BEST DIGITAL PRODUCTION PRINTERS | 8 MIN READ
If you are a print shop, law firm, publisher, or other organization in need of a machine that is capable of running a high volume of print jobs, then you need to do your research before you jump into the high capital purchase of digital production printers. So, how do you know which one is best?
This article breaks down the most important considerations of the top digital production printers on the market today using data from our third-party friends at Buyer's Lab. To add additional value, we have included a retail price range for each device based on what we have encountered in our market.
Our company has been in the copier and printer industry for over 50 years and our blog is used as a resource the world over as a way for people to get the most unbiased information possible before selecting a machine.
As one of the largest Canon, Sharp, and HP providers in the United States, we have a lot of trust in our brands; however, that doesn't mean we aren't going to talk about other options available on the market.
By using information obtained by Buyer's Lab, we are able to offer an unbiased comparison of each of the major digital production printer models available. So, let's get started!
RELATED: Best Office Copiers
List of Best Digital Production Printers for 2020
As we mentioned above, all of our data was compiled from Buyer's Lab, a trusted independent resource with the copier industry, and our internal company data throughout 2019. If you would like even more detailed information on these machines, we recommend reaching out to Buyer's Lab for their full reports.
Best Digital Production Printers 2020:
(in alphabetical order)
Digital Production Printers
(over 1,000,000 /mo in volume)
Technically, production printers start at 70 pages per minute, but speed alone cannot be the only metric. Production printers range from an average monthly volume recommendation of 300,000 to well over 1,000,000. Before choosing a production printer, make sure you check for the recommended monthly volume and max monthly.
*Pricing is an estimation and does not include service.
Canon varioPRINT 130
Market Entry Date: March 2017
The varioPRINT by Canon™ is an easy to use and managed production printer that offers high levels of reliability and security. An intuitive operator panel makes it extremely easy for someone to program jobs.
If the device experiences a misfeed, clearing it is simple thanks to easily identifiable misfeed locations. The Job Scheduler allows for optimum efficiency so that it is easy to keep print priorities in order and on time.
|Max Monthly||2,200,000 impressions|
|Speed||130 ppm (Letter); 68 ppm (Tabloid)|
|Color/Monochrome||Mono (color avail)|
|Max Paper Capacity||12,000 sheets|
|Dimensions||56.3" x 44.5" x 30.1"|
Canon varioPrint 6330 TITAN
Market Entry Date: November 2017
When it comes to printing, bigger isn't always better, but when it comes to monthly volumes, few compare to this behemoth. Most uses for this machine come down to large print shop or companies that have a significant number of paper invoices or similar print jobs that are needed.
Originally part of the Oce brand before Canon bought the company, the TITAN is still in a class of its own for organizations needing the highest end of print volume production.
|Max Monthly||10,000,000 impressions|
|Speed||320 ppm (Letter); 167 ppm (Tabloid)|
|Color/Monochrome||Mono (color avail)|
|Max Paper Capacity||24,000 sheets|
|Dimensions||48.2" x 112.4" x 42.1"|
Heidelberg Versafire CM
Market Entry Date: August 2013
This unit is also sold under the names: Lanier Pro 8120S; Ricoh Pro 8120S; Savin Pro 8120S.
This device offers a combination of power and versatility to deliver high-quality output that is impressive. Easy-to-use controls help to perform a wide range of commercial corporate production.
|Max Monthly||3,000,000 impressions|
|Speed||135 ppm (Letter)|
|Max Paper Capacity||8,850 sheets|
|Dimensions||57.5" x 52" x 43.3"|
Konica Minolta AccurioPress C6085
Market Entry Date: August 2017
High-quality and consistent output, coupled with great productivity and media handling, makes this device a standout option for large organizations and print shops. Additionally, reliability is very strong, with its only weaknesses being its overall price and speed when compared with related brands.
|Price*||$130,000 - $170,000|
|Max Monthly||1,530,000 impressions|
|Speed||85 ppm (Letter); 46 ppm (Tabloid)|
|Max Paper Capacity||13,890 sheets|
|Dimensions||51.9" x 37.4" x 37.4"|
KYOCERA TASKalfa 13600
Market Entry Date: July 2018
With intuitive walk-and software-based controls, KYOCERA is often known for its features. Additionally, KYOCERA printers often have the flexibility of user-replaceable supplies. This will assist your users by allowing them to quickly add supplies when needed, keeping you up and running longer.
|Price*||$66,499 - $100,000|
|Max Paper Capacity||12,650 sheets|
|Dimensions||45.1" x 45" x 35.4"|
Digital Production Printers
(under 1,000,000 mo/volume)
Canon imagePRESS c910
Market Entry Year: May 2019
Canon describes the C910 as "a true light- to mid-volume production press that incorporates advanced technologies to help print establishments achieve amazing results - all in a small footprint."
While the last part of the statement is relative in comparison to comparable brands, this production printer offers a high-quality digital press that's both productive and versatile for various organization's printing needs.
|Speed||90 ppm (Letter); 45 ppm (Tabloid)|
|Max Paper Capacity||7,650 sheets|
|Dimensions||67.4" x 60.2" x 38.7"|
Ricoh Pro C7200S
Market Entry Year: March 2019
Good for simple and more sophisticated print jobs, this production printer is great for organizations who do not need the speed and volume output of some of the more robust production options.
The user-friendly operation panel and advanced automation features help improve productivity, though this model often comes at a higher price then comparable solutions.
|Max Monthly||650,000 impressions|
|Speed||85 ppm (Letter)|
|Max Paper Capacity||16,200 sheets|
|Dimensions||48.4" x 52" x 35.8"|
Market Entry Year: November 2017
This Sharp™ production printer is least robust on the list, but makes up for it with its great value. If you don't need a printer that needs an exceptionally high monthly volume or above average speeds, this machine may offer the performance and quality you are looking for, without the high-ticket price.
|Price*||$42,000 - $70,000|
|Max Monthly||300,000 impressions|
|Speed||70 ppm (Letter)|
|Max Paper Capacity||13,500 sheets|
|Dimensions||60-1/4" x 38-3/8" x 30-1/4"|
Xerox Versant 180 Press
Market Entry Date: April 2017
From Xerox, the Versant 180 "is known for high quality and easy automation and the ability to print on a wide range of media types." This is a good option for organizations who need solutions that are quality in the digital production space and not just speed. It may be an option for those who need to have these capabilities without stretching the budget.
|Price*||$59,900 - $100,000|
|Speed||80 ppm (Letter); 44 ppm (Tabloid)|
|Max Paper Capacity||9,900 sheets|
|Dimensions||48" x 30" x 33"|
A Note About Copier Service
The basic functions of a copier (copy, print, scan, fax) are similar in quality from machine to machine compared to where they were when Xerox first came on the scene. So, if you're only looking for a machine with basic functions, how do you decide?
Well, price is one way to do it, but as you will discover, the price can even vary between multiple vendors offering the same brand. What causes this price fluctuation?
That's right, a great machine with poor service becomes a mediocre machine fairly quickly. It doesn't matter how reliable your machine is if during the time that it does break down you're waiting for over a week to get it serviced by your vendor.
"Well, I'll just cut out the middle man because a manufacturer should be able to offer the best service! After all, they built the machine, so they must know how to fix it the best?" (Customer thought process)
That makes sense, but what many people forget about is that manufacturers train their service technicians in the same programs as that of the independent dealers. And it goes much deeper than that, but I won't sidetrack in this article. You can read all about it in our blog about the differences between copier dealers and manufacturers.
If you're ready to purchase a copier, but you aren't sure what questions you should ask your dealer, take a look at our blog about the questions you should ask a copier dealer and check out the video. You'll be ready to go in no time!
"The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten." - Benjamin Franklin
Posted by Bernie Schom
Bernie Schom is the Vice President of Sales at Standard Office Systems and has been in the copier and printer industry for over three decades.