Tuesday, 22 September 2015

What You Should Know Before Buying An A1 Size Plotter Machine!

What You Should Know About A1 Plotters In Singapore!

You see , in our minds we have an understanding that if we need to print A1 drawings or plans then we must actually have a machine that is A1 size. Most end users are unsure of the difference between an A1 machine or an A0 Machine. So i hope that this article will provide some insight towards understanding these differences. Manufacturers such as the following will usually carry these sizes of machines (MutohHP, Canon, EpsonSeiko)
First lets understand the common sizes which are available :
  1. 24 inches
  2. 36 inches
  3. 44 inches
  4. 42 inches
  5. 60 inches
The above sizes here are typically used to denote the maximum media sizes that you can load onto a machine. In the context of architectural , engineering or construction environments the discussion will only revolve around two paper sizes that is basically machines capable of loading 24″ or 36″ paper.
So lets breakdown the paper sizes available for end consumers here:
  1. 594 mm or 24″ length can vary 50 meters, 150 meters, 175 meters
  2. 841 mm or 33″ length can vary 50 meters, 150 meters, 175 meters
Here is what is important to realize, the longer the length of paper the cheaper the roll of paper getsso if the objective is to achieve a lower cost of consumable then taking an often overlooked part which is paper is essential.  
The next thing you should be aware of is the idea of paper orientation and how this affects the consumable price and also the speed of the machine. An A1 size can be either printed in Portrait or in landscape, doing this the wrong way can have a direct effect on how much you are going to pay your machine supplier, this is especially dangerous if you are on a SQ Meter model, as the longer the length printed the more your meter click reading is.
I have discovered from some of my customers some companies are in fact informing customers to print in an incorrect manner so that they yield the highest in terms of Sq meters. Which i find extremely unethical. So you must be informed about this. Lets take a look at the diagram below:
a1 plotter, a1 printer , singapore
Diagram A: Shows what happens when you purchase a 24″ plotter.
  • More paper is used length wise
  • So if your loading 50 meter paper
  • You will only yield the following number of A1 drawings
    • 50 meters / 0.841 = 59 A1 Drawings
  • Since the print head has a shorter path to travel because your printing A1 in portrait then this will slow down the printing process as the print head must make more passes.
Diagram B: Shows what happens when you purchase a 36″ plotter.
  • Less paper is used length wise 
  • So if your loading 50 meter paper
  • You will yield more number of A1 drawings
    • 50 meters / 0.594 = 84 A1 Drawings
    • This is 25 A1 sheets more then the previous version a 30% more paper situation
  • Since the print head has a longer path to travel because now your printing A1 in landscape then this means that your prints are going to be much faster.
So finally we need to understand why are there then 24 inch models available, these so called A1 models. Well, the prime reason they are there is because then you can print sizes such as A2 more. As i have shown you in the diagram, if you load a 594mm paper then it will print A2 in landscape. Thus reducing once again the lenght of the paper that is used.
So please do not make the mistake of purchasing a 24″ model instead of a 36″ model if you primarily print A1 size drawings. This will only cause the cost of your paper consumable to increase and you will end up changing the rolls more often.
Thank you and if you like this post please share and comment for any questions you may have.
Full Range Of Machines : www.largeformatspecialist.com.sg/
Blog                             : http://largeformatplotters.blogspot.sg/
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Facebook:                      : www.facebook.com/uscsolutions
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Warm Regards,
Marco Moochala
Sales & Marketing CAD Division
USC Solutions Pte Ltd
203A Henderson Road
#02-03 Henderson Industrial Park
Singapore 159546
M: +65 90266787
T: +65 6278 3110
F: +65 6273 4208

Friday, 28 August 2015

Large Format Printer Singapore - The Most Affordable Plotter Mutoh RJ900X

The Most Affordable Large Format Printer Available

The Mutoh RJ900X Series Of Machines

The term affordability gets thrown around alot these days, with each manufacturer stating that their machine is indeed an affordable solution. 

In order to fully understand this term we need to define this term completely. A machine can be affordable to purchase at the outset which sounds lovely on paper, or are we going to choose to look a little deeper?

I chose the latter, many of my customers are in a bind as to decide and to compare , these days the choices are plenty and prices of machines are really at an all time low. Manufacturers throw the price of their machine at almost a cost , i mean simply put if the manufacturer, is selling you the machine initially at a very low price this only really means that they have a plan. After all they are not in the business of loosing money, money has to come from somewhere...right?

The answer is simple, it comes from the consumables that the machine will use. So think about what is the number one component in any machine...that certainly is without a doubt the ink. Printer ink is one of the most incredibly expensive commodity today. 

E.g : 

Fuel tanks in a car hold approximately 44 liters which in singapore is charged at around 1.80 so that would work out to be $79.20 SGD

Ink in a printer if poured in comparison into a car would translate based on current large format printer manufacturers will work out to be approximately $0.65/ml there is 44,000 ml in a car so a car fuel tank would cost you $28,600 SGD

The above is just to illustrate the value of ink vs the value of fuel. i mean , ink is the new gold. 

 So this is where the Mutoh RJ900x Shines:

In the cost of ink game, there is a machine that can produce for you stunning printouts absolutely brilliant CAD and line work and is all built on this machine platform which remains as one of the only large format machine manufactured completely in japan. 

Technical Specs are as follows:

·         Highest Resolution 1440 x 2880 dpi
·         Fast: A1 Color print 33 seconds only!
·         Memory 256MB
·         Wave printing technology lower banding lines
·         3 years next business day machine warranty
·        Outstanding quality for CAD & Photo Print applications
·         Heavy Duty / Medium Duty Usage
·         4 color Ink System CMYK
100% Made In Japan 

The beauty of the MUTOH machine is the fact that, not only does the manufacturer allow a specific formulation of ink that works well with the machine. It also locally in Singapore is supported by a 3 year warranty. So for those of you who are looking to remove yourself from the vicious cycle of paying exorbitant amounts for essential ink. Then you need to take this seriously when it comes to understanding the value this machine will allow you do add. 

The Made In Issue:

The pressure from manufacturers to produce cheaper and cheaper machines has led to a proliferation of the machines being built in countries like china and thailand. 

Not that there is anything wrong in manufacturing in these countries but results speak for themselves. 

The legendary models from other manufacturers that previously were built in Singapore or in japan, have lasted the longest. Some customers i meet still use these machines, Why? The quality of build is truly superior. We have become a culture of purchasing the cheapest possible machine, and we don't seem to think otherwise in regards to the running cost of the plotter. That is so dangerous if your print volume is moderate. 

The Mutoh RJ series is entirely built in japan, and understanding their culture and the attention to detail that is put in simply outshines the mass produced models that are super cheap to purchase vs a quality machines. 

The Features Issue:

I wouldn't put the Mutoh machine as being "Innovative" if i was to describe the machine, i would say it is "Built with superiority,designed to last and ultimately the most affordable way to print"

True the Mutoh machine lacks intuitive touch screens, cloud printing, remote printing, WiFi printing, post script, etc etc etc. The usual bells and whistles. 

However the question is , how much do you print and what do you print. 

If your a casual user then certainly these other machines i would highly recommend them, If the features in these machines are going to improve your workflow and make your printing life easier then yes they will add this value to you. So its justified. 

However purchasing the other machines and all your going to print is CAD Drawings with some level of GIS or even images then really a souped up bells and whistles type of machine is not what i would recommend.

Clearing up the Misconceptions about INKS:

These days, consumers get overly excited by pegging the quality of the printout to the number of inks in the machine. 

Machines that are currently available come in the following ink configurations:

  • 4 color ink system
  • 5 color ink system
  • 6 color ink system
  • 8 color ink system
This has been the most confusing aspect of choosing a machine especially when it comes to customer purchase. Some sales executives are overly excited to a point of stating the more inks a machine has , as an advantage. 

Little does the average consumer realize that he is on a ride and a long deep treacherous ride indeed.

More colors available to a printer is certainly helpful provided you are matching what your application is. 

For example if you wish to produce ultra high quality photographic prints for fine art applications then certainly a more complex color gamut is required.  

However most of my customers who are architects, construction companies, consultants or engineers are using 6 color and 5 color ink system to produce CAD drawings. The question you should be asking why do i need these many colors to do something as simple as CAD drawings?

Take another example , the 5 color ink system. 

You have CMYK which are the primary colors and you have another cartridge called the BLK.

Did you know that if you do not print on a media profile of photo glossy, or glossy paper, that cartridge does nothing but drain....drain...and drain. 

You don't need a fifth cartridge or a 8th cartridge or whatever if your just doing simple cad drawings and simple graphics. 4 color cartridges are MORE then enough to achieve outstanding colors sharpness and detail. 

Need proof ? well just take a look at these photos here, all produced on a 4 color machine. 

Do not make a mistake of paying for cartridges you don't need and which do not serve you in any way at all. Make a decision based on proof and understanding . The fewer cartridges you have the better it is for you. Trust me on this. 

The MUTOH brand

When i do propose this brand to customers, they immidiately respond with "well i have not heard about this brand before, how do i know if i can rely on it"

Simply put, it is precisely this reason that customers would continue to do and purchase machines that are over kill for their purposes and pay through their nose for consumables. 

Research can reveal some telling tales, MUTOH in Singapore is one of the most popular range of machines in the GRAPHICS and Signage market. An astounding 80% of customers use these machines to produce extremely high quality printouts at the lowest price possible. 

The reason most customers do not hear about it , is simply because in the CAD market the dominance is by the other larger companies that advertise frequently and come up with feature rich models. 

The only way a customer can feel comfortable is through recommendations which is how the MUTOH has gained popularity. Further then that, in the issue of reliability, if its well built precision products no one does it better than japan. Once upon a time the best and most reliable products came from japan. Through competition and cost cutting some manufacturers buckled under the pressure and sent their machines to be made in china and Thailand. 

The machine is covered by a local warranty agreement and in terms of service USC SOLUTIONS provides a level of service that is of the highest order. It is in our culture and mindset to propose the best and be the best. 

As a summary

  • Mutoh offers customers a simple system that works well with CAD applications
  • In addition because of the inks being almost 5 to 6 times cheaper then conventional inks it becomes the most affordable ink system you can purchase.
  • A peace of mind knowing that for 3 years warranty is provided
  • A simple but extremely powerful 4 ink configuration. 
  • A well built and well designed machine
  • Has the ability to work with a rip software and to create amazing posters at the lowest price
  • 42 inches and 24 inch model available for all types of applications. 

Do let me know if you have any questions or feedback or even if your looking for a machine like this:

Full Range Of Machines : www.largeformatspecialist.com.sg/
Blog                             : http://largeformatplotters.blogspot.sg/
Wordpress                     : http://largeformatplotters.wordpress.com
Facebook:                      : www.facebook.com/uscsolutions
Follow Me On Twitter     : @marcomoochala
Add Me On Google+      : google.com/+MarcoMoochala

Warm Regards,
Marco Moochala

Sales & Marketing CAD Division
USC Solutions Pte Ltd
203A Henderson Road
#02-03 Henderson Industrial Park
Singapore 159546

M: +65 90266787
T: +65 6278 3110
F: +65 6273 4208

Monday, 18 May 2015

HP Plotter | HP Large Format Printer T520

HP Printer large format T520
The entry level plotter for the low volume user[/caption] In this blog post i wish to examine the HP Plotter the Designjet T520 in complete depth. We will talk about the 4 main components that make choosing the right plotter essential. These are as follows:
  1. Category of printer
  2. Build quality
  3. Technological advances/features
  4. Ink Consumption/consumables
At the end of this blog post you will be able to correctly determine if this machine is suitable for your organization. It will cover all the essential points needed for an effective and wise decision. So let us begin this review of the Designjet T520
  1. Category of printer:
    • This printer is categorized as an entry level printer for the user who has low volume of print outs
    • It is available in two sizes that would be the 24 inches and the 36 inches
    • If you print volume is high then this machine may not be able to keep up with the speed required for volume prints
    • Typical Prints speeds that are achievable are 35 seconds for an A1 print (color/mono)
  2. Build Quality:
      • The build quality of this printer is a combination of plastic and metal components.
      • The machine is light weight and easy to transport from one location to another.
      • At the outset it does feel a little too plastic however upon reviewing the video below it does not affect the performance of the machine.
      • If your looking for something extremely rugged or in conditions which are harsh this may leave you wanting more.
      • The touch screen is great and its very responsive to the touch.

  3. Technological Advances:
    • There are numerous technological advances that the T520 Desingjet has to offer.
    • WiFi Connectivity this is the only printer in the CAD and Reprographic range that offers full WiFi connectivity
    • This means in a fully WiFi connected office there is no need for any pesky wires to be running about.
    •  This allows users the freedom to send jobs over their wireless network and even through the cloud for cloud printing
    • Job Processing is also good with its 1 gb ram for fast data processing
    • It is important to note that the T520 is the only large format plotter available with this ram capability.
    • A plotter that is equipped with this amount of ram means that the processing is faster.
    • One thing to note is that print speed should be calculated by job processing + actual print speed which i will write about later.
    • The screen is equipped to let users clearly see what is being printed, in the preview screen
    • Bypass tray is equipped to handle A4 and A3 print out capability
    • This means you can seamlessly print A4 and A3 drawings without the stress of changing the roll that has been loaded.
    • DPI: 2400 x 1200 optimized dpi meaning that fine lines and details are clearly and easily distinguished
    • Connectivity is done through Ethernet, WiFi and USB so you will have many options to choose between connections
  4. Ink Consumption:
    • The HP Designjet T520 is unique in its method of deploying inks..very unique indeed.
    • Unlike most large format plotters that pumps the inks through the internal tubes.
    • This plotter does not do so, what it in fact does is a direct from ink tank to print head to paper configuration
    • This means inks doesn't run through any unnecessary tubing which allows for evaporation.
    • Less evaporation and no maintenance ink tank means that your consumables to buy are much less
    • The ink tanks however are smaller in capacity roughly about 38ml for a black cartridge and 29ml for the color
    • The good thing however is that there are only 4 colors to print CMYK.
    • This means that unlike most other HP and Canon plotters you only need to purchase 4 ink cartridges.
    • This makes it a very efficient machine when it comes to printing, though you may need a set of cartridges around as a spare in case of running out.
    • Print head which is an expensive component of a plotter this machine promises a long print head life with no print head change over the natural lifetime of your printer.
    • This above point about the print head is vital for those customers who do not wish to change the print head so frequently as it is an added cost to do so.
    • Having a machine that allows for a long life print head is the most ideal situation for any customer or office.
Video Presentation of the HP Designjet Plotter T520:

Summary :
  • If your looking for a good feature rich entry level plotter you cannot go wrong with the HP T520 Designjet.
  • It covers almost all the requirements that most firms will want in a plotter machine.
  • HP embraces new technologies that at the end of the day provides a convenience to the customer.
  • In terms of its price it may be slightly very slightly higher then the nearest competitor but carefully look at the features and consumables
  • The absence of a waste ink tank means less consumables to purchase
  • All in all if you have 2-3 design staff and print volumes are not high then this is a very good choice for you.
  • This machine also can print on a variety of media such as photo paper, tracing etc however if you company requires full blown renderings and full color prints then i will be against recommending this machine to you; as you will be replacing the inks rather frequently
So i hope this has explained key points in detail and you have found this information useful, to learn more please visit www.largeformatspecialist.com.sg , email me : marco@uscgp.com or give me a call at 62783110 for more information.

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Multifunction A0 printer and Scanner | Wide Format Scanner

So you currently have a plotter? 
Now you realize that you need to have scan and copy functions.
Investing in an all in one large format multi-function plotter and scanner is too expensive.
What do you do?

Large Format Scanner Singapore

A0 Printer Scanner | A1 Printer Scanner
The Easiest way to upgrade your plotter to a fully functional MFP copy/print/scan/email!

Some of my customers in singapore often face this problem, as job requirements change there has been little anyone could do aside from investing in another all in one system. 

A superb solution has been the contex large format scanners particularly under the MFP2GO range. This range of machines allows a customer to use existing hardware to connect the scanner directly to the plotter automatically converting it into an all in one system. What’s really cool is that, no additional pc is require the entire set up functions from an embedded controller which is built with the scanner. 

There are a number of advantages when you have a configuration such as this:
  • Lower acquisition cost of a multi-function plotter/scanner
  • No additional PC required.
  • Easy to use interface and no complicated software to learn
  • Redundancy of equipment 
  • Copy/Email/Scan from a single hybrid unit 
A key fundamental here is that of redundancy and the ability to not have an attached PC. I will elaborate on these two specific features here as i find it needs careful understanding.


Your current plotter is supposing at least 2 years in use, now most plotters have a warranty of at least 3 years, what if you were to change the plotter. When you purchase an integrated solution any upgrade to your machine means that you will not only spend more when you acquire an integrated system you will also discard the whole system if you choose to upgrade your plotter. It may not be feasible for some organizations to do this. 

Hence, when you have a situation such as i have described you can purchase the contex MFP2GO, and when you want, you can always upgrade the plotter leaving the scanner still in your use. The large format scanners from Contex require little maintenance and they are a high quality product from Denmark allowing long use of the hardware with little maintenance. 

One key factor you must take note of is that if an integrated system has a failure, suppose for example the plotter stops printing since the systems are as one you will not be able to scan either and vice versa. So having a hybrid system in this instance is a good solution. Whereby if one device fails the other still continues. 

No Additional PC:

Traditionally manufacturers such as canon have a solution and this is called the M40 scanner or it is sold usually as a bundle. The issue with this is that not only will you purchase a scanner you will also need to purchase a separate pc. This some of my customers find it cumbersome. Contex too has such solutions but they are usually for high performance scanners. Nevertheless a solution such as the context large format scanner MFP2GO solution offers something unique. 

large format scanner and large format plotter
Integrated Tablet for Easy Access and no additional PC needed

Convenient USB Slot for direct USB Scanning

The tablet that is attached to the machine means that there is nothing else to purchase, it can be totally stand alone and offer a variety of useful functions. There are not so many wires running about and startup is easy. PC's also are prone to virus attacks, or even face redundancy issues of their own when a new OS is released. This solution makes it very easy to use and maintain a large format A0 Scanner and A0/A1 copier system with the least conceivable effort. 

A Sensible workflow by Contex Large Format Scanner Experts

So the next question is that of the decision you will need to make between an integrated and a hybrid solution. If you wish to read more please click here on how to choose the right solution here.

Simply put if your volume for printing and scanning is not extremely high, then a hybrid solution is definitely much better for you. As it will cover all the requirements of a copy/print/scan/email function. However if you have a very high volume of printing then i must recommend the integrated solutions such as the Seiko or the HP T3500 system as their running costs are lower than a conventional inkjet set up. 

Hope this has helped with your decision and as always you can contact me or visit my website for full products at www.largeformatspecialist.com.sg or you can email me at marco@uscgp.com or give me a call Tel: 62783110

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

How to choose a large format plotter? For A0 Size and A1 Size printing

Choosing a suitable large format machine is often a daunting task. I often meet customers who are spoilt for choice when it comes to the types of machines that can be suitable for their needs.

So lets get down to the criteria that customers needs to choose from when it comes to selecting a machine that will be suitable.

  1. How much do you print?
    • This is a fundamental question that needs to be addressed first
    • Printing is categorized in to low, medium and high volume prints
    • As a consumer it is important to estimate this figure first
    • low= 1 to 5 A1/A0 print outs per day
    • medium= 30 to 60 A1/A0 print outs per day
    • high = 70 to 100 A1/A0 print outs per day
    • once we have this information we need to progress to the next step  
  2. Do you require black and white or color prints?
    • most customers are familiar in printing mainly in mono
    • however depending on the volume the technology deployed is critical
    • For high to medium volume of mainly mono prints we suggest a laser machine
    • Laser printing machines such as the Seiko Teriostar offers fast mono prints 
    • However if you have a mix of medium to high color and mono prints
    • You may need to consider a machine such as the HP DESIGNJET T3500
    • Alternatively you can choose to select the Seiko Teriostarand a corresponding inkjet plotter.
    • These days with the new technology found in the HP DESIGNJET T3500 printing in mono and color cost wise is practically the same
  3. Batch printing features?
    • it is often cumbersome to open pdf files one at a time
    • if you often have to print a number of pdf files this can be extremely exhausting
    • as each file needs to be opened individually and then parameters set and then you may send it for printing
    • batch printing allows for a drag and drop function such as is found on softwares which are bundled with the HP DESIGNJET T3500 like the HP Smart Stream.
    • You can also see how this software is implemented in the Seiko Teriostar you can watch a demonstration of this here.
    • Typically machines that come bundled with this machine tend to have a higher price point.
    • So should your orgnaization mainly send the files through Autocad or other software then there is no need for any batch printing and a normal range of plotters are available.
  4. Size of machine?
    • A common misconception i have noticed in this industry has to do with the size of the drawing. 
    • Typically most customers believe if they are printing A1 size they should buy an A1 size machine
    • This is not recommended and here is why.
    • When you purchase an A1(24") plotter then what your doing is printing A1 size in potrait.
    • Doing so means you print the short edge first (594mm) and leave the long edge (841mm) trailing behind. 
    • This consumes paper, alot of paper. So you will raise consumable price for paper
    • I suggest to you to print A1 in landscape meaning the long edge is printed first this way the paper consumption will only be (594mm ) trailing behind. 
  5. Do you need a scanner or any large format multifunction feature?
    • A multifunction machine allows a consumer to print/copy/scan/save to network.
    • Amendments that are done in hard copy is to be saved and so the best way to do this is to scan the document.
    • Here is a quick tip; if yo already have a printer then all you need is an upgrade of hardware. 
    • You can easily upgrade your existing plotter to a multifunctional A0 and A1 size by using the following machines from contex especially the mfp2go Series.
    • This allows independence from the large format printer and the large format scanner and allows a consumer a redundancy feature. 
    • Meaning if your plotter is spoilt then you can still use the scanner. 
    • The other alternatives of an inbuilt Multifunction are found in the following machines
    • HP DESIGNJET T3500 , Seiko Teriostar, HP Designjet T2500
  6. Running costs?
    • The most critical mistake consumers make is the overlook the running cost.
    • Some machines in the market are cheap to buy but extremely costly to maintain.
    • So doing your research is extremely important
    • large format printing machines which are not on a service contract have the following consumables
    • maintenance waste ink tank, print head, and inks
    • The standard mono laser printer Seiko Teriostar comes with 5 years of  consumables (except paper) being taken care of and the consumer pays per use of a sq meter program.
    • However the only machine in singapore that gives the consumer the advantages of a pay-per-use scheme is the HP DESIGNJET T3500 allowing color and mono prints to be charged per use. 
    • This model is really good for the cost concious customer and those with med to high volume needs. 
  7. Cloud connectivity
    • having a cloud connected printer offers some unique advantages
    • it allows users to print remotely without having to be in front of the machine.
    • supposing your working on a project and its a sat or sun and you need to have the drawings first thing monday morning.
    • With the cloud connected machine you can send print jobs from your home or wherever you are to the machine and have them ready when you need them. 
  8. Overall budget
    • The budget really assist in determining the best solution for your needs
    • consumers often want the best at the cheapest possible price however their expectation of cheap is extremely skewed from what is actually possible. 
    • In nutshell i have summarised the price ranges as follows
    • low = $2000 to $5000
    • medium= $5000 to $7000
    • High= $15000 to $26000

It is my hope that this guide really narrows down how you can go about selecting the right large format printer for your needs. I will be more than happy to meet up with you to learn more and to give you the advice you deserve. I belive customers for far too long have dealt with sales people that are out to recommend something really expensive for a higher comission. I find this to be abhorring and unethical. So if your looking for a clean cut easy to understand and a proposal that will match your requrirement do give me a call at 90266787 or visit my website www.largeformatspecialist.com.sg for further information.