Short Run Digital for Business Card Prints - Possible with Cheap CLP ?

Discussion in '8 ½ x 11 Color Laser Printers' started by Tcalp, Mar 9, 2012.

  1. Tcalp

    Tcalp Member

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    Hi Everyone,

    I run a design and print brokerage company and one of our primary points of business is printing business cards. Most of the time we source the printing to large industry only offset print houses, but on occasion we have clients who require same day turn around or next day turn around.

    Currently we still source this printing out to local digital print companies, but pay quite a lot (ex. $50 for 5,00 business cards, $85 for 1,000 business cards, $130 for 2,000 etc..). Plus the time our staff spends to either pick them up, or the cost of having a courier bring them to us.

    We are currently looking at picking up a small colour laser printer and pushing out these on our own. We don't need overly high volume as we would really only do maybe 500 printed sheets a month (maybe more if we decide to do letter head or something similar, but I'm not sure if it would be worthwhile).

    Anyhow, I'm not really sure what to look at getting as I'm not sure what desktop CLP's cross into this capability. We'd like to run 14PT card stock through. I would hope to spend less than $1,500 on a printer if it's possible.

    I'm also looking for advise/suggestions for an electronic cutter which would yield professional results.
     
  2. xfactor printing

    xfactor printing Senior Member

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    I'm not sure you'll find a sub $5000 printer that runs 14 pt reliably. On the smaller printers, if you can feed it without jamming or breaking, registration will be an issue if any card elements are close to the edges of the card.
     
  3. Tcalp

    Tcalp Member

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    Sorry I should have mentioned in my original post. I have no problem with picking up used equipment but I'm not sure what machines I should be keeping an eye out for.

    As an example: Konica Minolta Bizhub C250 I can pick-up for $1,000 used.
     
  4. Tcalp

    Tcalp Member

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    So it looks like I'll most likely be picking up a Konica Minolta BizHub Pro C500 Used
     
  5. xfactor printing

    xfactor printing Senior Member

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    There were some color and consistency issues reported by some users of the C500 compared to the bizhubs which superceeded it, but I'd far rather have a real metal machine to a tiny modern machine if the choice is one or the other for the cost.
     
  6. OkiTech

    OkiTech Senior Member

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    Hi, I can offer you a OKI CX3641 that will fit in to your budget, it has it's own limitations as pretty much any other device but it can take 302 GSM sheet has a straight paper path and gives descent registration, say, Xante Illumina is built on the same chassis and it has EFi Fiery based formatter. Please consider that you'll need a cutter/slitter and possibly coater if your clients dictate that cards would be UV or Aqueous coated. Shipping to Canada may stretch that budget by few hundred.
     
  7. Tcalp

    Tcalp Member

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    The C500 I'm getting has the 2,500 extended capacity, folder, hole puncher, stapler, and an external Fiery all in for ~$850 it has been under a maintenance contract with KM until the unit was replaced with a newer one earlier this month. It seems like a pretty good deal...
     
  8. OkiTech

    OkiTech Senior Member

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    Well, external fiery is a great choice, everything else will, most likely, prove to be useless running a cardstock as all you need is to lay a flat sheet and most likely out of by-pass tray on to simple exit tray. There is a chance that you will learn thateven if machine can, LCC and a Finisher can't even pass 14pt card trough so need to be left aside.
     
  9. OkiTech

    OkiTech Senior Member

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    it is a good deal if machine has under 100k clicks on it and all maintenance had been performed recently. I was on the other side of the barricades in similar situation. A customer bought a b/w $17,000 copier for 1,200 and machine needed everything full PM, Drum, Fuser - over 2000 repair. His reaction to my estimate was- "I bought this whole machine for 1200, are you out of your mind to charge me 2 grand for repair?" Like it is my fault that all the parts are priced as it is a $17000 machine.. My point is that every part has it's own life, many of them can exceed it a little. If I have sold the machine and it is at the end of the lease and goes back to leasing company, do you think I'd change a drums, fuser, PM if machine is out of the door in a month? Would you? I would make sure it works as expected, replace what absolutely must be replaced... To make a long story short - Just because machine was under service contract it does not always means that everything is 100% newly replaced inside...
     
  10. Tcalp

    Tcalp Member

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    yeah, I just meant for overall cost .. it seems like a pretty good deal. I'm aware that we will need to use the bypass tray .. I'm just thinking in terms of all the options this type of printer will give us ... booklets , flyers , etc... for a meer $850 initial investment, plus say another $1,000 to get KM in to fine-tune after the move and provide a small amount of training.
     
  11. xfactor printing

    xfactor printing Senior Member

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    100k would be really low for that machine. I doubt you'll find one with that low meters.
     
  12. Tcalp

    Tcalp Member

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    the unit does not have under 100k clicks , not even close :p ... is that a big concern ? .. I read that these machines have a lifespan of 7MIL clicks
     
  13. OkiTech

    OkiTech Senior Member

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    No they don't, only in KM salesman's dreams, LOL
     
  14. OkiTech

    OkiTech Senior Member

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    Yeah, you right Mr. XFactor, the lowest KM500 I have on my list is about a half a mil, there are few 501 below 200,000 clicks
    But I am surprised that they do cost below 1000 even with fiery
     
  15. Tcalp

    Tcalp Member

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    I was told that the C500 would run 300gsm stock, it's just not 'officially supported' ~~ mind you duplexing is out , I'd have to print one side, and them run them through again. Is this wrong ?
     
  16. OkiTech

    OkiTech Senior Member

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    Well, if you are going to have a KM to finetune the machine, have them give you a service contract as well, I think everyone will agree, that this is the best way to go, a max size click should cost you below 10cents. Just be aware that once they will find out that you pushing a 300gsm card trough the machine, and to a good tech it will become obvious at some point, they will back out and than you're on your own.
     

  17. longlivemedia

    longlivemedia Member

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    Maybe you're just not working with the right commercial printer. There should be some provisions for discounts and special offers if you're a regular customer and if you can find a reliable and experienced commercial printer, you sould be able to work something out.
     
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