looking for suggestions equipment + paper/cardstock

Discussion in '8 ½ x 11 Color Laser Printers' started by iomongol, Dec 12, 2019.

  1. iomongol

    iomongol Member

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    Hello,

    I'm planning to print 5000-8500 monthly flyers/postcards in Letter/A4 format (or slightly smaller to look different) to be distributed via USPS EDDM*. Printing on both sides. The paper will needs to be thicker than normal copy/print paper, hence, I'm hoping to receive recommendations for:

    1. Printer that can handle cardstock/thicker paper

    Goal is to be able to do budget printing (black/white or color) in bursts of 1000-2000 pages per session in acceptable quality (mostly text, no high graphics). Budget means the ink/toner is affordable and easy to obtain.

    2. Paper type (thickness/type)/supplier.
    Either standard A4/Letter or ideally something slightly shorter/thinner (to look different), perhaps paper should have color/not white (to look different).

    Goal is the same find the balance between quality and the cost. In addition since the paper will be mailed it should withstand a bit of abuse.

    I'm very new to the subject matter. My apologies in advance.

    Thank you, ilya

    *EDDM

    More than 11-1/2 inches long, or more than 6-1/8 inches high, or more than 1/4 inch thick, except as allowed for EDDM-Retail flats under 140. For general retail mailability, all pieces 1/4 inch thick or less must be a minimum of 5 inches long and 3-1/2 inches high and 0.007 inch thick.

    EDDM-Retail flats must weigh no more than 3.3 ounces and must have a length greater than 10-1/2 inches long, or a height greater than 6-1/8 inches high, or a thickness greater than 1/4 inch thick. See 101.2.0 for general minimum and maximum dimensions.
    EDDM-Retail flats must be part of a saturation flats mailing with all pieces bearing simplified addresses meeting the saturation and addressing standards in 602.3.0. Each mailing must consist of 200 or more pieces or 50 or more pounds of mail up to a maximum of 5000 pieces per day per 5-digit ZIP Code. As an exception to this minimum quantity, a mailing to all addresses in a 5-digit ZIP Code area may contain fewer than 200 pieces when there are fewer than 200 deliverable addresses in the entire ZIP Code service area to which the pieces are mailed. All pieces in a mailing must be entered at the designated Post Office servicing the routes and Post Office Box sections to which delivery is intended.
    EDDM-Retail flats are not subject to the ZIP Code accuracy or Move Update standards.
    Additional basic standards for USPS Marketing Mail flats in 243.3.0 apply to EDDM-Retail flats, unless stated otherwise in 140.

    Not more than 15 inches long, or more than 12 inches high, or more than 3/4 inch thick.
    Flexible (see 2.3).
    Rectangular with four square corners or with finished corners that do not exceed a radius of 0.125 inch (1/8 inch). See Exhibit 201.1.1.1.
    Uniformly thick (see 2.4).
    Unwrapped, sleeved, wrapped, or enveloped.
     
  2. iomongol

    iomongol Member

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    merry christmas then! ;)
     
  3. xfactor printing

    xfactor printing Senior Member

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    Start by zeroing in on the GSM weight of the stock you need to run.

    60# cover (162 GSM)? Or lighter or heaver?

    Is there a minimum USPS thickness requirement for these?
     
  4. iomongol

    iomongol Member

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    @xfactor printing Thank you for the response. Apparently there is no minimum thickness requirement, only maximum that is set at 3/4 inch thick.

    From practical point of view the paper should be thick enough to withstand handling by USPS. EDDM program requires minimal handling, basically a postman takes a bundle of postcards from me and then drops each card in each mailbox on the route. So, yes, something 60-80# should work.
    I hope to experiment with different thickness to find the best suitable paper for each use (EDDM, mailing to specific address anywhere in the country, etc).

    My problem is that I can't figure out which printer I should get nor paper supplier, without breaking a camel's back.
     
  5. xfactor printing

    xfactor printing Senior Member

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    It will be difficult to get a good paper supplier with volume less than 10,000 sheets per month. It's easier to get industry pricing if you're getting truck loads, and for that volume you might have to depend on the big box office stores to supply you for a while. Might check with Unisource / Veritiv -- think their minimum order is $500 and they should handle all the ip stocks.
     
  6. xfactor printing

    xfactor printing Senior Member

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    If you can use 60# cover or lighter a small printer could be able to do it. 80# or heavier, and I wouldn't consider it on anything smaller than a $25,000 machine unless you can handle routine headaches getting it to run. This is the type of job I'd run on one of my larger machines when it was having a quality issue. Or near the end of its lease when I wanted to get some value out of it but already had a new machine to do my high coverage work. Or when I wanted to use up some drums that had issues on a larger machine. Trouble with small machines is that toner and other parts are never cheap for them and small machines and heavier stocks don't run great.
     
  7. iomongol

    iomongol Member

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    @xfactor printing Thank you again and Happy Holidays! Thank you for the explanation, it makes perfect sense. In terms of smaller printer for up to #60, what would you recommend taking in consideration the lower cost of printing and dependability of the machine when printing in volume. I'm assuming it should be laser printer, correct ?
     
  8. OkiTech

    OkiTech Senior Member

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    Yes, Laser, well, many printers these days utilize an LED array technology - no moving parts, no polygon motor, no mirrors, OKI Printers as well as Xerox Phaser 7500, Phaser 7800 are all LED array now, no more laser. But yes, printer you get will be/should be toner based, not an Ink -Jet.
    You said you plan on printing 2 sided, please look very carefully on the spec sheet of whatever device you'd be considering. Most of the printer manufacturers advertise what media weight printer can run straight up but it takes time to find what it can actually flip to print second side and quite often they say up to 300gsm while duplex only 215gsm.
    I don't think going for a smallest possible printer is a good idea, #1) durability of Staples style printers leaves a lot to be desired #2) Cost of supplies for those would be kind of ridiculous #3)It should be printer with separate Toner cartridge of descent capacity (No, not Brother ) Separate Drum.
     
  9. iomongol

    iomongol Member

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    @OkiTech Thank you and Merry Christmas!
    1. I looked at OKI before, seems like this is their niche somewhat to print on thick paper, which ones would you suggest/recommend ?
    1.1 What stopped me are complaints (alleged) about cost of the cartridges and only OEM catridges work well, the ones from Ebay/etc are not proper.
    2. Any specific models you might suggest with other manufacturers ?
    2.1 Brothers are not good. Check! ;)
    3. In case, I can't find/afford a duplex printer. Would it be ok to print one side and then flip and print the other side ? Just checking!
     
  10. OkiTech

    OkiTech Senior Member

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    Merry Christmass to you as well and everyone who celebrates it.
    Yes you can do manual duplex and perhaps it would be ok if you had 800-1000pages to print not 8000-10000 per month, I mean how much time are you planning/willing to spend doing this?
    I can help running OKI/Intoprint/Xante (all pretty much the same) at very reasonable price using genuine OKI supplies. Also, the rule of the industry is -as more expencive the printer is, then less expencive cost per page that comes out of it.
    I. E. You can buy a $500 printer and it will cost you 10c for every page/side that comes out of it, if you buy $50,000 printer it will cost 2-3cents to print the same page plus it can do it much faster too, thus saving most valuable part of the process - your time. (those are relative numbers, not to be taken literally).
     
  11. OkiTech

    OkiTech Senior Member

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    Regarding 1.1 - alleged cost per print.
    I will type up a breakdown of approximate cost per page for OKI printer. Lets say used, in very nice condition, fully serviced such printer will cost $2200 from me, delivered to Florida. It would help if you pick few other suspects so we could use the same method to calculate what will it cost to print on other printers.
     
  12. iomongol

    iomongol Member

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    @OkiTech That's the problem, I'm yet to even get to model specifics. Looked at brother, oki, hp, lexmark. Still confused with compatibility (to be able to print on thicker paper in bulk). So, very open for suggestions to look for specific models from manufacturers that you prefer. It is clear that initial cost of the machine is one thing, but cost of cartridges/drums/etc and maintenance is much more important. Regretfully, I'm not in position to get a machine over 1k, hopefully later.

    Swing to the left. If the need for color to be removed, I'm assuming it would be a significant help to lower finances needed for both printer and the catridges. If possible, please suggest a few model there as well. Print on thick paper (large A4/Letter postcards) in bulk, single (or duplex), 2500-5000 per month.

    PS I think the market is missing a unified printer selector for high volume printing and unique requests such as printing larger formats or thick paper and I'm sure there is miriad more. Unified Printer Selector website. There are some printer selectors, but they are not adequate and pretty much all for consumer. Main gimmick can be a cost of ownership and per page for each machine = most important parameters to start with.
     
  13. OkiTech

    OkiTech Senior Member

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    Ilya, you can pretty much ommit A4 size on this continent. In over 15 years running copy/print shop in Brooklyn, NY I was asked for A4 handful of times mostly by customers from post-soviet countries who had their artwork created by designers from Ukranie, Russia, Belorus and so on. I can convince you in to buying OKI printer layout all the details but we will not fit in to $1k, just shipping will be at least $300.
     

  14. iomongol

    iomongol Member

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    There will be no artwork, just plenty of numbers and letters, but I do need space and make sure it is readable, plus the different factor, hopefully will make a difference. Seems like the mailing cost is the same for smaller postcard vs larger one.

    Roger on printer pricing and shipping. Seems like still large/heavy machine that goes on pallet due high shipping. :(

    So in the nutshell:
    -buying a Staples or desktop printer would not work based on the volume
    -more expensive printers can drastically reduce the cost of the printouts as well do it faster (safe time)
    -printer should be lazer/led
    -specs to be verified and checked to make sure the printer can handle thicker paper in duplex mode (for duplex printers)
    -in theory one can do one side printing and then flip and print the back side again

    Thank you for all the information and guidance provided. Appreciate it. Happy New Year when it comes.
     
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