Thursday, April 3, 2014

Peripherals or Perennials?

I spoke with a customer who was about to purchase a press. He told me that after the press was installed that he would look into peripherals. Now I know that a press is the heart of any print shop but consider this: Look around your shop and tell me what the oldest machine on your floor. It is likely to be a piece of bindery equipment, a cutter, a drill, etc.

About twenty years ago a bindery in Florida purchased a Sterling Punchmaster from us for $40,000. He was so enamored with the machine that, about five years later, he purchased a used Punchmaster, sight unseen, at an auction for $18,000. The machine, at that time, was ten years old. He has been running each machine ever since. They recently purchased another Punchmaster from us and used the machine purchased at that auction as a trade in. I am now going to rebuild that twenty-five year old Punchmaster.

Is there any press that you would be able to trade in after 25 years? In that time, how many digital engines and software packages will you go through?

This is why purchasing bindery equipment is a different process than purchasing a press. It will be around longer, so choose your equipment carefully and make sure that it is something you can grow into. I have seen, time and time again, printers who purchase inferior machinery that can barely handle the work they have now and end up having to replace their machines later. A press is like a girlfriend but a piece of bindery equipment is like your wife.  If you purchase bindery equipment based solely on price, you may be heading for a divorce.

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