How to Save 10 Minutes and $100,000

By Elizabeth Gooding / Published:

Sometimes little numbers turn into big numbers. With high-speed inkjet a little bit of improved productivity can make big additions to annual revenue. To prove our point, we’ve added a Downtime Calculator to inkjet Insight.

The scenarios below relate to “images per minute” in the document space, but they could as easily be any other unit per minute of finished product based on the speed of your production or industrial device.

Time is Money on the Inkjet Clock

Consider that production roll-fed inkjet systems commonly run at 2,000 to 3,000 images per minute and some reach speeds of over 7,000 images per minute. Running a press at 2,500 ipm, 6 days per week and 50 weeks per year for a single shift with an average price of 2.5 cents (0.025) has potential revenue of $30,000 per shift with 100% uptime. While 100% may not be reasonable – in this scenario that every minute of downtime per shift reduces your revenue by over $18,000 per year.

Perhaps you are running an ultra-high quality press at less than full speed, say around 1000 ipm. This should also mean that you can charge more for that product. If we look at 50 weeks per year, 6 days per week and 2 shifts per day at this speed and charging , the potential revenue per minute is $50 and the annualized cost per minute of downtime is $30,000 per year.

So where’s my $100,000?

Above we only looked a minute of downtime per shift. How about 45 minutes of downtime per shift? That $30,000 turns into $1.35 million in annualized downtime costs for two shifts. Some of that time is unavoidable maintenance time but some of it is avoidable. Cutting that downtime by 10% (4.5 minutes per shift) can drop $135,000 to the bottom line. If you can shave a full 10 minutes off the shift, that turns into $300,000 per year.

Even if you are running a high-color sheet-fed press at @300 ipm (and charging for quality product) the numbers are still substantial. Just changing the speed in the scenario above, 45 minutes of downtime costs $405,000 per year. Shaving 10 minutes yields $90,000 per year (okay not 100k but pretty close!)

How can I save 10 minutes?

In addition to providing you with this calculator to help you identify potential savings, we are bringing back our “Tip of the Week” with a series on cutting 10 minutes of downtime from our expert contributors as well as experienced inkjet customers.

To start off our tips, Jeff Matos of Broadridge recommends data analysis. ” We use Spencer Metrics Connect and it give us tons of data that we use to identify trends – not only in traditional downtime, but also set-up time.  So, we can see downtime trends and link them to specific job types or paper stocks.  We can also see that Susy is able to set-up a specific job faster than Bobby and investigate why.” Jeff also recognizes that not everyone has a new software budget and suggests approaches that anyone  can do with existing tools.  “Track your downtime in a database like Access, or at least Excel, and use drop down reason codes so that downtime can be grouped and then analyzed for trends.  You may find certain times of day have more downtime (shift changeover) or that certain vendor technicians take longer to fix common problems.”

You may need time, software or set up help to realize your savings, but we hope this calculator will help you justify the effort. Stay tuned for more “10 minute tips” from Pete Basiliere, Lois Ritarossi, Pat McGrew, Mary Schilling and Inkjet Insight readers like you. Have a tip or product to share? Get in touch.

About the Author

Elizabeth Gooding


Elizabeth is the Editor and Co-founder of Inkjet Insight. She has a rare ability to see print related issues from many perspectives. She has managed creative teams on complex design projects, selected outsourcers for major brands and helped print organizations to retool operations, focus their market positioning and educate sales teams to accelerate growth. She works with a team of top analysts to translate experiences into tools, data and content to help print organizations evaluate the potential of inkjet, optimize their operations and grow pages profitably. She is a founding member of the Inkjet Summit advisory board, the co-author of an award-winning book on designing for inkjet and a curious consultant constantly seeking innovative ways to drive new pages onto inkjet presses.

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