Industry trends

5 tips for choosing the right large format printer plotter

 

In an industry continually pressed for time, an efficient and reliable large format printer plotter that can translate CAD drawings, technical drawings, and plans onto paper quickly and on-demand is crucial.
 
From an IT perspective, the requirements are a little different. The top concerns among IT teams are:


• Connectivity capabilities
• Document and data security
• Ease of use
• Print speed
 

 
With so many large format brands and models in the market, how do you choose the plotter or printer plotter that meets the needs of IT teams, creatives, and engineers alike? Here are some important things to consider
 


1. Security down to your hardware
 

Large format printers and plotters are as much targets as your workstation. In fact, unsecured printers can open the door to hackers or malicious code infiltrating your organization.
 
A secure boot process is a key component of large format printer security. This embedded feature automatically validates the integrity of its BIOS code. Validation failure triggers a restart, and a saved “golden copy” of the BIOS is then loaded.
 
Large format printer security includes protecting sensitive data. Secure user authentication controls help to ensure that only individuals with the proper credentials can access the large format printer and its confidential documents
 
Whitelisting is another essential security component. It ensures firmware integrity by using a digital signature to verify that only authentic and authorized code, solutions, and third-party files are loaded into the large format printer’s memory. Similarly, a restart will be triggered when an unauthorized file is detected to prevent execution of a potential malware exploit.
 


2. Get everyone on the same page
 

Mobility in large format printing and scanning is essential for smooth collaboration. Wi-Fi enabled large format printers eliminate the need for users to have access to a router or a local network. And that makes it possible for anyone with their own smartphones, laptops, or tablets to print their large format drawings.
 
Projects can be delayed with stakeholders when the latest designs or technical drawings can’t access the large format printer in your office or out in the field. Providing everyone with access to the same tools helps to make sure that projects can progress, especially when many stakeholders are involved.


3. Keep track of spending
 

The frenetic pace of (AEC) offices generate a significant number of technical documents as teams constantly rework their designs. Such activity can accumulate costs as quickly as it depletes resources.
 
Data tracking and reporting software is the first thing IT teams need if they want to manage and oversee large format printing activity and spending. Ideally, this should be able to produce detailed and easy-to-read reports as well. These reports can provide insights on a particular user, department, project, or individual jobs. Depending on what is important to your team, you can craft your reports based on key weekly, monthly, or quarterly metrics.


4. Less is more
 

Indeed, less IS more when it comes to your large format printer’s user interface. Confusing or cluttered user panels present problems and a constant source of frustration for many users. Large format printer plotters that are designed with the end user in mind, enable greater self-sufficiency, and are less reliant on the IT help deck to resolve menial tasks. A product with intuitive functionality also means less training or assistance for first-time use.
 


5. Minimize delays with large format hard copies
 

No project is safe from delays. Downtime can be caused by the remote or inaccessible field sites, or harsh weather. Connectivity in these areas can also be problematic, which is why it’s useful to have hard copies in these situations.
 
Today, large format printer plotters are more cost-effective than ever. And they deliver documents with higher resolution and color accuracy than previous generation printer plotters. More importantly, they are evolving to help IT departments do more—for a lot less.
 

Keep these 5 points in mind when you’re choosing a fast, reliable, and easy-to-use large format printer plotter to boost the productivity of your IT teams, creatives, and engineers.

Download our eBook now to discover how innovation is streamlining workflows, producing prints of unmatched quality, and increasing IT efficiency like never before.

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