The following post was submitted by 2016 President's Conference sponsor, Heidelberg.
Let’s view the print process as a car manufacturing production line. It’s designed, tested, and highly monitored to achieve the highest level of efficiency at the lowest unit cost and at a set quality level.
Print is a manufacturing process and should be viewed in exactly the same way.
Automation and color monitoring (importantly it must be spectrophotometry!) has led to print being a honed process, not an art. Equipment investment should therefore be judged on its ultimate output cost per sheet.
Productivity of your investment far outweighs any initial premium you may pay for that piece of equipment. If you are hanging onto older, paid-off equipment, I can almost guarantee that the latest equipment used by competitors has a lower cost per sheet, including the fact that their cost rate includes paying back that new investment.
Let’s look at an example in...