3 Questions to ask before buying a production printer

3 Questions to ask before buying a production printer

Production printers, also known as commercial printers or digital presses, are high-speed computer printers made for high-volume production of materials like manuals, brochures, booklets, and calendars. They are built to handle higher resolutions for color and monochrome printing, and can print on larger paper sizes such as A3+ or SRA3.

Production printers can reduce the time needed for labor-intensive color calibration and personalization tasks. They also offer high-capacity feeding options, paper stacking, punching, and trimming capabilities, and booklet making features.

Factors to consider when choosing a production printer

If you’re in the market for a production printer, make sure you ask the following questions before making a decision.

1. What kind of production printer does my business need?

You don’t want to spend money on features that you won’t use, so it’s important to have a good understanding of your company’s printing needs. Consider the following areas:

  • Volume: Production printers vary in speed and recommended monthly print volume, so knowing your average printing requirements can help you narrow down your choices.
  • Cost: This refers to your budget for a production printer and related supplies such as paper and ink.
  • Content: These are the items that you print often and the materials you print them on.
  • Quality: The level of quality depends on the items you print. For example, posters will need accurate color matching, while user guides need sharp black printing.

Managed print services (MPS) providers like Complete Document Solutions can perform a needs assessment for you. They will assess your printing needs and output goals, and use them to recommend the ideal production printer for your business.

Consider as well what other equipment your business might need and see if it’s ideal to purchase them with your production printer. Having one vendor that can handle your equipment needs allows you to purchase bundles and eliminate the costs of buying from other vendors.

You don’t want to spend money on features that you won’t use, so it’s important to have a good understanding of your company’s printing needs.

2. Will there be a specialized support team for production prints?

You can’t afford to have your production printer malfunction. This is why it’s important to have a support team that specializes in production printers to resolve any issues that may arise. Before you buy a production printer, ask the supplier the following questions:

  • Can you provide user training?
  • Is email and phone support available?
  • How quickly can we expect someone to arrive if we need repairs?

The support team should also be able to identify opportunities, improve printing performance and add service value. These might involve doing tasks such as job submission and ticketing, and identifying the most efficient way to print, among other things.

Related reading: Benefits of a wide format printer

3. Which brand should I consider?

Popular printer brands in the market include Sharp, Canon, Ricoh, Konica Minolta, HP, and Xerox. These brands are well known for high-quality production printers that can produce wide-format documents. Do your research on each brand to see which features and printing capabilities best suit your business’s needs.

The challenges with production printers

One of the most common issues with production printers is that they take up plenty of space. The basic configuration is usually 8–9 feet long, and extra paper trays can extend the length of these devices to as much as 26 feet. What’s more, these printers need an additional 2.5 feet of room around them at all times.

Another issue is the printer’s power requirements ― typical printers take 115 V standard wall outlets, while production printers can take up to two 220 V/20–30 A lines. This doesn’t include peripherals such as punches, stackers, or finishers that require their own 115 V outlet.

Talk to an MPS provider to ensure that they can help you overcome these issues.

Need more help buying a new production printer for your Torrance, CA business? Complete Document Solutions can help! Our managed printing services will eliminate small printers in favor of economical larger ones that save on toner, parts, and maintenance. We will also improve your productivity while lowering printing costs by as much as 30%. To learn more about our printing services, drop us a line today.


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