Pricing Questions


Pricing 1-up versus 4-up


Posted: 23 Jan 2007 04:14 pm


Hi Hal,

I have a problem quoting a 4C process work. I need a price for 4 x 1000 pages (100 mm x 205 mm). As those pages fit on one larger page, I calculated it as if it was a 1-up page and add some cutting costs in the postpress section. So page size and press sheet size were both 230mm x 440mm. I came up with a price of 370,55 euro.

Then I recalculated the same work 4-up, meaning the page size was 100 mm x 205 mm and the press sheet size 230 mm x 440 mm. This way I came up with a price of 183,55 euro.

Then I took a closer look on the run costs. In the first case the colour seps were 100 euro and on the other one 24 euro. My films are the same in size for both cases, then why isn't it 100 euro in both?

Stripping time was 3 hours 12 minutes in the first case, 48 minutes in the second. Runtime was 37 minutes in the first case and 9:10 minutes in the second. In both cases the press speed is set 7200 IPH. Why is there such big difference between the two? Which one is correct?

Many thanks, Wim.
. . . . . WimDeFour
Joined: 21 Oct 2006  Posts: 4  Location: Belgium


Hi Wim,

If I understand the job description correctly, the first price would be correct. When MF is asked to calculate a 100 x 205mm job 4-up, it uses the same 100 x 205mm original and set of films to burn a 100 x 205mm image onto the plate via step-and-repeat. Your quantity of 4 x 1,000 implies four different originals, at four times the 24 euro cost for separations.

When a 230 x 440mm job is calculated 1-up, the size of the original and the corresponding color separations is now assumed to be 230 x 440mm (such as when you're printing a poster, for instance), at slightly more than four times the cost (100 euro vs. 24 euro). If you are working with four different originals as I suspect, your initial approach was right on the money. This is the scenario you would have to use, at least until the Booklet Module becomes available.

That accounts for the difference in the film and stripping prices. When you recalculated the job 4-up, did you enter a quantity of 1,000 or 4,000?

Good to hear from you. All the best for the New Year!
. . . . .  Hal Heindel


Hi Hal,

Also all the best for 2007. I'm working on a Dutch translation for MF. But currently I'm still using the English version.

Concerning my 4-up pricing problem, if I need to calculate a job with 4 different pages on 1 bigger page, I better not use the 4-up way? Even if I manually adjust the film pricing? So if I know the X-up way of calculating only charges 1 set of films, then I have to add the other ones. No big deal with that for me, just a way of working! But I can not do the same with stripping, I think. Is the stripping price in my first calculation the correct one?

My imagesetter can do the imposition for me, so all 4 pages will be placed on 1 big film next to each other (same stripping price in both cases, because similar films?). What else is included in the stripping price that makes it more expensive, when using 1 big film, like in the first case?

Any idea why the runtime is different? I did enter a quantity of 4000 when calculating 4-up. In both cases there are 1000 press sheets to print at the same IPH. I mean, on the press there is no difference, I think?

By the way, is my first price not too high, I'm using a plain 80 grams offset? You have to know I did not calculate many 4C Process yet. All my other calculations worked very fine and quick, but this one is hard!

Anyway, thanks for this quick reply! Sorry for all those further questions here! Wim.
. . . . . WimDeFour


Hi Wim,

I'm excited to hear you're working on a Dutch version of Morning Flight. When you're done, please let me know so I can announce it on the Forum.

There's no reason why you couldn't use 4-up pricing for four different pages, IF (and it's a big if) you manually adjust prepress costs. Signatures, as x-up sheets with different pages are called in the U.S., will be accommodated automatically with the Booklet Module. In contrast, both the Free and the Silver Edition of MF treat any kind of x-up work as printing the same page x-times up.

You're right, there are quite a few questions here, so before we get into specifics, it may be best to start with the fundamentals. We may have to go back and forth a bit.

First, while there will be differences in stripping costs (with camera film) between one large set of films and four small sets, run times should always be identical. In other words, the press shouldn't care whether it's being fed a 230 x 440mm press sheet with four identical or four different pages. Let's tackle that before we get into prepress.

I've tried to duplicate your quote, without actually converting from dollars to euros. Here is what I've come up with. For the benefit of new Morning Flight users reading this, to get to the Run Costs zoom window, either click the camera button or click on the white panel on the right of the main window when you see the camera cursor.






As you can see, Makeready at 30 minutes and Runtime at 14 minutes are the same for each case. I couldn't duplicate your press speed of 7,200 IPH. Even at the lowest setting (very easy), the press speed for 4-C is still only 6,700 IPH. That's probably the first thing we should look into.






Whether your four-color price is too high or too low for your market in Belgium, that would be difficult for me to answer. If you do a lot of that kind of work, you may want to have a friend call around for competitive quotes. Don't expect consistency. Some of the answers may surprise you.
. . . . .  Hal Heindel