The Konica Minolta bizhub PRESS 1250 has picked up yet another award, this time at the Buyers Laboratory LLC's (BLI) 2014 PRO Awards where is scooped the prize for Outstanding Monochrome Light- to Mid-Volume Production Device.
In the highly competitive and complex world of production print, choosing the most suitable device is a tough task for buyers. BLI is the world’s leading independent provider of analytical information and services to the document imaging industry, with unmatched expertise in evaluating devices gained over the past 50 years. The PRO awards go to the best performers in BLI’s production test suite, which sheds light on how these devices perform in the real world.
BLI’s field evaluations entail three full days of intensive testing during which tens of thousands of impressions are printed—from 30,000 to more than 150,000 depending on the model. Devices are tested for productivity with coated and uncoated media in a wide range of weights and sizes and using various finishing options to simulate a wide variety of real-world job scenarios. BLI technicians also evaluate image quality, including production of halftones, text and fine lines, plus density levels, variations in density and drift over the course of a 1,000-page print run. In addition, BLI assesses media-handling capabilities in terms of the paper sizes, weights and capacities supported, media catalogue integration and inline finishing options available. The test also includes an assessment of ease of use for setting up, submitting and managing jobs; loading paper and toner; switching out operator-replaceable components; and removing misfeeds.
Having generated tens of millions of impressions on production devices from the leading vendors over several years—both in the lab and in the field—BLI’s production tests reveal what separates the best from the rest. It is the best - the top performer in each category - that BLI recognises with its annual PRO Awards.
"The bizhub PRESS 1250 is a true production workhorse and its outstanding media handling, plus the wealth of feedback it provides, ensure jobs will not only get done quickly, but with minimal interruptions," said David Sweetnam, BLI's head of European Research and Lab Services.
Highly productive, the bizhub PRESS 1250 is the only model in its class to have earned BLI's 5-star rating for productivity, with throughput speeds that were among the fastest tested to date on heavy-grade stocks and better than those of competitors with A3 and SRA3 media. "Mixed-media workflows were handled well, and virtually no drop-off in rated speed was experienced when running sub-set stapling and perfect bindery jobs. Plus, a new tandem print ability gives productivity a further boost by allowing a job to be split across two devices," said Sweetnam.
BLI noted that the series is highly customisable from base to full configuration, meaning it can be tailored to the specific needs of an environment. The compact footprint of the base configuration makes it a good fit in in-plant and CRD environments, while extensive finishing and stacking options, including perfect binding, ring binding and 50-sheet saddle-stitch capability, serve the device well in print-for-pay or commercial print shops. Up to three high-capacity stackers can be added, for an above average stacking capacity of 15,000 sheets. Duplexing is supported for media weights up to 300 gsm, exceeding the capability of several competitors, and all drawers support paper weights up to 300 gsm, whereas some competitors limit support for 300 gsm to only certain drawers or do not support it at all. Several trays include air assist technology to prevent misfeeds and any tray not actively feeding the paper path can be opened and refilled during device operation.
BLI also praised the bizhub PRESS 1250's control panel, citing that it is easy to master and, unlike with some competitors, with the custom media catalogue being fully integrated with the print driver, which provides a high level of functionality and job programming capabilities. The control panel also provides detailed information on device status, consumables and paper levels, RIP resources and the job queue, while the Scheduler feature uses colour coding to indicate to operators when certain paper types need to be replenished.
"Today's printer market is a neck-and-neck race, so winning yet another international award for this series is a major accomplishment. We are delighted that our ongoing efforts to add substantial value to our customers' businesses continue to be recognised," says Leon Minnie, product manager of production systems at Konica Minolta South Africa. "After having won the BLI PRO Award last year for our bizhub PRESS C7000, the award for our monochrome flagship bizhub PRESS 1250 is a great achievement for us and proves Konica Minolta’s leading position in the production printing industry as well as the outstanding quality of our systems."
The bizhub PRESS 1250 series represents outstanding professional solutions for industrial purposes: it combines a wide range of finishing functions with output speeds between 105 A4 / 60 A3 pages per minute (ppm) and 125 A4 / 70 A3 ppm.
The bizhub PRESS 1250 is built for peak volumes of up to 3,000,000 impressions per month. These models can be integrated into workflow solutions for efficient queue management in order to meet tight deadlines. Optimised hardware materials, high-capacity paper in- and output and unlimited toner supplies increase the reliability and help to reduce customers' costs significantly.
The PRESS models provide a print resolution of 1,200 x 1,200 dpi and offer high media flexibility. This includes the ability to print on paper weights from 40 to 350 gsm in single-sided (simplex) printing and on paper of up to 300 gsm for duplex prints. Paper sizes up to 324 x 483 mm are supported and selectable through an intelligent media catalogue.
These models also feature advanced software such as a professional screening utility and an extra utility for tone curve adjustments. 18,000 sheets of paper is the maximum load that each printer will carry and seamlessly process through a vacuum feed paper tray with front and side air assistance, independently adjustable for blow strength. Over 50 configurations are available by combining a wide variety of finishers such as an automatic ring binder, a perfect binding unit and a finisher for professional saddle stitching as well as a stacker and many more. Other features include an exclusive envelope kit for envelope printing and an optional decurling unit with a humidifier unit.