April 27, 2023
Choosing a new production printer can be stressful. Printing manufacturers don’t always make it easy to pick a clear winner, and printing technology has evolved significantly in the past five years.
I’ve boiled down seven things to consider when you’re choosing your next industrial printer. Some of these may be old hats for anyone who’s spent time in procurement or in the professional printing business, but others may catch you by surprise.
Factors to Consider When Choosing an Industrial Printer
1. Your Printing Needs
I know most folks are likely to list price first. But if your fleet isn’t optimized to meet your clients’ needs or the needs of your staff, and perhaps anticipate a few new ones, a bit of savings off the top isn’t worth your while. Typically, volume is the biggest consideration here; an excellent modern line printer should produce roughly 100 pages/minute. However, depending on your business, you may have different priorities, like paper size, image quality, finishing options, and more.
2. Your Budget
You can’t exactly ignore the sticker price, but it can be a little bit misleading, as “cheaper” devices can end up costing more over time. Determining the true cost of running a printing device over time can be tricky, and should factor in peripherals, supplies, energy use, and all of the factors that drive print costs.
And here’s a pro tip: you might be able to find an excellent deal on used equipment that is in like-new condition. It’s worth checking around before buying new, especially if you’re considering a high-end device.
Reliability doesn’t always get a mention in blogs like these, but I think it should. Some brands have a reputation for producing more reliable printing equipment than others, and if your livelihood depends on meeting quick deadlines, a disruption can cost you more than just a project. It could cost you a client.
Of course, a well-maintained printer will perform more reliably than a poorly maintained one also. But you’re a pro, so either you or a coworker is already taking care of all of your devices according to manufacturer instructions, right?
Not to state the obvious, but industrial printers can be bulky. Speedier machines often take up more space than slower ones, and before you buy anything, you should also consider the additional space that any trays or other peripherals will take up.
If you’re in the market for an industrial printer, it’s a great opportunity to make your business more environmentally friendly. Modern equipment tends to be more energy efficient than what was available just six or seven years ago, and some printers today are designed to use recycled plastic and emit less harmful gasses.
6. Ease of Use
Some devices are more user-friendly than others. You might know all of the devices in your fleet like the back of your hand, but most people tend to prefer using the device that makes life easier for them. If that device is the one that requires more expensive supplies, your print costs could creep up.
7. Print Security
If you have to meet regulatory compliance, you might already be familiar with print security issues. As printers store data, run software, and are connected to your network, they also pose a potential entry point for hackers. Most modern industrial printers come equipped with robust safety features. However, print risks are on the rise, so I’d advise anyone in the market for a new industrial printer to consider their options carefully, and perhaps invest in more security features than they think they’ll need.
Konica Minolta’s Lineup
Looking for a high-speed inkjet powerhouse? The WEBJet 200D uses a roll-fed system that can generate 36,000 sheets an hour. If you need to create specialized materials like personalized marketing materials, calendars, or magazines, the AccurioJet KM-1 would be a great choice. But if you may need specialized embellishment capabilities, our experts would likely steer you in the direction of the JETvarnish 3D Evolution.
At Marco, we don’t typically make brand-specific recommendations without first getting to know our clients’ businesses. But to be honest, we love recommending Konica Minolta production printers because they tend to make things easier for our clients in the long run. Our business is all about creating long-term happy clients, so we always want to at least suggest the very best.
Need Additional Help Deciding on the Right Print Production Equipment?
If you’re in the Twin Cities area, or you find yourself out this way, we’d love to show you our brand new print production demo facility at our Minnetonka location.
As one of the largest production systems dealers for Konica Minolta in North America, we have in-house access to all of their production engines, finishers, and accessories. Want to fire one up and see what it can really do? Let us know!