How to stack print with "cheaper" printer? (InDesign/Color printer Laser)

We are now and then printing catalogs. Currently using an old HP CLJ 4500. The catalog itself is made up of several InDesign documents due to size constraints. It is simply too cumbersome to handle everyting in one document due to the size of the pages (a lot of color graphics).

Now to the problem, it's a pain sorting out the pages after each print. I have to basically sort every single paper afterwards to make up the individual catalogs which is incredibly time consuming.

As we are looking to buy a new printer this year I was wondering whether there is any smart solutions for this. The real stacking printers are way too expensive (>6000$), our budget would be <2000&#8364;. I've seen some descriptions for printers that can insert a blank paper between different prints although I don't actually understand what that means.

Anyways this problem must be as old as herpes so I thought someone here could help out.

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hdhondtConnect With a Mentor Commented:
All Xerox PostScript printers can "collate" if a hard disk is installed. Look at the Phaser 6250, 8850 and other models. At least the starting price of these (even after adding a disk) will easily meet your budget.

The disk allows you to send a job once, and have the printer produce multiple copies, collated. The printer can also insert blank pages between the copies. This page can be taken from a separate tray, and you can use coloured paper to clearly define the copies.
jerraAuthor Commented:
Our budget is <2000euro.
jerraAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the tip! I'll have a look at those printers and update this question after.
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thoffmanConnect With a Mentor Commented:
How many copies at a time are you printing? If you don't have that many to print, here's what I would do.

1) Pause the printer queue (right-click the printer in the printers folder and choose pause).
2) Go to the printer properties. On the advanced tab, choose "Keep printed documents."
3) Print a single copy of each section, in order.
4) You'll see the jobs line up in the printer queue. Make sure they're in the correct order. If not, delete the jobs that aren't in the right order and re-print them. This shouldn't be a problem, though.
5) Unpause the printer (depending on the operating system, uncheck Pause or choose Resume Printing).

At this point, your first copy will have printed. Once it's done, do this for each copy:

1) Select all the jobs in the printer's queue
2) Go to the Document menu and choose Restart

That should do it. It's a little more time-consuming than just printing the number of copies you need, but they'll end up in the correct order this way, using your current printer.

jerraAuthor Commented:
Troy, thanks for the tip, but I do think we will go with a printer first hand. I may know how to do it but there are others that have less experience with computers etc here too. Today it was about 2000 papers / both sides which is about 30 catalogs. Thing is that this printer does not handle duplex (duplex unit broken) so that too should be fixed by having a new printer.

I am waiting for info regarding the Xeroxes from a local sales rep.
As you check printers, another source you might try is one of HP's selections.  A variety of selections and capabiolities to meet your needs.

Hope this Helps!!!

Do you know which ones have the collate function built-into the printer? I'm sure some do, but I don't know offhand which models.
jerraAuthor Commented:
Ok this thing with collating is not so clear after all. Why is it not stated in the specs for all printers? Must be an important feature after all.

I got an offer for a Xerox Phaser 6300dn which is supposed to handle collation. I forgot to mention the disk option so I am waiting for an updated offer on that printer. A very big plus for this printer is the size of the 2nd standard tray (550 papers).

I am also looking into the HP 3800dn & HP 4700dn (both with the disk option added). Waiting for some info on the collation featre on those.
jerraAuthor Commented:
Just got the info from the sales rep that the HP 3800 & 4700 supports collation if done from the software that is printing eg MS Word(?).
jerraAuthor Commented:
Ok, ordered a Xerox 6300dn + internal drive. Price was 1880euro (not incl VAT). Thanks all for the info.
>Do you know which ones have the collate function built-into the printer? I'm sure >some do, but I don't know offhand which models.

I know mechanical attachments are available for say 8100 and 9000 Series and any of the current models that have a hardrive option should be able to do that BUT I'd have to check to confirm that.  As I think we have discussed before, Xerox is the choice for a quality product although HP can be good.

Hope this Helps!!!   LOL
Thanks for the points, Jerra.

Just to clear things up, software collation means that the application sends each copy of every page (i.e. send pages 1,2,3,1,2,3,1,2,3 again and again). With large, graphic intensive print jobs this can create MASSIVE print files.

With the hard disk in the Xerox, you send the pages just once, and the printer does the rest. Not only is the print file much smaller, but the job will also print much faster because the printer does not have to re-process each page every time.
jerraAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the explanation. Yeah that is the problem here, a lot of graphics, big graphics. I was told today that some of the InDesign documents have to be printed page by page otherwise the clients computer more or less hangs. Guess the communtication between client <--> printer is too intensive. Software collation can not be done at all for the same reason. Expecting the new printer this week, will be interesting to see how it performs.
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