Printing: Inkjet versus laser
Published 30 March 2007
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In the large format print market the battle between inkjet and laser technologies continues to rage, but specialist print reseller, City and West End Solutions, believes inkjets are emerging as the number one contender.
In todayİs CAD, Engineering and reprographics market, now more than ever is there a need for accurate hard copy prints combined with speed, cost and ease of use. This demand has led to the battle of the heavyweights in large format printing; large format digital inkjet versus high-end laserjet. The choice of hardware, software and third party media is now so vast and developments in technology have progressed so far that confusion to the customer abounds and can cause not only frustration, but loss of money ± ouch!
Specialist Value Added Reseller City and West End Solutions has been witness to the many changes in this market for over 30 years and is proud of the fact that it has rolled with the punches and is still providing solutions in large format print for its customers today. The company has strong views on the conflict for the title and why one in particular is emerging as the number one contender.
Doug Gilbertson, Managing Director of City & West End explains, ıHistorically digital inkjet and in particular, large format digital inkjet was perceived as being extremely expensive and difficult to operate, whereas this view has gradually been displaced and the reality is that large format inkjet printers are in essence the same as desktop inkjets ± but bigger. The view was further advocated by the then use of LED laser printers which were the de facto standard and tied companies in by using Ùclick chargeİ contracts.
ıThe main developments in large format inkjet technology are not just the sexy product features like unattended printing or multiple remote printing that has made it the favourite of the CAD industry but colour, cost and control. Colour was a massive step forward. LEDs were limited in that amendments on building plans, for example, could not be immediately distinguished whereas on an inkjet all amendments could be colour coded. Looking past the obvious printing needs like the production of plans etc, there were also other big advantages. As markets got fiercer in the building trade, then securing contracts became paramount and being able to produce rendered images of the finished building, incorporating digital photos of the site and many other visual possibilities gave companies the WOW factor.¯
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