Last updateMon, 01 Feb 2021 12pm

Making time and money with fast printing and scanning of multiple, large format plans

Careful planning and efficient organisation are prerequisites to successfully complete any project on time. In the construction and property development market, respecting project schedules can affect the financial viability of the whole investment. Delays may result in increased interest payments, a rise in construction costs and even the loss of investment resources when public funds contribute to project financing.

Getting from the drawing board to the completed project poses numerous challenges, and involves meeting inflexible milestones. SGA Arquitectos Associados is a busy architects' studio based in Montijo, Portugal. Joana Gouveia, one of the seven architects working at the studio, describes a recent project for which the client intended to take advantage of public funding. „A local, not-for-profit housing and development institution commissioned our studio to develop a kindergarten project. The overall project consisted of 700m2 (2,297ft2) - a two-floor building and the surrounding land. We had one month to complete the project because we had to meet the government deadline so the client could obtain 70 percent funding. If there's government funding with a deadline, you cannot miss it. There's a lot of money involved - hundreds of thousands of Euros," Gouveia declares, adding, „The job involved printing eight sets of 18 plans - one A1/D plan, 13 A2/C plans and four A3+/ B+ plans for a total of 162m2 (533ft2). Two sets of plans went to the planning office, one each for the education authority, the fire department, the health and safety authority and the client, plus two for ourselves. On top of that we had to produce at least another three sets for contractors to get quotes. Everything we print goes to the HP Designjet T1120 SD-MFP. It's really fast and it has replaced our old printer. It saved me four hours' work just on that project. We've had it for about five months and it has taken the stress out of meeting deadlines and reduced overtime. We have just been commissioned to do two other large projects by the same client," Gouveia claims.
Team player for multiple projects
SGA Arquitectos Associados appreciate the high impact the HP Designjet T1120 SD-MFP is having on the quality and definition of its plans, simplifying its workflow and contributing to the smooth completion of multiple projects. „We are printing a lot more. We are printing about four hundred A0/E drawings per month. Yesterday alone I printed 78 A1/D-size plans. With our old printer I had to announce the printing schedule to the rest of the team, organise it and stop all other jobs. The other staff would have to wait, or print one specific drawing if it were very urgent. Now we assign priorities to each project and using the job centre in the Embedded Web Server each member of staff can quickly manage the job queue to print an urgent job if needed. When we reverted back to our old printer recently to use up the ink, work just accumulated, even in a single day," Gouveia explains. „Before I would cut and fold a plan and then another drawing would come out. With the HP Designjet T1120 SD-MFP while I cut and fold there are four more drawings ready for finishing. If a colleague helps then the project can be shipped much earlier," Gouveia adds.
No more costly delays
Gouveia describes the risks of providing incomplete or unclear drawings. „The local authorities would stop the approval process and send us a formal notification by registered post, we would then correct or simply reprint the drawing and formally notify them of the change and deliver the reprinted drawing. This can delay projects by one or even two months, just because a minor detail is unclear or missing. With our old printer we would sometimes have to calibrate the printheads and reprint drawings. It would run out of memory and pages would be blank, and when you noticed you would have to identify the file, open it in the application and send it to the printer again. These issues never happen with the HP Designjet T1120 SD-MFP, and if you do want to reprint a drawing for any reason you can use the job centre tool to preview the printer-ready file and instantly reprint it."
From the finest detail to the big picture
The high image quality, sharp lines and detail offered by the HP Designjet T1120 SD-MFP and its robust all round performance ensure that the only surprises are positive ones. „The printer is so fast and definition is absolutely amazing, right down to the texture on palm trees from AutoCAD's object library at 1/200 scale. The scanner gives us instant, large format colour copies with the handwritten notes of all the design changes. Lines are sharp and colours are perfect," Gouveia says. „There is always text in the legend and descriptions. The lines are very sharp and clear. In our old printer some details would appear like a grey spot on the drawing and we would have to eliminate them in smaller scale drawings because you could not define what the object was," Gouveia claims.
SGA Arquitectos Associados also use the HP Designjet T1120 SD-MFP to prepare bids that are presented on display panels created in Adobe® Photoshop and consist of a combination of 3-D images of the project, created with Artlantis 3D, A1/D or A2/C photos and text. „We are printing at normal speed and we get really good quality. The lines are perfect and the colours are accurate. With the separate grey cartridge we now get true neutral greys. For display panels for bids and for plans we print on HP Bright White Inkjet Bond Paper to get sharp, bold colour lines. Some local authorities request plans on transparent film so we use HP Natural Tracing Paper or HP Matte Polyester Film. Taking part in bids is increasingly important, particularly due to the importance of public sector investment in the current economic climate, and the HP Designjet T1120 SD-MFP gives us the quality we need," Gouveia comments.
Shared information for a unique view
The HP Designjet T1120 SD-MFP offers SGA Arquitectos Associados large format colour copying and scanning for the first time. Gouveia explains how the copy feature is contributing to project development. „Initially we thought we wouldn't use it, but now we even use it for small documents because it's faster than our office scanner. We scan draft plans that include handwritten notes made during a meeting. We used to take notes in our notebooks. Members of the team may have to change certain parts of the plan: structural engineers will make their corrections, architects and landscape designers their own. After the meeting we all have the handwritten notes on the original drawing. It's faster this way and no information is lost in the transfer - everybody knows," says Gouveia.
„Before we would scan plans in parts, by folding the drawing, and then sticking it together and it would take at least twenty minutes. Now we scan a drawing in less than a minute. Engineers that come to a meeting, get their copies before they go."
New technology saves hours/day
Gouveia highlights how the HP Designjet T1120 SD-MFP is giving her more time to dedicate to the creative side of her activity. „The HP Designjet T1120 SD-MFP is really easy to use. At first I was the person in charge of the machine but everyone in the office was quickly familiar with all the features they needed. Scanning, copying and printing options are so clear and you get the high quality output you want instantly. It's fast whether you scan or print and it has made a big impact in such a short time. We are all paid by the hour, except for two members of staff, and I save one hour per day on average by not having to manage and wait for prints. Multiply that by the other nine members of staff and we're saving a lot of time and money. With the time I save, I can spend more time on developing projects, their organisation and making sure everything is correct." Gouveia concludes, „Clients are happier, I am happier without the stress and everything is ready when we need it."



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