Should I Care if My Printing Company Upgrades Their Print and Bindery Equipment?
Manufacturing equipment in the printing industry lasts a long time. Old presses are built like tanks. In many cases, bindery equipment is made from simple components. There are relatively few sophisticated electronics. So repairing and rebuilding is a project for a mechanic rather than an electronics engineer. Compounding the decision to upgrade equipment is the risk horizon many printers currently face. If you only plan on staying in business for a few more years, why invest more money into your equipment? Why not just ride out your equipment and then retire?
Equipment manufacturers talk a lot about “automation”. But how important is that to a print buyer? Should you care at all about how your work is done so long as it gets done?
here are three things that are important to consider When choosing a printing company.
- Older equipment requires more maintenance and goes down more often. For the most part, this might not bother you. But you might find yourself responsible for a project with a tight deadline, the kind where you get one shot to make it, and your printer’s equipment decides to reintroduce you to Murphy’s law. When that happens, printers who aren’t reinvesting will say things like, “Equipment goes down; there’s nothing you can do about it.” While this is true, it’s a LOT more likely to happen on equipment and systems that are twenty to thirty years old.
- Older equipment will have more “play” in the mechanical components. Gears and bearings all wear over time; even very small amounts of wear can compound over an entire system to generate visible results. This can mean print out of register, the color that isn’t exactly right, or crossovers that don’t line up in your brochures or books. There are as many possible problems as there are possible worn components.
- Older equipment usually requires a really specific set of skills to get the outcome you want. All the tricks and workarounds to getting the best out of older printing and bindery equipment are usually only known by a very small number of employees. What happens when those employees are out? Can you think of any recent events where these equipment specialists were out for extended periods of time?
Upgrading to modern print and bindery equipment means less downtime, more precise and predictable outcomes, and an ease of use that allows for many people to produce high-quality work.
Maybe that old printer you’ve relied on for years is getting by just fine with his coal-fired UV press. But there’s a law in economics, something that can’t go on forever, won’t. Sooner or later, the lack of investment will catch up with him. Hopefully, your job is not on the press or in his bindery when that happens.
Hatteras continues to invest, year after year, in the newest and most productive equipment in the print and mail industry. Let us be your partner today and for years to come.