I was wondering if anyone might have any suggestions to help with this issue:
I am working with a new account that is going to be getting rid of (2) presses, both currently equipped with 300 bin sorters. We are looking at putting the JP8500 to take care of the duplicating needs, but need ideas for if there is a sorter of sorts available OR what is available to provide the sorting.
Any ideas are much appreciated.
Thank you Smile
Amanda Byrne
Original Post
Finally had the chance to read through you message.

As of this time the only recommendation I can offer is too continue using the 300 bin sorters that the presses have been using. When it comes to sorting with a duplicator, it is best to have it all done off-line. The JP8500's should save time for them "make ready Sheets" .

Are the current sorters in need of replacment?

I am not sure if the sorters are in need of replacing-sounds as if they are still working. Sorry for the ignorance, but I guess I do not understand how the sorters for the offset presses work; are they a separate accessory, and, if so, can they be attached the same to the JP8500? Also, what are the "make ready Sheets"? I appreciate your help and advice!
Thank You!

Here's how the press will produce documents.

A press will make a plate just like the duplicator. On a press and a duplicator we can make multiple pages of one image or sheet of information. Therefor we can set the press or the duplicator to run 1,000 pages of sheet #1. If we have a 10 page document we must run the job 10 times on the press or the duplicator.

When we are done, we have ten stacks of one thousand pages each. One thousand of page one, one thousand of page two, etc, etc.

The function of the off-line sorter is to merge all of these pages into one document.

Typically the collator or sorter will have many bins, each bin can hold "x" amount of pages. The operator puts all of page one in the first bin, all of page 2 in the second bin, all of page 3 in the third bin, etc, etc.

Once the all of the pages has been loaded the operator engages the power on the collator/sorter and then one sheet from each bin is feed simultaniously into(Hope I got that right, Graham, we need a spell checker)a holding bin, from there the paper is jogged or stacked and stapled if needed and then deposited into a holding bin.

MAKE READY SHEETS: When running a press, makeready sheets are sample sheets that are run prior to the job. They are done to adjust color, print density, speed, alternate feed, and gettting the right speed for the right stock. Most Press Craftsman will run 30 - 50 "makeready sheets" prior to running the job.

Priports require very few make ready sheets, I would say on the average less than five.

Hope this helps.


By the way the only way I learned, was to ask questions. Please keep them coming and tell all about our great site!
Thanks for the help! That clarified this ordeal for me. I was under the assumption that the sorters were attached to the presses. But-if the press essentially performs the same as the duplicator (but with more downtime and extra cost!) the sorters should be offline. I know this is a slightly different matter, but, if the press is essentially performing the same way a duplicator does but with more downtime and a much higher purchase price, why would someone choose a press over a duplicator?
Anyhow, thank you very much for the help and, I spread the word about this site often! it is a nicer environment and more helpful than others I venture to!

take care!
The presses might very well be attached to online sorter towers that have up to 300 bins per tower. I have seen up to 3 towers attached together. We used to have the same (although only 200 bins) for the duplicators, called CopySorters (for Gestetner brand). They didn't work very well, do to the fact that they would deliver the prints face down into the bins, causing all kinds of smudging issues, because the ink didn't have time to dry. Riso supposedly still has the equivalent available, but I haven't seen them on the street with it in a month of Sundays. You might be able to check out a visual on riso-usa.com.

Thanx for the clarification on the 300 bin sorters. In my 23 years, i have not seen a one! That must have been some setup with 200 bins, just the time alone to make new plates after running 200 pages must have been a real hassle!

I don't know where you got the idea that presses had more down time. I personally don't think I would suggest that in a conversation with a printer. I also wouldn't suggest that your quality is better because it's not. A press also can run any color anytime without a $1,000 cylinder requirement for each color. They also have less registration issues than we do.
Keep in mind that a press could be $30,000 or $300,000 or $1,000,000 plus so it kind of depends on what type of press you are being compared to.
There is a point where-by a run-length is long enough for a press is cheaper (set-up, make-ready, etc. all taken into consideration) but every operator is going to have their own idea where that line should be drawn.

Your advantages are:
No dedicated, experienced (and possibly unionized) pressman required
Little to no make-ready
No clean-up..."instantaneous color change with no residue left from the previous color"
Easily switch from paper to envelopes, etc.

Unless someone is trying to eliminate their press or keep from buying one, I never suggest that the duplicator replace the press but that they should co-exist.

I've gotten alot of good out of this analogy...
"Every farmer I know has a passenger car, pick-up, and a tractor. Why is that? They each are gas powered, run on four wheels, get from one place to another...why the need for all three? Well, can you imagine hauling hay to the back 40 with a passenger car? Sure, it can do it but it wasn't built for that and won't hold up. What about taking the tractor...way too slow. That's why he has a pick-up...for all those jobs too long and hard for a car but need to be done quicker than a tractor.
You Mr. customer, are like a farmer without a pick-up. You are doing hard jobs with a passenger car (Copier) and quick jobs with a tractor (Press or outside printer). You need that pick-up in between."

Good Luck

As always, GREAT STUFF! I have been successful with selling duplicators in the P4P industry. I sell the CTP (Computer to Plate) technology as the only way to buy.

I will show the customer samples in my "art porfolion" (as long as he likes the quality), I will then ask him how many jobs do you think you can pull away from the press every month?

Once he gives me his answer, I have ammunition I need to cost justify the duplicator or move on to the next print shop. After this step we set the demo.

Once the demo is in place, this type of scenario has worked for me.

For me it is all in the plates that are made for the press and the time that is taken to make them. If you are in a commerical shop with real craftsman working the presses. Once we factor in the time, material, overhead, etc. to make a plate and produce the make readies, we can be in the area of a cost of $35.00 per plate.

For me the magic number is 15 plates a month. It would go like this:

"Do you thing we can take away 15 plates a month from the press?

If so, you're ready to process the order.

Hopes this helps too!

I have learned a ton while trying to sell duplicators to printers over the last 12 years and it's interesting how we have both independantly developed the same approach. Here are a few more tidbits for those of you trying to break into this tough but lucritive part of the business:
A.) You need to establish early on that 100% of his output does not need to be of the highest quality...in fact he has already conceeded that (although he may have trouble admitting it) when he put in that copier.
B.) When he turns away business that is not profitable for the press because the run-length is too short(but would be profitable on a duplicator) he is pushing those customers into a competitors door most likely never to return. I ask, "Wouldn't you agree that most people want just one printer for all of their printing needs?"
C.) My chance for success seems to be greater in environments where the press is kept busy all day. That means there is over-time being paid during peek times or the possibility that they were contemplating an additional press (and pressman). Since a duplicator does not have to be babysat, the same guy running the press can also keep the duplicator productive or the front desk personel can run it.
Jim and art-
thanks for all the great info you are providing! Since my company is not in the business of selling presses, this customer would like to phase out the (2) AB Dick multigraphics 3875 with 300 bin sorters that require 6 hours 1 time per week, a full-time service guy, plus the consumables pricing, what would you recommend as a replacement or what is normally done? They are doing approx. 4 million/year total on the presses, currently are doing runs of 300sets or less, but would like to do up to 2000 sets plus, would like full finishing capabilities with staple sort, hole punch saddle stitch, fold, etc. I am stuck between (2) high volume copiers OR a couple duplicators. Thank you for all your help!

What type of finishing?, do they need booklet making, more than 20 11 x 17's? Would they like to have spot color?

Finishing options are available, however my first approach would be with two 90's with the finishers. You can sell the sizzle, that the systems will pretty much work unattended. They will have to fill and empty the paper, any printer would love to have the job run with out much labor involved and you can also sell the sizzle of direct print from the PC.

If the finishing is booklet making and the need is for more than 20 pages, you have two consider adding the SR90 booklet maker, which can run on-line and off-line. The benefit for off-line, is that they can use the bookletmaker for documents that were not produced on the copier. Also ask about hole punching, do they have GBC binding?, Do they farm it out? There are some many questions to ask.

Duplicator: Do they need to print onto coated stock? Do they need to add spot color. Do they need low production costs. Do they need to print heavy stock. Do they need two colors at one time.

Maybe the answer is that they should have both. A 2105 w/Scan Print, Finisher, SR 90, GBC Stream Punch and then a JP8500 w/TCII, Seri Printer 25 and the Type 80 controller.

Give me a call Friday afternoon, maybe I can help over the phone. 732.291.3146

Amanda, You've done a great job of fact-finding but there are a couple of things I would also want to know before deciding on a recommendation.

1.) How many pages per set is typical? If we are talking less than 10 then I would still consider a duplicator with off-line collating. If they are 11x17, then a bookletmaker can be attached. We double-click 11x17 done on a copier but not when done on a duplicator. A copier will also slow down to half speed for 11x17 but a duplicator does not. Two 2105's running in combine mode are still slower than a single duplicator. The duplicator will need more attention however...in less than 10 minutes the paper tray is empty.

2.) Is there any applications that are long-run but non-manuscript like flyers or NCR forms. At their volume, the savings generated from 20% being shifted from the copiers to a duplicator will probably generate enough savings to pay the lease of the duplicator. In other words, the copiers and duplicator combined are less expensive than the copiers can be by themselves when lease, service and supplies are all taken into consideration.

If a duplicator can provide a value add without adding to the cost, then you have just eliminated much of your competition...especially Xerox and Canon.

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