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Customer Comments Inspire Wide-format Printer Purchase

July 1, 2011 By Matt Stringer
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When the print shop for the City of Longmont, Colo., wanted to improve its capabilities, it didn't send out e-mails to ask what type of services customers needed. Instead, staff went out to each customer and asked what they thought the in-plant was lacking.

"There was an expression of a need for a wide-format [printer],” reports Richard Showers, in-plant manager.

So the in-plant took action. It purchased a Canon imagePROGRAF iPF8000S wide-format inkjet printer. Now, the shop can print jobs on all kinds of substrates, including vinyl banners for city-wide events. After an intial learning curve, Showers says, the printer has exceeded expectations and has been increasing the amount of business coming to the two-employee shop.

“There’s [been] a little bit of an adjustment period," admits Showers. In particular, customers had to be coached to send higher-resolution files, since images are blown up very large to create posters. 

“A lot of what we were doing comes in [Microsoft] Publisher,” he notes. 

The Canon wasn’t reading Publisher files, so they had to be converted to a format that the Canon could read and print. Other than that, however, there have not been any problems. 

“The jobs are stunning,” Showers observes. “The detail is delightful.” 

The reaction since the in-plant purchased the printer has been nothing but positive. 

“We have had zero complaints just lots of accolades, lots of compliments,” Showers gushes. 

The in-plant did a rush job for an Arbor day event recently. The customer needed 17 posters and two banners, and the print shop turned the job around in a day’s time. 

Another recent job neeeded a turnaround time of about 24 hours for a triathlon within the city. The participants needed to know the route, and that required the printing of 27 large posters, to be plastered around the area so that the triathletes wouldn’t stray from the path.

The Canon is new capacity, brought on by a growing demand for posters and banners. The jobs used to be outsourced to a commercial printer, but it couldn’t get the job done as fast as the in-plant.

Since its customers specifically requested a wide-format press, justifyng the cost of it wasn’t as hard as it normally would be for the in-plant, which has a budget of $212,000. 

 

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