Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Is there a better printer or copier that would do this type of work?

Here's an email I got from one of my Blog readers.  Special thanx to that person and I hope we've helped and a Certified P4P Hotel Member should have contacted you by now.

I read your advice on total cost of a Ricoh Aficio SP 430DN. do you have any suggestion of a longer term lower cost solution. I have real estate agents that we produce marketing materials for in color. Our current color printer(HP3600n) is way under powered for what we need. I like the Ricoh because of the low cost of consumables, realize that once you hit 50,000 prints there are quite a few components that need to be replaced.

We are printing newsletters on legal paper from Word, two sided in color, then we fold them with a machine. The goal it to send a print job of 1500 newsletters and let it rip. 25-30 prints per minute will do, speed is not the main goal, reliability and low cost per print is.

Is there a better printer or copier that would do this type of work? We're trying to keep the initial outlay at $1000 or less. I'm ok with a used machine if the copy count is low. I'm a pretty technically skilled end user and refill my own print cartridges and can change out drums myself. I'm looking at buying two machines (two offices) and purchasing bulk toner to refill the cartridges.

Your suggestions?
You posed this: "The goal is to send a print job of 1,500 newsletters and let it rip".

Me:  How often will you do this per month or per year? (I had an answer a day later that the volume was going to be 15,000 - 20,000 color pages per month)

This will give me a better idea of what to recommend.

There's a funny thing about color printers and it's from all of the manufacturer’s not just one of them. When a manufacturer states a cost per page most times (95%), it does not include certain parts that need to be replaced in order to maintain optimum print quality, thus the low cost of consumables is not that low any more. These items are usually the transfer belt (imaging belt) and fuser (fixes the toner on the paper). Plus another not so well know fact is the page coverage for printers is rated at 4% coverage, which means if you condensed all of the image area into a square it can't cover more than 4% of the total area (for color printers this gets raised to 16% since there are four colors). I doubt that you are only printing 16% coverage on the page and probably more likely it's 40% (you could email me a sample page for verification).

Another not so good thing about color printers is most manufacturers over state how long the consumables will last. Printing onto thicker stock, envelopes, thin stock, printing less than 5 pages at a time, heat, humidity all take their toll. It's very rare that I see a printer get the manufacturer’s suggested yield for transfer belts, drums, fusers and developers.

Service usually is not included, meaning if the printer breaks and needs a part you'll need to pay extra for this, again this drives up your cost per page. So, where the Ricoh 430DN is .0976 (I don't believe this is correct, however that's what Ricoh states, I think it's more like .15 cents per page when you factor in service, parts and premature consumables) per page is does not include parts, nor service, nor premature failure of the parts I just mentioned.

What I'm getting at is your printing 1,500 pages and the cost per page of the new Ricoh is .15 cents that means on average you’ll spend $225 per month in consumables, service, parts and maintenance. Plus the cost of the printer, let's say you bought it for $1,000, amortized over 36 months means another $30 per month in the hardware cost. You add the consumables and the hardware and you're spending $255 per month. Odds are the printer won't last 5 years either and you'll have to buy another, and that adds another increase to your costs~

I'd like to see you get a color copier/printer that will last for years and years! These systems can be leased for 5 years for $83 (MPC 2030) per month and you can buy a cost per page agreement. The cost per page agreement means that the dealer will charge you .09 cents per page for color and bill you for 1,500 pages each and every month for a total of $135. Included in the $135 is all consumables, all parts, labor, maintenance and service, and basically you could put as much toner on the page as you want. So for $218 you have maintenance, service and parts included!! Not a bad deal.

My point, color printers are sold so you'll keep buying the consumables, it's a never ending cycle. Color copiers by far are the best choice as long as you have the volume. The more you print on a color copier the cheaper it becomes.

If you're in need of an expert to help you in making a total cost of ownership decision, I have Certified Print4Pay Hotel members that can consult and lead you in the right direction.
You posed:

I'm a pretty technically skilled end user and refill my own print cartridges and can change out drums myself. I'm looking at buying two machines (two offices) and purchasing bulk toner to refill the cartridges.

My response:

I'm not being rude, but if your volume is the 1,500 pages per month, you need to concentrate on your core business which is selling and not jerking about with refilling, replacing, and ordering of cartridges, you'll make more in one extra sale per year.

-=Good Selling=-

1 comment:

Philip John said...


Is it 1500 pages per job or 1500 pages per month - you indicated that he made clear that his volume is 15,000 to 20,000 per month.

That obviously changes the calculations. And by the way, we provide Xerox color printers with a cost per page starting from 4 cents per page for full color documents (unlimited coverage). The 4 cents per page includes everything (toner, parts, on-site support and maintenance kits) except paper - just like copier contracts.

Hope this helps

Philip @