by Mike McNamee Published 01/02/2012
Various tables extracted from the spreadsheet cost calculator we developed. We were also to do a few 'what if' calculations. Ink costs are difficult to estimate. On the left is the usage over a two-year period for a 3800 printer. 1,760 prints used 1,056ml of ink. The upper and lower bound estimates are made for all prints being A4 and all prints being A3 - the reality must lie in between. Above, the cost summary takes the actual inked area and the ink cost is 1.69p per card, even with a 100% error on ink usage this would only affect the total production cost by 6.5%. The pie charts indicate which area to concentrate your efforts on when tuning your costs.
The highest cost we estimated was for using a fine art paper, hand creasing it, attending the printer for a slow printing speed and costing in the time. Note in the pie chart that the cost of the fine art paper dominates the cost, followed by the labour cost.
A very heavy, fine art paper can be loaded only 10 sheets at a time before you reach the 9mm limit of the WP 4245.
Labour costs are sensitive to a need to attend the printer.
The lowest cost estimate we achieved was 26 pence for an A5 card, using an Epson B510, a 256gsm prepared card blank, including envelope, cellophane and label. It involved a 22 second print time. At this speed and cardblank cost, the printer amortisation starts to loom large in the pie chart.
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