Starting a Digital Printing Business
I'm quite new around here, and still learning a lot about the digital world, we have always printed most of our jobs with offset, but lots of our clients seems to be making a demand for small runs. In addition, we saw a promising market ahead, working with printing on demand, web to print and so on. Witch machines would you think is better to start with? We have already budgeted 3 printers, the Ricoh C901 pró, HP Indigo 3550 and the Xerox Docucolor 8080. Of course we are searching of for the best cost/benefits, a lower price with a lower click charge and maintenance but with a good productivity and quality. We are estimating to have around 40k or 50k per month, and increase year by year. Do you have any suggestions?
Thank you very much already!
You have a lot a lot options available to you. Some of the machines you're looking at, the Indigo 3550 might be a wee bit overkill, considering 40-50K impressions a month (even when considering a 25% sustained growth). The HP 3550 and Xerox 8080 are a bit on the pricey side. With the HP you'll probably want a person dedicated to running the machine.
There are many other factors to consider including; image quality, media handling, productivity speed, expandability, reliability/durability, and service in your area (a big one). If media handling of 110lb card, 300 GSM is acceptable, (I assume it is as you're looking at Xerox 8080), I'd look at the either the Konica Minolta bizhub c7000 or the Xerox 770. If you see yourself needing to run heavier stocks (130lb, 350GSM), than the Konica Minolta bizhub C8000 would be a better option. Both have decent inline finishing options, but I'm guessing the majority of you're finishing will be offline.
Make sure to test out whatever machine you're looking at extensively. Bring your own files and paper. Run the machine(s) through all the scenarios you can imagine - even the ones you can't. Talk to other printers in the area and get feedback about service - this is crucial. For example, depending on where your located, one company might offer bet service than its competitors. It comes down to the techs training and availability.
Good luck, and let us know which machine you end up with.
Thank you tysus for your reply.
After some analysis, I finally agreed with you… The HP Índigo is somewhat beyond our type of business, at least for now. I’ll look at this other machines that you told me..
I’m also checking another post in this blog where someone with more experience with me, helps to make a list of wishlist and criteria for choosing a new digital press.
Today I went to check on the Docucolor 8080. I was surprise with the attention that I received from Xerox, they’ve explain me everything and you didn’t have the feeling that they are trying to sell it to you at all cost. I really liked the engine, mostly of the part covered in metal (differently from the Ricoh, that everything seemed plastic) and I was really amazed about the owner of this other company said to me! He bought the docucolor in February, and they’ve made in the beginning of the ops, 300 k in 15 days! (is this reliable?)
Another thing that is rather interesting is the price of both machines (Xerox and Ricoh), they are pretty much the same although the Ricoh can’t work in such a large scale.
The quality of those machines seems somehow comparable, but the Xerox still produce a much brighter image.
We will see to those other machines that are capable with smaller production..
I’ll keep update about our negotiations
FYI the Ricoh machine is metal under all the plastic covers. Whoever designs the machines for Ricoh wants to hide all the metal parts under plastic covers. Also check out the Pro c751 it has similar capabilities to the 901 but is a lot cheaper.
Warning I am a Ricoh tech.
Hi guys, sorry for barging in. I am totally unbiased to either side, but seriously, just because Xerox tends to leave metal frame exposed and Ricoh tends to be more neat and covers it up, it does not make it flimsy and plasticy. Should your car maker leave bare frame parts around interior to convince you that this car is well built? Would you like to see frame lines and reinforcements when you look up and down or headliner and carpet is just fine ? I, personally, would go with KM or Xerox as far as color but I love our Ricoh MP9000 b/w. I have no idea about real life performance of the models you're discussing other that what I've read in this forum, but amount of bones exposed does not justify the copier, in my opinion. If amount of metal is so important , measure L x W x H / LBS of both
You realize that if copiers are not created by engineers but by market research people, at some point they will drive manufacturers to leave entire frame ugly-naked because customers see metal and think "O-O-O yeah, this must be built like a tank" , lets leave more metal and impress the customers even more.
Last edited by UnlimitedBT; 03-28-2012 at 11:24 PM.
Actually you have a point UnlimitedBT. It’s curious to assume though, but since the metal parts from Xerox tend to be more visible, it give you greater confidence in the machine (although, as you said and as msaeger said, this doesn’t mean that will endure more than others).
Well, as I said, last Wednesday I went to see the Xerox docucolor 8080 for myself. The machine seemed pretty good, but once I return to my company and compared the tests we’ve made in both Xerox and Ricoh, and also with our Offset (I know that is a little bit unfair to compare it with the offset but…). In end up that the quality is somehow inferior. (I’m not criticizing the machine, just saying that for our test, it did not pass..).
The test was performed with a high resolution image in several shades of blue, from a lighter one to darker one. Unfortunately it was clearly visible that the printer could not accomplish this alteration of colors very well, creating some strange stripes in the image and color variation.
I will continue testing other printers, and perhaps some smaller ones with lower costs to purchase.
Hi guys, back in the years when I worked for Toshiba and color copiers were taking their feet of the ground, we had learned that every technology / manufacturer had their own glitches / flaws, like some would do yellows best, others would not produce descent green - little things like that and embedded test page was designed to avoid the gamut machine could not reach . I am not sure what state of those "little things" today but yes - have your test file printed on Konica-Minolta and others, see how it will come out.
You know, I just went through the same thing you're going through. I tested the Xerox 770, went back and was somewhat disappointed with the results. It took me hours of looking at the results before I discovered there was something amok. I decided to retest the 770, with my own Fiery settings and, viola, I was getting amazing results. You'd expect that demo machines would be perfectly tuned, but this isn't always the case.
I've also tested the 8080 - it's a great machine. If you decide to re-test the 8080, and don't have someone on staff with knowledge of Fiery, I can always recommend some settings that will give you great results.
Also, have a look at my post (I documented the whole process of looking testing a new machine):
Really need feedback from Xerox 700i users (trying decide between C6000 and 700i)
If you just want my conclusions just jump to the last post of the last page.
Ricoh has made us a pretty good proposal on the Pro C901. In your point of view, can I ask you to please, describe some of the pros and cons of the printer? And also, in what do we need to give some special attention, once we start to running it and, I don't know if can give me this information, but, what is the medium click cost in the market, that they usually charge?
Thank you very muck already!
Pros I can think of are registration is very good the only compaint I have had about that was with paper that wasn't square, easy to service, will duplex 300 gsm, runs 300 gsm at 90 ppm.
Cons I can think of are if you want to do multiple widths of paper you will want a fuser for each width if you run stuff that is 100% coverage but that's not unique to this machine. The paper catalog is very powerful and you can tweak settings that used to be available only to service to get the best results from whatever paper you are using but the issue is it's complicated to use and you have to read a manual if you want to know what all the stuff does.
What kind of paper are you planning on printing on?
Here they can't sell the machine without the TCRU kit but if it's a option where you are you should get it if you care about up time.
I don't know what anything costs I don't really wanna know I know here it's a single click for any size page.
Warning I am a Ricoh tech.