Collator Buying Tips
Selecting a Collator:
If there is a big difference in price, there is usually a reason. It is always good to test the equipment on equal footing and speak to owners about what they like or dislike about the system they own and what drove their purchasing decision.
—Bob Flinn, director of Business Development, Standard Finishing Systems
Consider the reliability of both mechanical and electronic components, the number of years the manufacturer has been in business, the number of years the machine has been manufactured, the average life of the machine. Speak with other end users. If possible, visit a current user and get their opinion.
—Paul Byrne, bindery consultant, Vijuk Equipment
Look for a
machine that will last 10 years or more. Many machines out there are poorly built and do not last a decade. Look around to see if there are used ones available. If not, the machine does not have a long life span.
—David Spiel, partner, Spiel Assoc.
First determine the application matrix. The matrix would include minimum and maximum paper sizes, paper substrates, digitally printed stocks or offset-printed stocks, monthly volume and if a bookletmaker is needed.
—Si Nguyen, Product Marketing Manager, Duplo USA
Make sure when you get a demonstration that you are seeing what you want to see and not just what the seller wants you to see. Although the canned demo can be good, the true test is how the equipment and seller responds to something out of the ordinary.
—Bob Flinn, Standard FinishingSystems
If the salesperson asks you what paper size you would like to see the equipment run, tell him 11x17?, however, show up at the demo with three to five different paper sizes or jobs as well. Ask him to run your job first. If the salesperson cannot do the job or gives you excuses on why it can’t be run, then it probably is not the collator you are looking for.