When Is It Time to Upgrade Your Printer?

Michael Clementi

The start of a new year is the perfect time to evaluate your business goals and ensure that you have the right equipment to help you reach those objectives. With all the new printers and different technologies available today, we asked in-house printer expert Michael Clementi to weigh in on how to tell if it’s time to replace your old printer.

Q: What are the most common ways to tell if your printer is aging?

A: For aqueous piezo technology (like Epson or Roland), you’ll experience vertical banding running the length of the print, errors that you cannot navigate past or an increase in the number of cleanings needed to produce a healthy nozzle check. For aqueous thermal user-replaceable printheads (such as Canon or HP), you may see hardware errors on the machine. You can call a LexJet representative to help determine what may be causing the error; however, if you need service, it would be best to contact the printer manufacturer for quotes or troubleshooting. Some hardware-related issues indicate the need for a head replacement – not uncommon for thermal printers – but errors related to what I call the “drive train” of the printer (i.e.: belts, head/carriage motors and internal electrical components) might be reparable, but the difference in cost of repair vs. upgrading to the latest technology might be almost negligible.

Q: Are there any repairs that are worth the cost rather than buying a new printer?

A: If it is an older Epson or Roland that needs a full printhead replacement (which are not user-replaceable and can cost more than $600 for just the parts, not including labor), it makes more sense to use those funds towards a new printer. With a new model, you will have better ink usage, print more profitable jobs, work with current technology and have a printer that is covered under warranty. New technology has allowed for increase in output and a significant decrease in the footprint of the printer. New printers will also be more efficient and will offer a wider color gamut than older models. If your current printer is several generations old, it may be difficult finding parts for the repair due to the manufacturers halting production of older parts (as they call, “end of life”).

Q: What kind of lifespan can I expect to get from a printer?

A: The average lifespan for aqueous machines is three to five years, depending on the technology, frequency of use and how well it is maintained. Solvent and latex printers can be in the six- to eight-year range, again depending upon use and maintenance.

Q: When is it a wiser investment to upgrade rather than repair?

February Webinars: Find Your Perfect Printer Match

If you love to learn, don’t miss out on educational opportunities with the pros from Canon and HP. During February, LexJet is offering webinars to learn about the latest Canon PRO-Series and HP Latex printers on the market, ensuring you make the right match for your business. There is limited space, so register today to reserve your spot. When you attend a webinar, you’ll get extra savings on your printer purchase.

HP Latex Webinar: Join us for a webinar on HP’s Latex printer technology on Wednesday, Feb. 14 at 11 a.m. ET. When you attend this webinar, you’ll save $1,000 on an HP Latex 315 Print & Cut Bundle or HP Latex 335 Print & Cut Bundle; or save $3,000 on an HP Latex 560 or HP Latex 570. SIGN UP NOW

Canon PRO-Series Webinar: Join us Thursday, Feb. 15 at 11 a.m. ET to discover the latest advancements in Canon printers. Attendees will receive an additional 5% off their PRO-Series printer purchase. Plus, Canon is offering 6-months, no interest through Feb. 28th. SIGN UP NOW

If you have questions, our LexJet printer specialists can help. Give us a call at 800-453-9538.

Now at LexJet: Clear Positive Film

We’re excited to announce a new film designed for screen printers to create high-resolution, digital inkjet screen positives — at a fraction of the cost of traditional film.

LexJet Clear Positive Film creates dense black images that provide excellent light-blocking power for both fine lines and heavy spot colors. The nano-porous coating of this PET film is compatible with aqueous-pigmented black ink and absorbs high levels of ink, making this film more durable from scuffing and scratching – and it dries instantly when using photo-black ink. And with an opacity of less than 13%, your exposure times are quick.

Watch the video above to learn about how LexJet Clear Positive Film is used to output film separations on a Epson T-Series printers. You’ll also learn how to produce prints with more control and precision by pairing LexJet Clear Positive Film with an Epson RIP®-Kit such as the RTI Harlequin RIP®-Kit.

“The Epson T-Series is affordable and with our Epson software it gives them the full controls they need,” says Drew Nielubowicz of RTI-RIP. “When compared to other products on the market, it’s definitely the best value that’s out there.”

These Super February Printer Rebates Will Bowl You Over

Whether you are looking to retire an old printer or simply recruit more talent for your starting line-up, these rebates will help you save money on your printer purchase. If you attend one of the webinars this month, you will score even more savings. Promotional pricing good through Feb. 28, unless otherwise noted.

Canon Instant Rebates:

Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-2000

Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-2000, 24-inch printer: $200 (combine with mail-in rebate for $500 total savings)

Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-4000, 44-inch printer: $500 (combine with mail-in rebate for $1300 total savings)

Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-4000S, 44-inch printer: $200

Canon continues the mail-in rebates on PRO-Series printers purchased between Jan. 15 and Mar. 15:

Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-2000: $300

Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-4000: $800

Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-6000: $1200

You can claim you rebate by downloading this form.

Canon PRO-Series Webinar: Join us Feb. 15, at 11 a.m. ET to discover the latest advancements in Canon printers. Attendees will receive an additional 5% off their PRO-Series printer purchase. SIGN UP NOW

New for Dye-Sub: InFuze™ Transfer Papers from LexJet

Transfer paper is a vital element in the dye-sublimation printing process, and any dye-sub printer knows. At LexJet, we’ve developed the InFuze™ line of dye-sub transfer papers with a proprietary microporous ink-receptive coating that handles and performs better than other papers on the market.

The microporous coating is different because when the ink is printed, it sits on top of the paper, rather than soaking into the paper, like other papers that are considered “swellable.” The LexJet InFuze™ line of papers won’t cockle the way others do, and it’s a lay-flat, fast-dry solution that makes transferring easier. The coating also helps to minimize ghosting of the image, even with heavy ink loads.

With the InFuze™ line, we’re offering four transfer papers that provide good imaging and easy release, and cover a wide range of substrate applications to optimize your dye-sub capabilities:

LexJet InFuze™ Multipurpose Dye Sublimation Paper: Ideal for transferring on flexible fabric or rigid substrates, like mugs, promotional items, banners, snowboards and more.

LexJet InFuze™ Textile Dye Sublimation Paper: Suitable for a wide range of flexible polyester fabrics for fast fashion, sportswear, banners, flags and other soft signage.

LexJet InFuze™ Apparel Dye Sublimation Paper: Made with a tacky surface that’s designed to prevent slippage between transfer paper and elastic-type textiles, like moisture-wicking, quick-dry performance sports apparel.

LexJet InFuze™ Rigid Substrate Dye-Sublimation Paper: Approved by ChromaLuxe® as an optimized transfer paper for metal panels used for wall art, table tops, high-end photo art and more.

Give one of our print specialists a call at 800-453-9538 to learn more about the advantages of these new papers. They can also help you discover the possibilities and new business opportunities that dye-sub printing offers. Visit our dye-sub page to learn more about the full dye-sub solution we offer, including printers, inks, transfer papers, ChromaLuxe® panels and heat presses.

Celebrating 10 Years of Sunset Print Awards

For the last decade, the Sunset Print Awards have been bestowed upon more than 110 photographers, all of whom received cash prizes and the coveted crystal trophy. For the 2018 competition, we’ve decided to give more photographers the opportunity to vie for the top spot. The five Professional Photographers of America districts will offer a Sunset Print Award in eight categories, in which winners will need to showcase the fundamental “elements of excellence.”

There are several opportunities over the next few weeks to earn awards at the following events:

  • Feb. 8-10: Photo Pro EXPO – Kentucky PPA
  • Feb. 9-11: PhotoMax – PP of Michigan
  • Feb. 9-12: Professional Photographers of Iowa Winter Convention 2018
  • Feb. 22-23: Western District Photographic Competition
  • Mar. 8-9: Northeast District Photographic Competition

To see a full list of scheduled events throughout the year, check out the up-coming awards schedule on the Sunset website.

The regional 2018 Sunset Print Awards will be available to colleges, camera clubs, etc., as well as professional organizations, like PPA and WPPI. All the regional winners will be in contention for one of the top three spots in the National Sunset Print Competition held at PPA – International Photographic Competition (IPC).

Visit the Sunset website for additional information on individual events, submission rules, competition application and more.