Businesses Are Reaping the Benefits of Production Printers
Businesses may well be trying to go paper-light, but printed documents are still critical for many company functions. Sometimes that can mean printing off a few quick sheets to post around the office or creating a contract on the fly. Other times, access to some serious printing capability is required. If the everyday office printer isn’t up to the challenge, a production printer may be just the upgrade you need.
An Introduction to Production Printers
So, what are production printers? Think of these as grown-up versions of a standard computer printer. They’re durable and high-speed, a good choice for printing in volume and large documents such as manuals. These machines are also known as digital presses or commercial printers.
What Can Production Printers Do?
A production printer will quickly and reliably produce printed media like:
- booklets and books
- employee manuals
Other printers may handle these tasks, too. However, production printers are built to do these in bulk and at speed without breaking down or sacrificing quality. They’re also designed to print high-resolution color prints and work with large or heavy papers and mixed media.
How Much Do Production Printers Cost?
You probably won’t find production printers for bargain-basement prices. These devices are big, highly capable, and ruggedly built.
Smaller and more basic machines are in the $20k to $100k price range. Midrange printers run from $40k to about $100k, so there’s a fair amount of budgetary overlap. High-tier printers start at $100k, with a few specialized models coming in at half a million dollars. These are pricey, but they make no compromises regarding printing speed, volume, paper types handled, and print quality.
Remember the Hidden Costs
While considering your options, keep in mind the additional costs of production printers.
Regular maintenance and repairs can add up, especially for the most complex of these devices. You’ll need to add to that materials expenditure such as auto-toner and reams of paper.
Don’t forget about your ‘space budget’ here. These printers are often at least 8 feet long, so make sure you have enough room. Add extra margins for employee safety.
Finally, production printers may require 220 volts 20+ amp lines. Double-check that your company’s outlets are up to the task, or get them upgraded.
The Benefits of Production Printers
Production printers come with enhanced capabilities you won’t find in a typical office model. They produce quality images quickly, give you flexibility in printing materials, and handle heavy use without breaking down.
Quality and Speed
Even at the low end, you’re looking at color print speeds of up to 80 ppm or up to 125 ppm for black and white jobs. Many can handle high dpi and full-color images. You’ll be getting those glossy photos and brochures quickly.
Due to their size and rugged design, these devices allow you to print on many materials, including:
- heavy cardstock
- oversized paper
- mixed media
Coupled with regular maintenance, these machines are workhorses in the office. They can print for hours at a time, doing accurate work from the first page to the last. If there’s a setting error or a mistake in the file to be printed, you can catch and correct it on the spot. This saves your business time and valuable resources.
Do We Need One In-House?
Is it time to upgrade to a production printer? Here are a few questions to ask yourself while narrowing down the field of potential models.
Which features do you need?
When you look at your yearly production needs, what do they cover? You may need to try a different manufacturer or increase your budget for a unit that can handle your requirements.
What media types and sizes are you printing?
Most of these devices can handle up to A3+ size paper. If you need something larger or want to print on alternative materials like vinyl, make sure the machine you’re looking at has the capability.
What support and services are available?
If something breaks down, what are your options? Does the manufacturer or seller provide trained professionals who can troubleshoot or repair the device? Is there any formal training available so your IT department can take over technical support?
Are you concerned about confidentiality?
Are you printing sensitive or proprietary information? Handling it in-house helps you manage that data. Your third-party print service may be a hacker´s next target.
Production printers also offer you a wealth of security features. You can monitor who is accessing the data, whisk the papers away to a secure location, personally clear the print cache, etc.
Do you want to handle print jobs in-house?
A third-party printer slows down the production process and can be a significant monthly expense. Production printers help you break this cycle and take control of your media creation process. Even an inexpensive device can handle large volumes of basic material.
Does your business produce a lot of printed material in an average month? What about color brochures or bulky training manuals? A feature-rich and sturdy production printer can handle your company’s high-volume and technically complex print jobs. They get the media into your hands faster than a third-party service. You’ll keep control over every aspect of production.
Are you interested in learning more about what these printers can offer your Houston business? Contact Stargel Office Solutions today to talk to one of our sales specialists about your options.