Upgrading digital and other equipment

MIE

Member
Wow, okay you have a lot to deal with. Rather than looking at multiple levels of equipment for different purposes, perhaps you should do a breakdown of your existing work and the percentages of demand in relation to the equipment. Rather than buying equipment to cover all of the possible types of work you have, you should focus on your core printing and use external trade houses for the specialty items such as NCR. Cutters are great, however, very expensive to maintain. Slitters and blades are not cheap. A decent guillotine would do all of that for you. In regards to minimum cut size. Stick with what you can do and get your clients to fit your limitations. For business cards under a certain size, you can make a cutting block out of card stock. For example. Business card at 50mm is too small for the gauge, create a cutting block at 100mm and set you final cut at 150mm. As long as it clears the guillotine clamp plate, you will be good to go. Keep your overheads low so if you get a drop in work, you dont have high lease payments and or cash in the bank. A lot of problems are created by designers who create artwork outside of basic industry standards, and print shops are trying to cover all demands. It not sustainable for small print shops.
 

tngcas

Well-known member
We used to have to reprint stuff cut wrong, especially business cards, usually the stack didn't get pushed back in the guillotine cutter and then the whole stack was messed up. We use it for bleed trimming, greeting cards, postcards (bleed) and tons of business cards. With your preset jobs it is wonderful, and truly load and walk away. It did come with some templates, but I prefer to use the wizard feature and the step by step and save jobs for reuse. Takes some patience and a few wasted sheets to set up, I haven't been able to train my one staff, she gives up, but that is how she handles most new things, and she did not pay attention during the training. She just uses the jobs I create, hasn't worked well for her when I am on vacation. I think it is easy to setup.
I've learned it takes a certain mindset to understand these machines. I got frustrated with my first few employees that were unable to master it. It seems simple to me but I think if you're brain can't do it, it can't do it. I had one employee that mastered it after about 8 months but that seems like soo long compared to the like 2 days it took me to understand the machine. <shrug>
 

KeepSwimming

Active member
We used to have to reprint stuff cut wrong, especially business cards, usually the stack didn't get pushed back in the guillotine cutter and then the whole stack was messed up. We use it for bleed trimming, greeting cards, postcards (bleed) and tons of business cards. With your preset jobs it is wonderful, and truly load and walk away. It did come with some templates, but I prefer to use the wizard feature and the step by step and save jobs for reuse. Takes some patience and a few wasted sheets to set up, I haven't been able to train my one staff, she gives up, but that is how she handles most new things, and she did not pay attention during the training. She just uses the jobs I create, hasn't worked well for her when I am on vacation. I think it is easy to setup.
Thank you for your input!
 

KeepSwimming

Active member
Wow, okay you have a lot to deal with. Rather than looking at multiple levels of equipment for different purposes, perhaps you should do a breakdown of your existing work and the percentages of demand in relation to the equipment. Rather than buying equipment to cover all of the possible types of work you have, you should focus on your core printing and use external trade houses for the specialty items such as NCR. Cutters are great, however, very expensive to maintain. Slitters and blades are not cheap. A decent guillotine would do all of that for you. In regards to minimum cut size. Stick with what you can do and get your clients to fit your limitations. For business cards under a certain size, you can make a cutting block out of card stock. For example. Business card at 50mm is too small for the gauge, create a cutting block at 100mm and set you final cut at 150mm. As long as it clears the guillotine clamp plate, you will be good to go. Keep your overheads low so if you get a drop in work, you dont have high lease payments and or cash in the bank. A lot of problems are created by designers who create artwork outside of basic industry standards, and print shops are trying to cover all demands. It not sustainable for small print shops.
Hi MIE,
You're right, a lot going on right now. The equipment I'm looking at is a necessity, other than the Duplo. We print a lot of envelopes and NCR so I need to be able to do those in house cost effectively, without an offset press. We have already rigged the guillotine to cut 2", but the back stop is slightly askew and when we press the blade buttons it jumps a bit, or hesitates. That tells me something electronic is starting to go. I can get someone from 2 hours away to make adjustments / repairs, but they are the same ones who moved it in and set it up in the first place. I have no other options within 4 hours. We also make do or rig up other old equipment to perf and score, and we do a lot of that too. I think 1) I would rather not frustrate my awesome and hard working employees with antiquated equipment 2) I prefer to be pro active instead of reactive 3) I am under the impression that the more you bundle in the contract, the better the pricing. I agree that keeping the overhead down is important, but payroll is the biggest expense and if we can work more efficiently, we can do more with less employees.
 

MIE

Member
Hi MIE,
You're right, a lot going on right now. The equipment I'm looking at is a necessity, other than the Duplo. We print a lot of envelopes and NCR so I need to be able to do those in house cost effectively, without an offset press. We have already rigged the guillotine to cut 2", but the back stop is slightly askew and when we press the blade buttons it jumps a bit, or hesitates. That tells me something electronic is starting to go. I can get someone from 2 hours away to make adjustments / repairs, but they are the same ones who moved it in and set it up in the first place. I have no other options within 4 hours. We also make do or rig up other old equipment to perf and score, and we do a lot of that too. I think 1) I would rather not frustrate my awesome and hard working employees with antiquated equipment 2) I prefer to be pro active instead of reactive 3) I am under the impression that the more you bundle in the contract, the better the pricing. I agree that keeping the overhead down is important, but payroll is the biggest expense and if we can work more efficiently, we can do more with less employees.
I totally understand. Have you considered a small offset. They are easy to operate and take very little training for the sort of work you are talking about. I dont envy your situation. The problem with digital finishing equipment is that in most instances, they are light weight construction and dont go the distance. An outlay on an offset press, even a 10-20 older press will last for another 20 years if you look after it. Ryobi is a good brand.
 

Ynot_UK

Well-known member
@MIE I wouldn't imagine there are many (any?) digital printers looking to venture into offset nowadays. There's so many reasons not to do that - the need for a skilled press operator, chemicals, rags, space, etc. when you can sub out decent volumes so cheaply nowadays.. and if the job isn't decent volume, you can run it cost effectively on a fast, modern digital press. For any digital printer looking to diversify, there are many ways to invest and add value to your service portfolio, but offset really isn't one of them.

Regarding finishing equipment, if you buy industry standard professional equipment, it's far from light weight and will last 20 years+ if looked after and serviced.
 

KeepSwimming

Active member
I totally understand. Have you considered a small offset. They are easy to operate and take very little training for the sort of work you are talking about. I dont envy your situation. The problem with digital finishing equipment is that in most instances, they are light weight construction and dont go the distance. An outlay on an offset press, even a 10-20 older press will last for another 20 years if you look after it. Ryobi is a good brand.
I have 2 very old offset presses that need to retire, and there are no pressman in this area. Another shop and I have been looking for a long time. That's why we're going all digital now.
 

De-Inking

Avanti
Sustainable Printing Goes Far Beyond Using FSC Certified or Recycled Paper
This informative paper on deinking: demand, principles, problems and solutions also explains why printing technologies are not all equally compatible with paper recycling systems; and why just a small fraction of printed material in the paper can cause difficulties.
Link To White Paper

   
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