Proven advice for industrial applications and other situations where delivering less-than-flawless prints isn’t an option.
By Mike Young
The three jobs that failed at the research company mentioned earlier had more issues than just emulsion thickness. When the client was asked how the specs and some provisions of the jobs were determined, they admitted that most were culled from the internet. In many instances, researchers, developers, and project engineers adopt a set of pre-existing specs because it seems to meet their needs. Is it a fair burden for printers to conform to such rigid tolerances knowing that they are unwarranted and put their own bottom line at risk?
One way to bridge this gap is a price scale that reflects incremental cost increases when job specifications drift from the customary to the extreme. Take the first factor discussed in this article: the frame size. To stay within one customer’s specs, the IFR could be more than 30 percent of the screen. Yet for another customer, the exact same job could mean the ratio had to be reduced to 22 percent to meet the higher QC specifications. When presented with the cost increases, the client may see the specs as excessive, with too much fudge factor built in, or deem them absolutely essential if they are producing a top-shelf finished product.
A printed circuit board that costs 75 cents would be fitting for a calculator used as a promotional giveaway, but certainly unacceptable as part of an airline cockpit. Conversely, a $150 circuit board that would be more applicable for a plane would be overkill for the calculator. Merely applying common sense can identify excessive specs in many instances.
When a job’s specs appear to be an overindulgence that drives up the price, it is the printer’s prerogative to take exception to them in a business-like manner. We printers may not know much about product design and engineering – but chances are our clients know even less about printing. You might be surprised by the outcome. Many sticking points may be negotiable and alternatives readily acceptable. After all, customers always appreciate cost savings. When vendors show them how to eliminate unnecessary fat from their specifications, clients will be likely to reward them with more business.
The Groundwork for Success
Capitalizing on the lucrative high-performance and functional applications that are emerging requires screen making skills to be taken up to the next level. Applying just one of these principles can make a world of difference. When all five are under control, then taking on more elaborate and intricate work becomes a stress-free proposition that leaves the bottom line largely intact.
Read more from our October/November 2018 issue.
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