Now, more than ever, contractors in the field require high quality documentation to make sure they adhere to approved plans. In today’s environment, however, general contractors increasingly receive digital plans in PDF form either by email or on a CD or documents must be downloaded from a plan room or collaboration site.
While technology makes it easier than ever to make changes to technical documents, this can also result in multiple versions. As a result, the ability to print large format technical documents – and ensure everyone is working from the most up-to-date documents – is more critical than ever before. Canon Solutions America, Inc. outlines the benefits of investing in this technology and the key considerations when selecting a large format inkjet printer.
The Benefits of Large Format Inkjet Printers
Large format inkjet printers are commonly used to print large-scale projects such as construction documents including MEP sets, CAD drawings, and complex GIS maps. These printers may deliver a host of benefits to general and subcontractors, including:
Increased flexibility. A large format printer makes it easy and convenient to print construction documents, including D and E sizes. An in-house printer enables contractors to print on demand and ensures a quick turnaround time. And, investing in a multifunction printer with print, copy and scan capabilities makes it easy to coordinate and track changes with all parties throughout the design and build process.Lower costs. An in-house large format printer may help reduce costs and tighten control over expenses. Although a number of factors can influence cost, data shows that printing large format documents in-house may save 46 percent or more compared to outsourced printing costs. With the ability to print what you want, when you want it contractors can reduce waste – and costs – associated with unnecessary prints.Higher productivity. In-house large format printers can save time previously required to coordinate outsourcing and can boost productivity by reliably producing outstanding image quality. Selecting a printer that delivers high quality prints and precise details helps enable contractors to estimate more accurately and reduce or eliminate the need for high contingency costs; which may lead to more business and increased revenues.
Key Consideration to Choosing a Large Format Inkjet Printer
To select the best large format inkjet printer for your needs as a general or subcontractor, take into account the following key considerations:
Printed document sizes. Large format inkjet printers range in size from a width of 17” up to 60”, with the ability to support lengths of hundreds of feet. Since most construction documents are D or E size, contractors generally prefer a printer capable of 36” wide output.Print speeds. Don’t evaluate a printer just by its speed. Although most printers within their functional categories have nearly identical specifications, their productivity may vary substantially. Inkjet printer speeds typically range from 1-2ppm in production mode and slower in a quality mode setting. However, inkjet technology delivers much higher quality output containing more dense coverage as compared to black and white toner based printers.Application quality. Large format inkjet printers use multiple colors of ink – from four up to 12 – to achieve the optimal color output. A 4-color inkjet printer that uses aqueous (water-based) ink typically delivers the speed, quality, reliability, and versatility ideal for construction and technical documents, as well as general use.Multifunction capabilities. Multifunction inkjet printers offer the option to print, scan, and copy, providing valuable flexibility for contractors. Color scanning is a particularly helpful way to track the document mark-ups that are frequently made in the field.