Would a duplicator be an option to print envelopes in-house?

Discussion in 'Digital Duplicators' started by carmichaelt, Dec 5, 2013.

  1. carmichaelt

    carmichaelt New Member

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    I work in an in-plant print shop (or copy shop) and currently we send our envelopes to an outside vendor to be printed. We have discussed buying a duplicator to print our envelopes in-house. We currently send on average, approximately 10,000 envelopes per week to our vendor. We send envelope sizes ranging: #9, #10, 6"x9" and various size manila envelopes, these include both regular non-window and window envelopes.

    I am looking for pros & cons of using a duplicator for envelope printing. We would use the duplicator strictly for printing envelopes.
     
  2. OkiTech

    OkiTech Senior Member

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    There are very little pros honestly, other than you can finish the job with clean hands there is very little to it, I understand that everything compared in relevancy but lets say VS offset....
    Unless you buy a package with special envelope feeder (RISO has some models that can be equipped with envelope feeder) you can put about an inch worth of envelopes at the time (this goes for everything including #10, some more with 6x9 and even more with 9x12 and 10x13th) which means you will have to have a dedicated person running it and that is pretty much all that person can do (I mean I can run an offset press and operate B/W machine - send jobs, add paper and watch a movie).
    The Quality ( I am not saying it is terrible ) but it leaves a lot to desire once again VS offset printed envelope.
    Your master will live about 1000 impressions than you'd need to stop and tape up spots where corners of envelopes touch the master as envelope will wear master's coating and ink will be sipping trough, marking envelopes. If you continue long enough, you'd need to tape up the whole area where envelope edges touching master. Well it is not a big deal and master can be automatically disposed, just have to make sure that you don't tape over image area.
    You can't hope that you can register 2 colors regardless if you run twice with 2 different color drums or buy 2 color duplicator, please do not even count on it, no matter what the sales person will tell you.
    We run lots of enveloper trough our duplicator but the jobs "garbage in garbage out' customer wants return address preprinted, rather that sticking labels or stamping it on - this is a quick and easy way.
    Line art only, If there is a halftones, the won't come out good if at all so anything with logo goes offset.
    If you need print textured envelopes Laid/Linen, duplicator is not for you, it simply has not enough pressure in press the ink in to textured surface.
    If you have 10K envelopes per month and probably growing, In my opinion, best bet would be to get a small, simple duplicator press like AB Dick 8820, Xante Platemaker 4 to make poly-plates and envelope feeder. If you Shop smart, everything could be bought under 10K.
    Press if in mint condition can be bought 2-3k, Platemaker about $1500, envelope feeder about 2K, these are premium prices for used items in excellent condition, the rest of 10K will be spent on deliveries, installations, minor service.
    Sure having an offset press will require a skilled operator but with proper equipment it is a few hours of work...
     
  3. carmichaelt

    carmichaelt New Member

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    Thank you for your response. I have to remember, if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. Our logo has some pretty fine line art and is not very printer friendly to begin with, so I really appreciate the honesty (especially since you can never get that from most sales people). I think you just saved us some major headaches.
     
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