By Courtney Saba
Part one of two
Multifunction products (MFPs) allow users to produce high-quality output and versatile applications in a cost=effective manner. Duty cycles help determine the productivity and capabilities of a device.
This article looks at entry-level MFPs offering an average monthly duty cycle between 70,000 and 100,000 pages per month and discusses key features and popular applications within different environments.
Entry-level/light production MFPs serve a variety of settings from office environments to commercial print shops. Versatility and advanced feature sets offer attractive options to a broad client base.
Fred J. Ramsey, product manager, Xerox, says the company has witnessed strong growth in the entry-level/low production MFP segment. Placements range from commercial/quick print/graphics to large box super stores and churches.
Brian Dollard, director, sales and marketing, production solutions division, business imaging solutions group (BISG), Canon USA, believes MFPs should incorporate innovative technologies in a small, scalable footprint to provide outstanding quality, productivity, and versatility.
Robert Covington, product manager, Toshiba, says MFPs with advanced feature sets, higher speeds, and duty cycles are now offered at price points that make them appealing to the general office market. “As a result, a lot of printing tasks that may have been outsourced just a few years ago are now being produced in-house thus justifying the equipment investment.”
While the decision to outsource a printing task or keep it in-house is often determined by the volume of the job, completing these applications may inovlve other paper handling and finishing requirements such as saddle stitch booklets, custom folding, or a B&W job that includes color covers or inserts.
Many of today’s light-production devices provide inline saddle stitch finishers that produce booklets of up to 80 pages and feature trimming capabilities. “A post inserter attached to a high-speed, monochrome device allows the user to insert pre-printed color covers into an otherwise B&W document. This enables users to enjoy the speed, duty cycle, and cost efficiency of their monochrome device while maintaining the impact color may bring to their message,” says Covington.
The range of application possibilities light production MFPs produce are attractive. The ability to produce a variety of ouput increases business as well as revenue.
Typical applications that in-plant CRD or commercial printers produce on these devices include flyers, brochures, small catalogs, mailers, booklets, business cards, and other general commercial print work, shares Dollard.
Ramsey says this segment of MFPs tends to offer sharp, consistent, and accurate image quality with 2,400×2,400 dpi resolution and enhanced front to back registration accuracy. “This precise image quality is combined with flexible inline finishing options, such as stapling, hole-punching, folding, and face trimming,” he explains.
Covington suggests that some users never thought of including certain elements in their documents, based solely on the fact their in-house device lacked the capability and adding that element to their outsourced document was simply not cost effective. For example, adding page tabs to a document as a way to organize content. Printing on those tab extensions further organizes the message. Including ledger-size pages, Z-folded to neatly fit within a letter-size document takes it to the next level. Add color covers and it becomes a professional-looking document that clearly conveys your points. He says doing this in-house and all inline was a true feat in the past, but today’s full-featured, MFPs do all of this and make users look like true professionals.
Continued technology developments affect the entry-level/light production MFP space.
Maturing technologies, such as cloud infrastructure and mobility, influence this segment. Whether for the general office or a light production print center, these technologies create new ways to submit jobs for production and offer a added convenience.
There are many options for entry-level MFPs targeting varying environments. The advanced features of these cost effective devices offer a range of application options and increase productivity and profit.
In part two of this series we highlight entry-level/light production MFPs currently on the market.
May2016, DPS Magazine