Welcome To Signs101.com: Largest Forum for Signmaking Professionals

Signs101.com: Largest Forum for Signmaking Professionals is the LARGEST online community & discussion forum for professional sign-makers and graphic designers.

 


  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

3M™ MCS™ Warranty for Traffic Printer question

Discussion in 'Digital Printing' started by jdwilliams1, Nov 15, 2020.

  1. jdwilliams1

    jdwilliams1 Member

    202
    0
    16
    Sep 14, 2011
    Indiana
    Hello, I am new to roll to roll as we only have 3 UV flatbed mimaki printers. We were printing onto reflective material on the flatbeds and as expected the life is shorter than we would like and I was just curious if someone could recommend a good latex printer that would qualify for the 3M™ MCS™ Warranty. I am not against the HP Latex 360/365 but we currently run mimaki and thought it would be nice to stay with the same brand. Maybe there is a comparable Mimaki machine to the HP Latex 365.

    We would like this printer to be able to do more than just print on reflective so would love to hear your thoughts on versatility of the HP365 and/or a printer from Mimaki that is comparable.

    Thanks
    Jay
     
  2. Christian @ 2CT Media

    Christian @ 2CT Media Major Contributor

    4,654
    724
    113
    Jun 15, 2009
    Mesa, Arizona
    3m only warranties the HP Latex 365 / Flexi system for the small production or EFI/Durst for large production.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. ikarasu

    ikarasu Very Active Member

    1,944
    618
    113
    Jun 10, 2016
    Port Coquitlam, bc
    As christian said... you generally only have 2 choices. If you're not a 3M Certified shop and are willing to use Avery, it opens up more options. Or Oracal...

    I'm hoping you're not doing official traffic signs with your flatbed. It's not just the Warranty you're voiding by using the mimaki... It doesn't meet MOT/DOT Whatever your traffic standard is by not using an approved process. It wont reflect as good...and if someone gets into an accident and find out, you could potentially be sued for providing a non regulatory sign (Likely wont happen, but not worth the risk)

    Keep in mind if you buy a 365, You're forced to use Flexi traffic edition which you have to buy separately (Few thousand). It wont work with your current printers... so you'll be running 2 different rips. It hasnt been updated to the latest version of Flexi, and coming from onyx I find it garbage. We only use it for traffic and run the printer with onyx the rest of the time.

    Other than that... The machines aren't bad. I find the length on traffic materials is never consistant... Everything else has been ok, but when we print a 4x8 sign it can be a quarter of an inch off...which sucks when you have a border all around like most traffic signs. For non traffic stuff it works good. I hate the loading mechanism compared to the 560, but since 3M wont certify the 560, theres not much we can do! I wish we didnt have to buy an old printer to have traffic certification...
     
  4. jdwilliams1

    jdwilliams1 Member

    202
    0
    16
    Sep 14, 2011
    Indiana
    Thank you for the information, this is very helpful. Actually our signs are more novelty than anything and we clearly mention they do not meet MOT/DOT standards and we recommend them for indoor use only. But our customer base is growing and we would like to not turn away all the official DOT signage that we could be making.
     
  5. ikarasu

    ikarasu Very Active Member

    1,944
    618
    113
    Jun 10, 2016
    Port Coquitlam, bc
    Cheapest best way is likely the 3xx series then.

    3M is very picky about their certification though. You have to use a specific overlam, and only high intensity and diamond grade meet their warranty.... 3290 isn't printable on latex, and 3430 doesn't meet their warranty specs...although it prints just fine and lasts just as long. So that's something to keep in mind! You also need to send in color samples every year to keep your certification.

    We do lots of traffic signs on ours.... Its got its hiccups, but it's great if you don't do screen printing, or are doing small quantities where screen printing doesn't make sense.

    And unless you're willing to drop 1-200k into a durst, it's you're only option for 3m right now!
     
  6. jfiscus

    jfiscus Map Wraster

    3,204
    242
    63
    Apr 2, 2009
    Cincinnati, OH
    We have our 3M MCS certification here and use Epson s60600 printers.
    We came from Mimaki Solvent (JV3s) and tried the latex route for ayear with a HP 360, but were very very unhappy and sold our machine.
    We are sticking with 3M and Epson EcoSolvent.
     
  7. Christian @ 2CT Media

    Christian @ 2CT Media Major Contributor

    4,654
    724
    113
    Jun 15, 2009
    Mesa, Arizona
    Not on traffic though. This person is asking about Traffic Cert
     
  8. jfiscus

    jfiscus Map Wraster

    3,204
    242
    63
    Apr 2, 2009
    Cincinnati, OH
  9. balstestrat

    balstestrat Active Member

    634
    97
    28
    Aug 25, 2020
    Between the bits
    If you really want to do it this way then get the L365, you will be fine and it's a good printer. Don't really have much more choices anyways...
     
  10. Joe House

    Joe House Active Member

    973
    218
    43
    Feb 5, 2004
    WA
    ikarasuikarasu - turn off the OMAS in your media selection and manually perform the feed adjustment (Settings>Image Quality Maintenance>Substrate Advance Calibration) Do this after you have it connected to the take up if you're using it. Life will be much better.

    Good Luck
     
  11. ikarasu

    ikarasu Very Active Member

    1,944
    618
    113
    Jun 10, 2016
    Port Coquitlam, bc
    unfortunately that means wasting a good 6-7 ft of material! When diamond grade is about $1800 (Canadian) a roll...thats quite a bit of waste when you're sometimes printing 1 sign. When it's a full roll I'll usually do that and keep the offcut for our screen printing side... but if I did that for every sign We'd have hundreds of ft of offcuts of every material.

    One thing I havent tried is doing that, starting the print like normal and taping it up to the take up reel... If it makes just the first few signs a CM or two off thats not a big deal. I'll give it a go tomorrow... Thankfully most of our signage is bulk and screen print... but certain cities are requiring digital over screen for some reason

    I dont know why Hp's tracking is so bad on traffic materials... everything else is pretty much bang on for us.
     
  12. balstestrat

    balstestrat Active Member

    634
    97
    28
    Aug 25, 2020
    Between the bits
    It's quite simply the combination of heat and the material.
    But yeah just disable omas, do the advance calibration and start printing. Then attach to the take-up on the go. Wasting too much if you attach it before hand.
     
  13. Christian @ 2CT Media

    Christian @ 2CT Media Major Contributor

    4,654
    724
    113
    Jun 15, 2009
    Mesa, Arizona
    Heat has minimal effect on stretching diamond grade it takes over 270° to get the edges to set at a 90° bend on extrusions, the more likely culprit is a miscalculation of printed length by the HP.

    I wish we could get our OCE Colorado certified to run DOT reflective, it's color is perfect and smooth on every reflective we have ran through it and we can hit Traffic colors repeatedly.
     
  14. jdwilliams1

    jdwilliams1 Member

    202
    0
    16
    Sep 14, 2011
    Indiana
    Just so I am understanding some of the responses. We are looking more for longevity outdoors with reflective material. Is 3M the only product that will get us 10 years outdoors? Is 3M who actually regulates traffic signs? I assume this is set by the DOT?

    Sorry, just trying to learn more about this. We really just want to jet longer life for our reflective street signs. If the HP365 might allow us to also meet DOT standards then that might be the way to go so we can make other signs down the road.
     
  15. ikarasu

    ikarasu Very Active Member

    1,944
    618
    113
    Jun 10, 2016
    Port Coquitlam, bc
    I can't speak for America... But I imagine it's the same.

    There's three big players over here. 3M, avery and nikkalite. Some cities specify only avery... Some only.3m, etc. Most of the time avery and 3m are interchangeable and works.

    A 360 is only certified to print on 3M material. If you print on avery it doesn't meet the DOT Spec.

    Nikkalite only meets the spec with certain Oki printers.

    Avery uses traffic jet.

    It's stupid that they're not interchangeable.. But that's the government for you.

    All three give the same longevity pretty much. But if you want to print legit traffic signs... You need the printer that's spec ed for the material.

    I'm sure the 360 prints will last ten years I m avery as well as nikkalite.... But you can't do traffic on those materials with it, and vice versa.
     
  16. jdwilliams1

    jdwilliams1 Member

    202
    0
    16
    Sep 14, 2011
    Indiana
    I do have a follow up question, if we go with the HP365 I assume 3M will provide the exact inks that need to be used. SO my question is I am sure the HP365 can print in other capacities, banners other vinyl etc. So are these 3M inks more expensive making the machine use hard to use for other applications once we plug in using the 3M inks? If it seems I don't know what I am talking about, I really don't. Sorry for the silly questions, reflective printing may make up a small portion of my printing in the beginning and I want to be able to use the printer for other types of job, not just reflective.
     
  17. Commando

    Commando Member

    296
    17
    18
    Oct 11, 2013
    Tennessee
    We use HP ink and we are certified. 3M ink was never mentioned(if they even make that).Certification is the only reason we use those crappy printers. But we have to. Our biggest customer base is local and state municipalities. Who, BTW, often bid out for HIP and Diamond grade. Or simply wont have any other sheeting. Like DOT. In fact, DOT, only wants screen printing on many of their signs. Dont ask me why lol.
    The 365 can do 3M 3290 and non reflective, too. We often use oracal NR. Banner printing is fine, too. I prefer solvent ink for banners, though.
     
  18. jdwilliams1

    jdwilliams1 Member

    202
    0
    16
    Sep 14, 2011
    Indiana
    Wow, thanks for the response Commando. I may have misunderstood, I thought maybe the certification was because of special inks or something. Appreciate your help, although now I am concerned that buying the HP365 might be a mistake. In all honesty we are not trying to become this huge municipal sign maker. We actually sell novelty street signs but some of our customers like to use them outside down by their driveway. Our website clearly says our signs are not DOT approved so maybe we need to look for another option. We use to print reflective diamond grade with our JF1631 flatbed and the ink held great, now we have JFX200 and the ink is flaking off in under 6 months so just looking for a solution for our novelty signs.
     
  19. WYLDGFI

    WYLDGFI Merchant Member

    1,443
    216
    63
    Oct 27, 2006
    Linden, NJ
  20. balstestrat

    balstestrat Active Member

    634
    97
    28
    Aug 25, 2020
    Between the bits
    Yeah you just use the normal HP 831 ink that is 3M certified.
     
Loading...
Similar Threads - 3M™ MCS™ Warranty
  1. Andy D
    Replies:
    3
    Views:
    1,581

Share This Page

 


Loading...