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Beware of Dog: Automation and Wide-Format Printing

Automation for wide-format printing can encompass a lot of different processes, from automatic file processing, to robotics, even to database management. Where once wide format was deemed too “artisanal” or “craft-like” to be automated, the times are changing. After all, as competition in the wide-format segment continues to heat up, automation becomes a key element in controlling costs. We’ll take a look at the current state of automation for wide-format printing.

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About Richard Romano

Richard Romano is Managing Editor of WhatTheyThink | Printing News & Wide-Format & Signage.  He curates the Wide Format section on WhatTheyThink.com. He has been writing about the graphic communications industry for more than 25 years. He is the author or coauthor of more than half a dozen books on printing technology and business. His most recent book is “Beyond Paper: An Interactive Guide to Wide-Format and Specialty Printing.

Discussion

By Robert Lindgren on Jul 25, 2019

Wide format automation is certainly an area of opportunity, but it contains two threats. The first is pricing. If the printer's cost-based estimating/pricing system is permit to reflect the effect of automation, it will instantly give away more than the savings to the customers. The second is capital cost. If the investment required for automation is significant and the only return is in reduced labor cost, it's unlikely that it will generate a positive return.

 

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