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  • Load share across mono and colour machine

    Hi folks,

    ​​​​​​Anyone have experience of software which will split a print run across a mono and a colour printer? I've heard Canon have a solution for this.

    We need fast print speed on a limited budget and I'm thinking a fast mono machine plus a less sophisticated colour machine might be a better way forward than just one large colour machine.
    ​​​​​
    We print large runs of legal docs in order. Some colour, and with printed tabs. Would just need a methodical way of handling the splitting across machines to avoid confusion when compiling the pages back together

  • #2
    Originally posted by bcr View Post
    Hi folks,

    ​​​​​​Anyone have experience of software which will split a print run across a mono and a colour printer? I've heard Canon have a solution for this.

    We need fast print speed on a limited budget and I'm thinking a fast mono machine plus a less sophisticated colour machine might be a better way forward than just one large colour machine.
    ​​​​​
    We print large runs of legal docs in order. Some colour, and with printed tabs. Would just need a methodical way of handling the splitting across machines to avoid confusion when compiling the pages back together
    Canon's PrismaPrepare will do it. I print a lot of books that have random color pages throughout. It has a "flag color" feature, and then once you define the color pages you can split the color and the b&w pages to different printers easily.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by bcr View Post
      Hi folks,

      ​​​​​​Anyone have experience of software which will split a print run across a mono and a colour printer? I've heard Canon have a solution for this.

      We need fast print speed on a limited budget and I'm thinking a fast mono machine plus a less sophisticated colour machine might be a better way forward than just one large colour machine.
      ​​​​​
      We print large runs of legal docs in order. Some colour, and with printed tabs. Would just need a methodical way of handling the splitting across machines to avoid confusion when compiling the pages back together
      Would the savings of having 2 different machines outweigh the time and effort of collating? Or would 1 machine that you could grab a finished document off of save you money in the long run?

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by AP90 View Post

        Would the savings of having 2 different machines outweigh the time and effort of collating? Or would 1 machine that you could grab a finished document off of save you money in the long run?
        Finished pile of documents is the ideal but I'm concerned about turnaround time. If I have to print a set of binders with 500 documents and 15,000 pages then I need to get maximum print speed for my money. At present I manually load share across two office printers in different buildings by picking out documents over a certain length and sending them to a separate machine. It's a bit of a nuisance...

        But I'm wondering if getting e.g. a 136ppm b/w machine and an 80ppm colour machine would be more efficient than just one heavy duty 80ppm colour one

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        • #5
          How many color pages are there in a binder? Could you print the color pages then put them in an inserter on the black and white machine to avoid doing a bunch of stuff by hand?
          Warning I am a Ricoh tech.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by msaeger View Post
            How many color pages are there in a binder? Could you print the color pages then put them in an inserter on the black and white machine to avoid doing a bunch of stuff by hand?
            It varies from job to job. Some might have a lot some hardly any... For example one run might have several full colour documents in it that are several hundred pages each, some might just have the odd colour page here and there... Kinda makes me think the way to do it would be to auto insert a slipsheet into the main b/w stack "replace with colour insert Page x to Page x" and then also a corresponding slipsheet before each one coming out the colour machine

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            • #7
              Originally posted by bcr View Post

              It varies from job to job. Some might have a lot some hardly any... For example one run might have several full colour documents in it that are several hundred pages each, some might just have the odd colour page here and there... Kinda makes me think the way to do it would be to auto insert a slipsheet into the main b/w stack "replace with colour insert Page x to Page x" and then also a corresponding slipsheet before each one coming out the colour machine
              I’m not so sure. If your worried about time and it doesn’t sound like it needs to be super high quality color, I’d be getting 2 lower end color machines. Say 2 xerox c70’s. No collolating, 140ppm and if one is down the other can still be running your documents. But I feel like I’d go crazy inserting like your talking about.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by AP90 View Post

                I’m not so sure. If your worried about time and it doesn’t sound like it needs to be super high quality color, I’d be getting 2 lower end color machines. Say 2 xerox c70’s. No collolating, 140ppm and if one is down the other can still be running your documents. But I feel like I’d go crazy inserting like your talking about.
                Fair enough, thanks for feedback, suspect you may be right. You're right about colour - it's not graphic design work just basic 'office colour'. Only complicating factor is that the machines need to insert tabs in between the documents as well which means it needs to be a machine with minimal slowdown on mixed media which I think means we have to look at a certain level of machine e.g. Ricoh 7210. The cheaper colour machines so far have an unacceptable delay between mixed media...

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                • #9
                  Do you have a post fuser inserter on your mono machine? We split the PDF apart for color pages and BW pages. Run the color on the 1000i or V180 and insert them on our mono machines all the time. You just have to figure out face up/down delivery on the color and program how many sheets to pull in the proper page order on the mono machine. Once setup it is really easy.

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                  • #10
                    Black clicks an a color machine cost more (for the most part) I don't think there is one simple answer for this (I used all the methods above) I feel the easiest (not always cheapest) is to send as big of sections to the black as possible not using any post sheet inserter. Send the next section with color to the other machine simultaneously, one operator can marry those two together while each is running. Work your way through the book untill the last section is printed and the books are finished as the last pages come off. I will use this method when we have preprinted tabs sometimes, breaking books and printer loads at a tab.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by bill kahny View Post
                      Black clicks an a color machine cost more (for the most part) I don't think there is one simple answer for this (I used all the methods above) I feel the easiest (not always cheapest) is to send as big of sections to the black as possible not using any post sheet inserter. Send the next section with color to the other machine simultaneously, one operator can marry those two together while each is running. Work your way through the book untill the last section is printed and the books are finished as the last pages come off. I will use this method when we have preprinted tabs sometimes, breaking books and printer loads at a tab.
                      this is how i was envisaging it.... each document under a tab with any colour in it gets printed entirely in colour and then inserted as a complete tab section.

                      but I think for now will aim for 2 colour machines

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I believe all the printer manufacturers have some kind of software to do that. I remember Xerox offered us a solution (based on Callas pdfToolbox Server), and Konica also had something similar.

                        In the end, we went down the road just like you described. We prepare separate color and black documents from an original, then print the color parts first. Our BW machine has a post-inserter (just for this purpose) and in the time of BW printing, it inserts the color sheets into the printed batch.

                        Caveats: you need _very_ precise documentation right from the start. There is a specific order to print the color sheets, and you have to insert them into the BW machine carefully in the right way. Then you have to put the 'slip sheet' numbers into the BW printer driver _very carefully_. When BW printing starts, pray for a smooth ride, as one misfed sheet (eg. in the middle of a batch) might ruin not only that batch, but everything after it (if your operator is not up to his job). If the job needs a reprint, you have to use your in-house documentation to perform the same tasks again, in the same manner, precisely. There is a minimal room for error.

                        All in all: I wouldn't buy the post-inserter again. The extra care which must put into these production runs aren't balanced by the savings. If I would be in you shoes, I would try two options:
                        • try to push the machine supplier to give you a 'special' price for black clicks on the color machine,
                        • buy a used BW machine (anything younger that 8-10 years is OK, since the technology is mature), and employ some temporary staff in the bindery to assemble the batches manually.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Puch View Post
                          I believe all the printer manufacturers have some kind of software to do that. I remember Xerox offered us a solution (based on Callas pdfToolbox Server), and Konica also had something similar.

                          In the end, we went down the road just like you described. We prepare separate color and black documents from an original, then print the color parts first. Our BW machine has a post-inserter (just for this purpose) and in the time of BW printing, it inserts the color sheets into the printed batch.

                          Caveats: you need _very_ precise documentation right from the start. There is a specific order to print the color sheets, and you have to insert them into the BW machine carefully in the right way. Then you have to put the 'slip sheet' numbers into the BW printer driver _very carefully_. When BW printing starts, pray for a smooth ride, as one misfed sheet (eg. in the middle of a batch) might ruin not only that batch, but everything after it (if your operator is not up to his job). If the job needs a reprint, you have to use your in-house documentation to perform the same tasks again, in the same manner, precisely. There is a minimal room for error.

                          All in all: I wouldn't buy the post-inserter again. The extra care which must put into these production runs aren't balanced by the savings. If I would be in you shoes, I would try two options:
                          • try to push the machine supplier to give you a 'special' price for black clicks on the color machine,
                          • buy a used BW machine (anything younger that 8-10 years is OK, since the technology is mature), and employ some temporary staff in the bindery to assemble the batches manually.


                          thanks for this. I've definitely decided against using a post inserter for this. if we were to do any kind of splitting across devices it will be on a per-document level and then we put under the relevant tab.

                          more likely now is that we get two colour machines and then we figure out load sharing across those.

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