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Mimeo's Charlie Corr gives his thoughts on format sizes

Published on October 29, 2012

Charlie Corr, Chief Strategist at Mimeo, talks to Cary Sherburne about all the industry chatter about B2 and gives his overall thoughts on industry format sizes.

Cary Sherburne: Hi this is Cary Sherburne, Senior Editor at WhatTheyThink.Com. And I’m here with Charlie Corr who is new Chief Strategist Officer at Mimeo. To have my promotion, appointed by me.

Charlie Core: That’s funny, right?

Cary Sherburne: But I was kind of curious to get your thoughts about, there’s a lot of hype now around B2 sheet fed, whether it’s toner or inkjet in the digital world. So what do you think about that as a printer?

Charlie Core: Yeah, I mean, it’s an interesting thing. Ultimately because I’ve been in digital for a long time. And before that I was in offset. But ultimately, to me it’s about images. We sell images. So it’s through put is more important to me, perhaps, than the format of the through point, although there are exceptions, right? But ultimately it’s about how many printed images I can produce in the timeframes I have, the way people want them. Right? So I’m less enamored with format size than I am with through put.

Cary Sherburne: Through put, yeah.

Charlie Core: But certainly, having said that, there are a number of format sizes in this industry. They’re there for a reason. And it’s likely that new technology will still use those same formats.

Cary Sherburne: But really when you think about it, the B2 sheet size does have an impact on through put, because I mean, there’s things you can do that you couldn’t do before.

Charlie Core: Yes.

Cary Sherburne: Book, dust jackets, blah, blah, blah.

Charlie Core: Right.

Cary Sherburne: Folding parts wide format size. But also multiple up and those kinds of things.

Charlie Core: Yeah, and there’s certainly a role for it. There’s roles for all formats. That’s why we have them. That’s why you’re going to have new technologies using existing formats. But I do think, ultimately, you have to have lower costs, lower costs means higher through put, so focus on hire through put and lower costs. This is one way.

Cary Sherburne: So I kind of found it interesting when I looked at all the different offerings. If you looked at Delafax and a half a million dollars. And I forget, it’s 500 A4, I don’t know what that translates to in sheets per hour, I forgot. But and then at the other end of the spectrum, you’ve got 27,000 sheets per hour at one point. 8 million for the JPress for Fujifilm. Is there a disconnect there? And I’m not picking on the vendors. I’m just saying.

Charlie Core: No, I think what you’re also seeing is the notion that you have slightly different format sizes. You have gradients on quality. And that those are some of the differentiators, and to a certain extent I think you’re seeing the old equation of higher capital costs, lower running costs, right?

Cary Sherburne: Right, right.

Charlie Core: And I don’t think some of those things go away.

Cary Sherburne: That’s true, yeah.

Charlie Core: But then it also comes back to some of those things we’ve always dealt with. Well how much do you need to produce? Right? Do you need to produce 20 million color pages on that device? You’re going to go in one direction. Do you need to produce 2 million? Right, you’re going to go in another direction.

Cary Sherburne: Yeah, that’s a good point.

Charlie Core: And the person that needs 2 is not likely going to go with 20. And the person who needs 20 is not going to buy 10 of the 2, right? So I think as you see the maturity then you can start lining it up with for my work, for my shop, for the work I do, for the formats I produce I can now find a digital equivalent. And that is exciting.

Cary Sherburne: That is, that’s big. It’s come a long way.

Charlie Core: It’s a huge distance that we’ve traveled.

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By Peter Crean on Oct 29, 2012


I agree that total throughput of finished pieces and unit costs including depreciation) is the dominant factor in print - digital and otherwise, with the caveat that you can't print a cover in two pieces and glue it together. But format size is plays a large role in two aspects: 1)real throughput through efficient use of a sheet in N-up and in coupling to existing finishing machines.

an example of each:
In the seasonal photo greeting card business in 5x7 folding cards (Shutterfly et al) the iGen 14x20 did 4 cards on a sheet where the slightly smaller NexPress and Indigo sheets only did 2. A huge advantage!
Kodak was able to take two 25" Prosper heads (an odd non-standard size) and make a 50 " imaging system that married perfectly into an existing in-line book making system and workflow. The other ink jets which came in 20-30-40" widths were disadvantaged.

From a printer's point of view (where you live) you have lots of options today to fit your demands. But format size continues to be a real teaser for the manufacturers: 20/30/40 web, A3, B3, A2, B2.


By Clint Bolte on Oct 30, 2012

For digital printing - toner or inkjet - the total production costs are still difficult to ascertain for various formats and manufacturers. Select consultants offer spreadsheet cost comparisons. However, until the trade associations can publish these dynamic numbers on an on-going basis the printing/converting industry is at a distinct disadvantage.


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