Defining Productivity

  • Beds per hour are a calculation of print speed and loading/unloading time of the material in flatbed printing. The equivalent measure for combination units is number of pieces per hour. Both define productivity and are dependent on:
    • The efficiency of the operator or loading system;
    • The size and type of material being used;
    • The time to register materials on the equipment.
  • Total Processing Time: Assuming all of the graphic file preparation work is completed, Total Processing Time is the sum of:
    • Ripping file + Registering Substrate + Load / Unload time + Normal Maintenance Time + Additional Finishing Required

Demonstration Proof Points: It is highly recommended that you have 2 to 3 print files that you DO NOT send to the equipment supplier prior to the demonstration. Test the files real-time using the two proof points below to observe the actual work flow and assess real processing time.

Proof Point #1: Print multiple beds at the print mode and speed that delivers the desired print quality and meets all registration requirements. Judge the print quality and registration for that application. Measure the load / unload time using a stopwatch. We recommend doing these measurements for either 12 separate print runs or 1 hour.

Proof Point #2: Evaluate the following:

  • The time it takes to complete each of the Total Processing steps. Measure it for multiple types of files and substrates.
  • Determine if the equipment, RIP, and workflow software permits a file to be ripped while printing.
  • Whether the equipment enables the production of multiple sheets in one print run in register.
  • Whether the equipment allows for multiple up of more than one image.
  • Document the normal loading / unloading times, normal maintenance procedures, and whether additional finishing is required.

Calculate the total processing time and add the print time to determine beds per hour or pieces per hour.


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