they are compatible now instead of after you have the presses on your floor!
Once you have equipment compatibility proven, it is a good idea to get your clients to buy into the new way of printing their applications. You should show them some of the samples that were printed for your inserter tests, and get their approval and buy-in. This will ensure that they see themselves as a part of the team. Should you run into any problems later on, having your clients on your side may just save your bacon! And it is a lot less expensive to do this before you have the hardware sitting on your floor, costing you a lot of money every day.
The safe way to produce samples for these purposes is to take some of your client print files, and redact the personal sensitive information, using a redaction tool like PRO Redaction Express to create output files to send to your vendors. That way the look and feel of the samples will match your client applications without risking any personal sensitive information being exposed.
Congratulations on making a vendor/model/paper decision! Now it’s time to prepare for the arrival of your new hardware. All of the physical preparations such as floor space, cooling and power are underway. What else should you be doing? You need to get your applications ready for a new production process.
If you are just replacing a toner engine with a similarly featured inkjet engine, some of this may not apply, but if you are going from cut sheet or fan fold engines to roll-fed colour inkjet press, then you have some work cut out for you. When you crank up an inkjet engine you want to keep it rolling until the paper roll is empty. This means that you will want to take your smaller jobs and concatenate them into a larger job, and possibly even segment the large job into roll size jobs to maximize your throughput on the new machine.
You need to get rid of the pre-printed shells that you use today, and put forms overlays into your print files. You may even want to eliminate some of your more troublesome inserts by printing them inline. You may want to add colour to your applications to take advantage of the inkjet colour capabilities.
Now is the time to get to work on these setup tasks. Depending on your application mix and complexity, this effort could take anywhere from a month to a year or more. Financially it makes the most sense to get the necessary tools in house and start the setup work as early in the process as possible, ideally as soon as the decision to buy inkjet presses has been made.
Our PRO Inkjet Express has all of the tools you need when migrating your applications to inkjet in one package. It is compatible with all of the inkjet presses available in the market, and it is endorsed by all of the inkjet manufacturers. Some of the manufacturers can even include it in your inkjet purchase or lease transaction.
This can save you a lot of time when researching, testing, buying, learning and implementing solutions for the multiple tasks you will need to undertake. Sooner or later you are likely to need all the tools in the product, so you can make life easier for your organization and install PRO Inkjet Express long before the inkjet presses hit your floor. Since PRO Inkjet Express includes the redaction capability you need while running samples at the vendors, you can either upgrade from PRO Redaction Express, or start with PRO Inkjet Express when you are ready to start running samples at the vendors’ sites.
PRO Inkjet Express – The Obvious Choice!