SUMMARY: Collating & Stapling Printers (revised)

From: William C. DenBesten (
Date: Thu Feb 08 1996 - 14:22:25 CST

I'm looking for a printer which could be used to take most of the load off
our our photopier. Particular characteristics I need include:

        1) Operates at a speed of at least 20 PPM
        2) Understands Ethernet
        3) Understands LPD protocols (i.e. BSD Unix printing)
        4) Understands PAP protocols (i.e. Macintosh printing)
        5) Understands PostScript
        6) Can print on both sides of a page
        7) Can staple the pages of each copy together
        8) Does not require each page to be repeatedly sent over network.
        9) I plan to print at least 20,000 pages per month.

I have found three solutions which meet my needs. The QMS 4525 print
system and the Xerox docuprint are high-volume printers with a "finisher"
that can staple. The Cannon gp30f is a photocopier with a built in RIP.
It has a "sorter/stapler" attached.

Unfortunately, it appears that the stapler is not something you are only
going to find on "high end" printers for the moment. Hopefully, this will
migrate to "mid sized" printers soon.

Along the way, I learned that there are two basic strategies for stapling
and handling the output. The "sorter/stapler" has 20 (or more) bins. As
the pages come out, they are placed one per bin. After the last pages have
been printed, the stapler moves across the bins and staples them. All
copies of page 1 leave the printer before any copies of page 2. This
causes a limit of 20 (or whatever) copies before the printer must be

The other type is a "finisher". In this type, all the copies of page 1 are
accumulated. At the end of each copy, it is stapled and dropped in place.
Frequently, they can run from job to job without human intervention.

My intuition tells me that the finisher is a better choice because it is
mechanically simpler and therefore less prone to jamming. (Recirculating
document feeders on photocopiers may conteract this preference, however).

The "interesting" printers I have found are:

QMS Print System

    300 or 600 DPI (selectable). Output is collated by offset-stacking. The
    4525 handles all my needs. The 3825 handles everything but stapling,
    like most of the others in this summary.

    3825 38 pages per minute; 200,000 pages per month
    4525 45 pages per minute; 650,000 pages per month $45,000 MSRP (ouch!).

Xerox Docuprint

   The Xerox docuprint received the most responses. Apparently, it will do
   what we want, but is just a little bit "bigger" than our needs or our

   300 DPI, optional "High-Capacity Stitcher/Stacker".

   Model 350-HC 50 pages per minute; 750,000 pages per month
   Model 390 92 pages per minute; 2,000,000 pages per month

Cannon gp30F

   A 30PPM photocopier with a RIP attached. 400DPI. Does all of
   the above. Cost is $20,000 to $30,000. Apparently, this is the only
   photocopier on the market with an attached RIP. Our sales rep. expects
   that the rip will find its way to other photocopiers in the next couple
   of years and that the price will drop significantly.

HP LaserJet 5si MX

   Duplex printing, a large paper tray and a "multi-bin mailbox"
   are available as options. Does not collate (internally) or staple.
   Interestingly enough, the mailbox looks remarkably similar to the
   staple-sorter on our photopier.

   600 DPI, 24 pages per minute; 100,000 pages per month.

Dec Printserver

   Duplex printing, a large paper tray and a "mailbox" are available as
   options. Does not collate or staple. I could not find information
   about the mailbox on their web site.

   Their web site does not mention PAP protocols (macintosh printing).
   If this turns out to be a problem, KSpool <>,
   netatalk or 3rd party conversion boxes can solve it.

   600 DPI. Both of these look like relabeled QMS printers.

   17/600 17 pages per minute; 70,000 pages per month
   32 plus not specified (32?); 200,000 pages per month

Thanks to: (Ron Lancaster) (Perry Hutchison) (Jeff Wasilko)
      Ric Anderson <>
      "Gary W. Marine" <> (Danny Johnson)
      "Kelly G. Price" <Kelly.Price@Eng.Auburn.EDU> (Jeff Wasilko)

William C. DenBesten
Computer and Network Systems Administrator
Department of Computer Science
Bowling Green State University
Bowling Green Ohio 43403-0214.

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