Bringing printing in house for online business

Discussion in 'Printing Business Practices' started by Benjamin Zand, Jul 20, 2021.

  1. Benjamin Zand

    Benjamin Zand New Member

    Jul 2021
    Miami Florida
    Hi everyone. Thank you for the wealth of knowledge shared on this forum, it is incredible. However, we are at a bit of a unique spot that I couldn't match up to other discussions.

    We sell various bookmarks and posters in addition to other non paper items. Our current click rate is around 4000/month, growing at around 20% a month. We currently use 18 pt CS2 or 150# paper which I understand is about 400 GSM. We also coat with matte UV and need duplex printing. Largest size is 12x16.

    I haven't been able to find an entry level printer that can handle this heavy paper. We have been talking with Noritsu printers for the posters but we would prefer a machine that can handle both.

    We are stationed in Miami, FL but use a print shop in Minnesota which charges us around $0.70 a click plus shipping. They use the Indigo 12000 so the quality seems tough to beat also with a lower end model.

    Any ideas for recommendations or scale at which the savings from having our own setup become worth the extra effort and hassle? Thanks for any insights!
  2. jwheeler

    jwheeler Member

    Apr 2019
    There's alot to consider here, and it would be advised that you sit down with a production print specialist from 1 or 2 of the big 4 vendors (Xerox, Konica Minolta, Canon, and Ricoh). I used to be a production specialist for KM so I can give you an idea of the process.

    Based on the info you provided, you're spending an average of $2,800 plus shipping. Let's round to a monthly spend of $3,000 since I don't know how much shipping is.

    If you owned your own production press, the average click rate per 12x18 sheet is about $0.05 (US). You didn't provide the specific brand of paper you're using for the 18pt C2S, but assuming it's something similar to the Spicers Tango 18pt C2S, the cost is $0.25 per sheet of paper. So you'd be spending $1,200 on clicks and paper if you owned/leased the machine, leaving $1,800 to work with for a monthly lease payment.

    The Konica Minolta C6085 (recently replaced by the C7090) can handle printing 400gsm duplex in single pass. This is a mid to high level press. The quality will look excellent - most local printers use a machine of this class. You're correct that an 'entry level' press won't handle 400gsm. Depending on how you configure the image processor and accessories on the press, you could get one for around $1,800 or less on a 60 month FMV lease. The other 3 vendors will have similar units in this class for a similar price. At this point you'd be breaking even, yet we are leaving out finishing. A UV coater will cost you anywhere from $15-25,000. A basic guillotine cutter will run in the $8-20,000 range for the size you'll need. Both the cutter and UV coater can also be purchased on a lease or payment plant.

    Another factor to consider is labor. Now you or a staff member will be doing the printing, uv coating, and cutting. The machines are quite automated these days, so it doesn't take a genius, but it does take time and an eye for detail. Lastly, you'll need a decent amount of building space with upgraded electrical panels to accommodate this equipment. The room also needs to be temperature and humidity controlled.

    At this point, I don't think you're doing enough volume to justify this entire setup. The factors that might override this is if your supplier is not meeting your timelines or you're having quality control issues. It could be worth shopping around to other suppliers if that's the case, however, $0.70 per press sheet is an excellent price with the type of paper and finishing you've described.