If you want to drive a nail you don’t use a wrench, right? You use a hammer. Everybody knows that. You can use a wrench but it’s frustratingly slow, aggravating and is one of the leading causes of thumb damage. I remember once using a shoe in a college dorm room to drive a nail. But it’s not the right tool for the job.
We frequently run into printers lamenting over the huge checks they write each month to cover supplies, service contracts and particularly click charges for their toner based digital printers. $8K, $10K, $15K per month. It’s astonishing how frequently we hear it and how big those checks are. We always ask them, ” Just how many 100, 200 and 500 sheet runs do you do per month?”. Turns out, it never equals the amount that would use all of those clicks. Then we always ask them, “Why?”. And the answer is always the same….because they do a lot of 1000, 2500 and 5000 run length jobs on these same toner based machines Again, we ask them, “Why?”. It’s easy, and it’s fast. No doubt, and unlike driving a nail with a wrench it’s not aggravating or frustrating, in fact, it works just like it’s supposed to. It does cause pain though, financial pain. All those clicks come home to roost at the end of the month and when added up they hurt a lot more than a sore thumb.
A toner based digital printer is just not the right tool for the job.
On the other hand, a good, used Ryobi DI press in the 12 x 18″ format will cost you a little over $1K/Mo for the machine. After about 750 sheets you’ve hit the break even point where it becomes more cost effective to run the job on a digital offset press. After 1000 sheets the Ryobi DI starts to crush every other machine on the market and continues to crush them through at least 5000 sheets and sometimes beyond that. It costs $36 to make ready a job on the Ryobi DI but our cost per printed sheet in an apples to apples comparison caters after about 1200 sheets to well under a penny a sheet. If you are paying $.05 per click that’s $200.00 extra in click charges alone for a 5000 run. Do that once every other day for a month and it’s $3K that just went up the smokestack. Not the best use of your resources. That money should be going in your pocket. It’s all about run length. We only pick fights in our own neighborhood. It’s true that much larger new, automated presses can compete very well at the 2500-5000 sheet market – and we sell those too. All you need is $1Million+ to buy one. What we are talking about here is a $50-60K machine that will cost about $1K/Mo to own, doesn’t need a service contract, will last for years and years after the payments end and won’t be out-printed on an 11x 17″ finished sheet.
Let us introduce you to one of the more than fifty shops we have sold one to in recent years. They’ll explain it.