My company uses a over dozen standard office printers (HP9050) to print variable data marketing materials. Our customer may ask us to send a marketing letter to 80,000 postal addresses with a two day turnaround time. We split the job into 2,000 page batches and spread them across all the printers. The average duplex job prints 25-26 ppm, which is as good as it gets for this printer.
We print from PDF files that are about 2-4MB each. Each printer is connected via the parallel port to a unique PC which is dedicated to printing only. The driver has been configured to print directly to the printer and to start the job immediately. With this configuration, it takes 2-5 minutes for the jobs to start printing.
I'd like to verify that using individual PCs is in the optimum configuration. Does anyone have experience in this type of environment? Is there anything to gain by switching to a print server? I'd love to get rid of all of these PCs but can't see anyway of doing it without sacrificing speed.