Sunday, December 30, 2012

Managing Print Costs for Wide Format Ink Plotters

Over the weekend I took the time to finish one of my spreadsheets that enables us (Print4Pay Hotel members) to identify the cost per square foot for HP inkjet plotters.  Let me tell you this was no easy task.  Why in the world is there no information from HP that states how many mililiters of black ink is used to print one square foot for a CAD drawing?  Every time I searched the HP web site for additional information about cost per page for Designjet plotters I was stymied by a notice that stated there was no information.

I was able to find a few documents that related to color use, but nothing related to CAD drawings.  Each HP plotter cartridge tells us how much ink is in the cartridge, but you'll never use all of the ink due to evaporation, ink head cleaning/purging and some residual ink left in the cartridge.  For example one cartridge has 69ml (mililiters) of ink.  Thus I was curious as to how much ink is a mililiter.   A mililiter measure to be one thousandth of a liter.  I know liters because that's because most of the soda bottles are now measured in liters, but how about a mililiter?  Is that less than a shot glass, more than a tablespoon? I found this handy document that tells us 1ml is also equal to 1cc, 2.5 ml is equal to a half of teaspoon, 5ml is a teaspoon, and 30ml equal two tablespoons or 1 fluid ounce.  Ok, I get it so the HP cartridge that hold 69 mililiters of ink is equal to a little more than 2 ounces.  Since the cartridge resells for $69, the price per mililiter is $1.00.

As I stated the key was to
find out how many mililiters is used to print one square foot for a CAD drawing.  Once I was able to find that, I was able to put together a cost per square foot spreadheet for most of the HP wide format plotters that are used or designed to print CAD documents.

Last week I wrote a blog titled "15 Critical Questions for Selling Wide Format in the AEC Market", these questions were outlined in a down loadable document. With that document I've now been able to include a "Square foot" calculator (just type in the the width and length of the document), which enables you to find the square footage of wide format document, a cost per square foot for the HP ink , cost for the black print heads, cost for the Canon print heads, maintenance kits, cost for cut sheet wide format paper, cost for Diazo paper, and three awesome spread heets that will calculate your customers cost for running their current plot device!  This document is also available to all Premium Print4Pay Hotel Members for free on the Print4Pay Hotel forums.

As most businesses are catching up with how much the cost to print a standard letter or legal page on their current print devices, most AEC companies that own ink based plotters/MFP's still have no clue as the cost per square foot.  Thus, this is a market where we can educate the customer on their existing ink printing costs and hopefully migrate them to LED Plotters/MFP's that have a much lower cost per square foot to print or copy.

"Wide From ROI Spreadsheet" is available here for a one time download of $19.95, or you can sign up for a Premium Print4Pay Hotel membership and get the document for FREE, plus unlimited updates for as long as you are a Premium Member. Go here to find our more about "Wide Format ROI Spreadsheet" and how you'll be able to add more GP/profit to your sales and find those hidden opportunities!

-=Good Selling=-


Kevin Vaughan said...

Art, great job on the spreadsheet. I had a chance to read it over and found it very comprehensive. You definitely did you homework. Thanks for your effort.

art post said...

Kevin, thanx, it's appreciated let me know if you find out any additional information on the Epson CPSF with their CAD models.


allyson Alvarez said...

I totally agree with you. There could be no hassle if there is any info on the cost per square foot.

Jual Plotter Epson said...

Thanks for Information

Jual Plotter Epson said...

Very nice article, good job

Aaron Stephens said...

Thanks for doing the work to create such a handy tool for calculating printing cost. Before I started using CAD, I never thought about the cost of printing. It's surprising how quickly it can add up with the wide format printers. I try to make sure all of my documents are accurate so that I don't have to reprint unnecessarily.