[Scribus] Re: Colour management...

Marvin Dickens marvindickens
Sun Apr 24 06:11:05 CEST 2005

On Saturday 23 April 2005 11:03 pm, Carol Kankelborg wrote:
> PLinnell wrote:
> > On Saturday 23 April 2005 17:53, Suki Venkat, [TnQ] wrote:
> >>Hi,
> >>
> >>Are these small digital PC printers in a position now to threaten
> >>these large printing machines technologically and cost-wise -
> >>analogous to the PC versus Main-Frame computers situation?
> >>
> >>Suki
> >
> > Hi
> >
> > Hardly, in my opinion. None of the smaller digital printers can
> > compete in scale or in consumables costs, nor handle bulk paper.
> >
> > It is impressive to visit one of the largest printers in the world and
> > see an 8 story press digest 2 meter high rolls of paper at one end
> > and send out fully printed, cut, folded and stapled 4 color catalogs
> > at the other end at a rate of thousands per hour.
> >
> > 235,000 digest size (half US letter) copies completed, including
> > boxing in less than 24 hours. Enough to fill one full tractor trailer
> > and another 2/3 full.
> >
> > Where the smaller digital printers are competitive is driving down the
> > cost per unit of short run 4 color. Plus, the quality is getting
> > better and better.
> >
> > There are a couple of commercial printers on the list, maybe they can
> > give more specifics.
> >
> > Peter
> I do not know anything about professional printing presses but I worked
> in the main frame business for several years. PCs have sqeezed out
> mainframes in many areas due to cost, but mainframes still have their
> place, especially where throughput, robustness and error detection are
> essential, such as in the banking industry. From Peter's description,
> large-scale presses still have there place, and will for a long time to
> come.
> The best analogy I've heard is the following: A small business jet may be
> the cheapest plane to run per mile -- much cheaper than a jumbo jet, but
> if you want to get 500 people from New York to San Francisco, it is
> ultimately more cost-effective and efficient to use the jumbo jet. But, if
> you're just taking 3 people from from New York City to Albany, NY you'd
> take the business jet. Each has its place, but over time the point at which
> switching from one choice to the other makes the most sense changes.

Like carol said, it all comes down to economics and what your trying to 

Printing presses are very cost-effective. the more copies printed at a time, 
the less it costs per book. The draw back is you need to print at least 1,000 
copies to make your printing cost-effective because of the cost of setting up 
the press. So, you don't even begin to think about realizing any cost savings
until unit 1001.

OTOH, ink cartridges, even when purchased in bulk stay high in price. But,
inexpensive printers are great for POD (Printing On Demand) work because
it is less expensive *initially* to print books using POD because you save the 
cost of printing the books you haven't sold yet. However, individually POD 
books are more expensive to produce than books printed on a press, and there 
is no cost saving for printing in quantity.  

Inexpensive RGB printers target POD markets. Printing presses target quantity
markets. Which market are you? In my case, RGB printers are looking pretty 

I believe both technologies have secure futures in their respective markets - 
Until/unless a technology comes along that is able to offer the best of both 
worlds: Inexpensive RGB printers that utilize a technology that enable an 
inverse relationship between price and quantity to exist as quantity rises.

Best regards


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