How to Tips & Tricks to reduce labor and improve profits producing plastic yard signs on your flatbed UV printer
How to print yard signs? It’s pretty simple with the right flatbed uv printer.
And right now especially, there is great opportunity in the yard sign market!
People want full color customized yard signs for a lot of different applications. Here are a couple of things that will help you to maximize your productivity when printing yard signs with UV.
When setting up to print multiple signs at one time on your printer bed take time to think of how the artwork aligns with the edge of your sign blank. This is important for a couple of reasons:
Not all corrugated sign blanks are created equal.
What does this mean? The edges are not always exactly even.
If you print a perfect 24” x 18” positioning box on your Compress iUV600s uv printer’s bed and try to place a 24” x 18” piece of pre-cut corrugated sign material on top, you’ll be surprised at the differences.
Aligned with the positioning box you will see that you may be 1/16” to 1/8” off in one direction or another.
But if you keep your artwork a little bit away from the sign edge your customer won’t be likely to notice AND it will save you time when trying to position your sign material prior to printing.
When you ARE designing signs that will bleed to the edge of the material try to set up your artwork so that two blanks can be printed butted up to one another. And the bleed aligns from one sign to the next (whether face the same direction or opposite directions).
It may not be evident to a new operator that the position of your sign blank (or any material you are printing) can effect the amount of time it takes to produce your output.
In the example we are using here – 24” x 18” corrugated yard signs – by turning the signs 180° so that that the “Truckers” image is closer to the capping station on the printer on both signs we were able to decrease our print time from 7:41 for the two signs to 7:28 almost 3% faster.
We then moved our signs so that the corner of the sign closest to the capping station aligned with the top and side of the print area as well.
Here is a big jump in efficiency – we went from 7:28 minutes to print the two signs to 7:02 minutes another almost 6% increase in efficiency.
If you are doing 100 two sided signs you would save over 43 ½ minutes of machine time and operator labor on this job!
At $15-20 per hour in labor that translates into an additional $11-14+ profit on this job.
On top of that your shop just became 6% more efficient in your printing department.
Are you using a sticky matt?
If you do not have a vacuum bed on your printer to hold down corrugated yard signs when you are printing them then you have definitely fought the blank to get it off the bed (or double sided tape if you do not have a sticky mat).
Here is a quick tip that will allow you to take advantage of the effectiveness of the sticky mat used by the Compress UV line up.
WITHOUT causing you to ruin work when removing the printed sign and maybe even damaging the sign by fighting with getting it off the bed.
For these 24” x 18” yard signs you want to place two 8 ½” x 11” pieces of paper down on the sticky mat roughly centered on each 12” x 18” half of the sign.
This will prevent the mat from grabbing about 43% of the sign face while still holding the edges and very center thus securing it to give a great print without making it impossible to remove.
Easily save another 5-10 seconds per sign when it comes to loading and unloading the bed.
Over the course of 100% two sided signs we are saving another 12-15 minutes of labor and freeing the machine up 15 minutes earlier to start our next job. More efficiency, more productivity, more profits!
Making yard signs is a GREAT business to be in, or can be a significant part of a general printing and customization business.
Watch this short video explaining printing graduation signs for local students/families and for local schools themselves.
Think about how these signs might fit into your business – then read the real world case study below.
One business recently published their real world costs and profits on a series of yard sign orders after a recent Facebook post about the capability. Here are those numbers:
Total cost of goods: $6.65 delivered
PROFIT PER SIGN: $8.65 each.
Total profit: $994.75
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