Printer suggestions please!

inquiring mind

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Our small business prints gift card packages which have a couple components for each order. One component is a 5"x7" card which will go in a cardboard frame and the other is a 4"x6" personal note card which goes in a separate envelope within that larger frame. The 5"x7" card has numerous non-photo designs and is printed on 60 lb matte recycled photo paper. The personal notecard is printed on 80 lb paneled cardstock (https://www.thepapermillstore.com/f...14-x-5-12-80-lb-cover-vellum-250-per-box.html). We also print out the actual order records on 8.5"x11" standard copier paper for our records.

Right now, we use 2 Canon MG3260's to print out our orders and custom cards. Each card component is different for each customer. One printer is used for the 8.5"x11" hard copies of the orders and the 5"x7" cards. We print all the hard copies and then adjust the tray to accept the smaller paper and then print all the 5"x7" cards. We have to feed the 4"x6" 80# cardstock into the other printer one at a time to avoid jams (card is too small for roller feed?), and this is a real bottleneck for efficiency. We need a better printing solution.

We are looking for a professional inkjet printer which would accept multiple sizes of heavier papers, so that we could use this new printer for both the 60# and 80# cardstocks papers. We need to be able to insert a stack of each of the heavier cardstocks into the new printer to avoid the one at a time feed for each order that is currently slowing us down. We can then use one of our MG3260's for the standard paper hard copies.

I am looking for suggestions for quality printers that can be used for these heavier papers. We print about 1500-2000 cards per month. Ideally, the tray for the 4"x6" 80# paper would be straight in rear-feed, so it does not get rolled going into the printer. I was looking at the Canon Pixma 100 Pro, but am not sure if it has the features we need. Thanks in advance for any and all input, feedback and suggestions! Please let me know if you need more information or have any questions.
 

Ink stained Fingers

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I rather would propose to stick with 2 printers for the different card sizes since you have quite some printing volume, and you always have a backup in case one printer is offline for whatever reasons. Printers feeding from the rear are much moe capable to handle heavier papers without jam.
Are you just printing black or color motives on these cards ? A question could come up if you are happy with the current inks you are using or whether a switch to a printer with pigment inks would make sense.
A printer like the Canon Pro 10s could offer you some budget refill options with durable inks.
 

inquiring mind

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Ink stained Fingers - The 5"x7" cards are color. The 4"x6" cards are black text only. I do like the idea of two printers, for redundancy if nothing else. We don't have a tech guy to troubleshoot, so it is often easier to just get another printer to keep things moving. Of course, we are using very cheap printers right now. Have you used the Canon Pro 10s yourself? Are you satisfied with it? It looks like it feeds from the back, but I cannot find specs anywhere saying if it would handle the smaller 4"x6" 80# cardstock, and how many cards we could stack into it at any time. If we still have to feed them one by one, but from the back, then we still have an issue. I will keep looking for the specs. Thanks for your reply.
 

Ink stained Fingers

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all such photo printers take multiple sheets of photo paper , and 4 x 6" is a standard size for photo prints; I'm actually not using Canon printers but there should not be too much of a difference in this respect between Epson and Canon, my Epson printers take 30 or more of such photo cards, but the Canon friends here should be able to confirm that further.
 

Artur5

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Canon calls the rear tray "manual tray" and the automatic top tray (used by default) they call it “rear tray”, so it’s a bit confusing.
Anyway, the rear tray ("manual" according to Canon ) feeds the media on a straight path which is the best for heavy/stiff stock like cards. Unfortunately for you, the manual tray of the Pro10s accepts paper from 8x10" up to 14x23". Therefore you can't use 4x6” or 5x7”.
The top-automatic tray,(rear according to Canon ) accepts sizes from 3.5x5” up to 13x27.4”, So 4x6 and 5x7” are fine. In this case the possible issue might be the stiffness of your cards because this tray feeds the paper with a certain angle ( 45º aprox ). No problem for most photo or fine arts papers but card stock can be very stiff, refusing to bend or maybe getting stuck in the middle.
Fact is that media manufacturers give the weight of their paper but what matters is thickness and rigidity, Photo papers up to 100lb are no problem for a Pro10s, but card stock is less dense, hence thicker for the same weight and probably stiffer. My bet is that the Pro10s would manage OK. 80 lb cards but only a practical test would tell for sure if your cards are compliant enough, so to speak.
 
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inquiring mind

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Thank you stratman. From this spec, it doesn't appear that I can use the 80# 4"x6" paper in the rear tray for a direct feed. Is that correct?

Paper Weight / Thickness
You can use paper in the following weight/thickness ranges.

  • rear tray: From 17 to 28 lb (64 to 105 g /m2) (plain paper except for Canon genuine paper)

    * You can use non-Canon genuine specialty paper that is up to 53 lb (200 g /m2).

    Do not use heavier or lighter paper (except for Canon genuine paper), as it could jam in the printer.

  • manual feed tray: From 4 to 23.6 mil (0.1 to 0.6 mm) (up to 93 lb (350 g /m2))

    Do not use paper thicker or heavier than this, as it could jam in the printer.
 

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I use to run 350 gm board from the rear paper feed tray into my Pro printers without any jams, but I could only load 5 or 6 sheets at a time…board size was 28 cm x 46 cm...
 

stratman

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From this spec, it doesn't appear that I can use the 80# 4"x6" paper in the rear tray for a direct feed. Is that correct?
Yes, that is how I read it too.
  • The rear tray handles 4x6 inches but only to a maximum of 26 lbs (106 g/m2) paper.
  • The manual feed tray has a minimum paper size of 8x10 inches but can handle up to 93 lb paper.
 
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