The purpose of the program is to serve the specialty graphics industry with an objective, central source of information on the subject of large format inkjet imaging devices. This is achieved by providing consistent digital imaging equipment information, tested and verified by representatives of SGIA.
An SGIA representative, serving as test observer, conducts timing and measurement. Operation of the machine is left to a qualified equipment operator provided/recommended by the equipment manufacturer. Equipment that is not operating as expected will not be tested at that time, and reporting on that unit/model will not take place until the unit is again fully operable.
Description of Machine - A short, narrative description of the machine that includes pertinent specifications (max. print width, resolution, etc.).
Specifications - This section details machine height, width, depth, weight, footprint size, and country of manufacture. Also included in this section are details regarding the firmware version tested, supported OS, and the type of computer interface needed.
Print Width and Dimensions - Details are provided for a number of criteria, including maximum print width and length, maximum roll width, maximum rigid media size and maximum rigid media print size, as well as maximum media thickness. For direct to garment inkjet devices, the maximum platen adjustment range and the adjustment method (manual, automatic) are also provided.
Number of Colors - This section provides colors that are supported by the device (CMYK, CMYKW, Varnish, etc.).
Printing Resolutions - This section of the report describes the printing modes supported which are listed as either the actual resolution (720x720, 1440x1440, etc.) or by name (high production, production, high quality).
Maximum Printing Resolution - The maximum resolution of the device is listed in this section (e.g. 720 x 720 dpi).
Activities for Standard Routine Maintenance - A list of standard routine maintenance activities that should be performed on the device on a regular basis. Approximate time to complete each activity and recommended frequency are included. Examples include time to complete a head purge, ink change, head alignment and cleaning/capping station maintenance.
Color Gamut - A color test chart is printed using a standardized X-Rite color target. The printed target is then scanned using an Eye One Pro or an ICColor to build a model of the device's color gamut. A visual model of the machine's inherent color gamut is presented, along with comparisons to both Adobe RGB and US Web SWOP v2 color spaces.
Service/Warranty Package - A description of the machine's warranty package is included in this section.
Description of Training & Service Structure - The training and service structure used to help support and maintain the digital device is described here, along with the price of the service if applicable. Also, the organization of the service structure is briefly described, in order to present a view of the complexity and capability of the Manufacturer’s support network.
RIP Availability/Compatibility - This section includes a listing of RIP software packages that support the machine, as well as the cost (where possible) for the software packages.
Print Speeds for Bi-Directional Printing - Print times are recorded for a standardized print image size in three different modes offered by the device (e.g. high production, production, high quality). For those direct to garment devices capable of printing dark shirts with white ink, the identical test is repeated to provide print times for dark garments. Time measurements begin when the print head begins printing and ends when print is complete. This measurement does not include RIP time. Results are outlined in a table showing the resolution, time to print, image size, and square feet per hour.
4x8 foot Boards per Hour - This section is used specifically for flatbed and hybrid equipment evaluations and reports the number of boards per hour using 4x8 foot sheets.
UV Lamp Intensity Settings - For wide format output devices using ultraviolet curing systems, this section provides a description of the machine's curing system and information on adjusting and controlling the system.
Theoretical Throughput (Wide Format Devices Only) - Using the square feet per hour calculated from print speeds collected, throughput calculations are created to reflect hourly, daily and weekly throughput resulting from each print mode. This calculation assumes continuous, bi-directional printing. Results are reflected in square feet per hour.
Ink - This section includes the type of ink delivery system (bulk, cartridge), the onboard ink volume, and whether 3rd party inks are available and/or will void the warranty. Ink cost is also reported for OEM ink, or that which is recommended for the unit by the Manufacturer. Ink costs are listed as cost per unit sold (liters, 500ml, 250ml, etc.).
Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price - The suggested retail price of the machine is listed here. Purchase prices are often subject to negotiation, and may be adjusted by the Manufacturer based on ink consumption or other factors.
Optional Machine Features - Many digital output devices offer options that serve to differentiate a specific piece of equipment from comparable machines within the same class. Common features may include flatbeds with optional roll-to-roll capabilities, opaque white ink or varnish, or materials handling (take on/take off) capabilities. This section lists optional features and their list price.
Print Heads - This section lists the print head Manufacturer and model number, the number of heads installed on the device, the number of print heads per color, the number of nozzles per print head, the droplet size or range, the life expectancy of the print head, and the cost of replacement print heads.
Power and Venting Requirements - This section specifies the electrical requirement, compressed air requirement, and venting configuration of the device.
Environment, Safety, and Health - This section includes recommended operating temperature and humidity ranges, and those issues associated with a safe workplace such as possible exposure to UV light and/or exposed moving parts.
Company Contact - Contact information, including mailing address, email, phone number, and Web site of the Manufacturer.