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CET owners, past and present

Discussion in 'Flatbed Printers' started by D3D, Oct 22, 2018.

  1. D3D

    D3D Member

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    We are in the market for a new flatbed and one of the choices are the CET machines. Yes, I am aware of Vanguard, they are also a consideration but this conversations is about CET. I would love to hear from people who have used either of the K2 or Q5 flatbed printers especially concerning reliability and quality over time. What are the most common problems, how serviceable are they by a resourceful end user? Thanks.
     
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  2. nate

    nate Active Member

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    I have a CET Q5. It works fine. No issues.

    That being said Dave Cich is who made CET the company it was, and now has his own company, Vanguard Digital. You mention them, but then dismiss them. They (Vanguard) are the ones I'd give my money to. Their machines are the culmination of Dave's work.
     
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  3. nate

    nate Active Member

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    I have a CET Q5. It works fine. No issues.

    That being said Dave Cich is who made CET the company it was, and now has his own company, Vanguard Digital. You mention them, but then dismiss them. They are the ones I'd give my money to.
     
  4. D3D

    D3D Member

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    Not dismissing them at all, that would be hard to do considering the enthusiasm people have for them on this forum! My conversations with Jim have been great so far and they remain an option. But they don't have a 5x10' bed in my budget, and so I am looking at whats out there, including other brands. I just wanted to get some real world feedback on CET machines in the field. I am especially curious about how the Kyocera machines perform - seems like most of the posts I have read talk about the Ricoh machines. Also curious if people are using 3rd party inks to solve some of the issues I have heard about.
     
  5. JWEI

    JWEI Curiosity

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    Previous message removed due to, I think, it would lead to misunderstanding and confusion.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2018
  6. FloraUSA

    FloraUSA Master Distributor of Flora UV Printers in the US

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    If you are in the market for a 5'x10' printer check out our two Flora models, the PP3320 6.5'x10' or the Xtra3220 6.5'x10' printers. Both units have an MSRP of just over $100k and we are currently running SGIA show specials on both units. The printers run the Konica Minolta 1024i Variable dot print head that has proven to be reliable with great image quality.

    • PP3220UV
      • Comes standard with 4 Print heads and can be expanded up to 16 print heads (2 Rows x 8 Heads per row)
      • Additional Heads can be added up to the maximum of 16 as your business grows to increase speed or capability.
      • Supports C M Y K lc lm W V inks, all colors can be loaded in the printer at the same time
      • Uses UV Lamps to cure the inks
      • 1 Year onsite Parts and Labor warranty is standard.
      • You can download the PP series brochure here: https://www.theaps.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/APS-Flora-PP-Series-10-10-18.pdf

    • Xtra3220UV
      • Comes standard with 4 Print heads and can be expanded up to 16 print heads (3 Rows, Rows 1 & 2 Support 6 Heads each, Row 3 Supports 4 Heads)
      • Additional Heads can be added up to the maximum of 16 as your business grows to increase speed or capability.
      • Supports C M Y K lc lm W V inks, but only 6 colors can be loaded at a time.
      • Uses LED Light to cure the inks
      • When configured with 3 rows of CMYK the Xtra is roughly 50% faster than the PP series.
      • 1 Year onsite Parts and Labor warranty is standard.
      • You can download the Xtra series brochure here: https://www.theaps.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/APS-Flora-XTRA-10-10-18.pdf
     
  7. D3D

    D3D Member

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    "PS: You may find they invented a joint company with o2i in France"
    JWEI, who exactly are you speaking of?

    Chris, I have test files being made on the Flora, nothing has been ruled out yet, but of course that is not what I was asking about in this thread ;) Thanks though.
     
  8. ChicagoGraphics

    ChicagoGraphics Major Contributor

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    Where in Shenzhen is your company located at, Bo'an district?
     
  9. nate

    nate Active Member

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    As far as ink, when Dave started CET I started purchasing ink from him for it. It was cheaper, adhered better and had a larger available gamut. I also get all of my supplies for the CET from him.

    Dave's 5' x 10' is a more polished machine. I'd take a look if I were you. That being said I believe that the Gen 5 and the Kyocera heads both have their places. The Gen 5 have been very reliable for me in the Q5, but the Kyocera heads work well as well.

    I don't think there's much to argue over the print heads. I think the machine as a whole, the support behind it and the ease of getting parts are all much better criteria to judge these machines by.
     
  10. D3D

    D3D Member

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    Aug 25, 2016
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    Do you have the Vanguard Kyocera machine? What CET Q5 do you have? What makes the Vanguard more polished? Vanguard inks work well in the CET?
     
  11. ChrisN

    ChrisN Member

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    We've had a Q5-1000 flatbed (3 Ricoh printheads) for over 3 years now, and we haven't had any major problems.

    I would consider them to be a good choice if you want to service the printer yourself. I went for 1 week of training at CET which was oriented towards end user service - learning how the machines work, getting comfortable working on them, figuring out common problems, etc. I think they now offer technician training to end users as well.

    The main ongoing issues we've had with our printer are with the white ink and negative pressure system.

    I've had problems with white ink drop-out, overspray, etc. After tweaking print speeds, head temp, voltage, etc, I am now fairly happy with how the white ink prints, but it's still not perfect. (Just a disclaimer - I have no idea how the output I get compares to other manufacturers, so my standards may be higher than what is common. And the customers like the finished products, so that's always good! ;))

    Also, the white ink pump seems to give out far more than the color ink pumps. In fact, I haven't replaced any color ink pumps, but I seem to have white ink pump problems every few months. However, parts are readily and inexpensively available online direct from China (signs-in-china.com is a good source), so I stocked up on ink pumps that way I have parts on hand.

    As far as negative pressure goes, I'm not too impressed with how it works. I have learned that the regulator valves are a consumable part. They can very easily get contaminated with dirt from the air, which can make them very touchy. I rigged up air filters to the input of the valves, but they still don't last forever. Expect to replace them every so often. Again, the parts are available online and you can fairly easily replace them. I believe this is one of the systems that Vanguard has improved upon from the CET version.

    We did have to replace one entire UV lamp assembly under warranty. The one shutter stopped working (which is a known problem), and then later a fan broke. This was under warranty, though, and we haven't had problems since then.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  12. CMYKENGINEERING

    CMYKENGINEERING Member

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    What ink issues have you heard about?
     
  13. D3D

    D3D Member

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    Seems like the Mosaic ink set was giving people problems, I don't recall what they were, I think maybe adhesion and being too brittle? How do your inks work in the CET machines? Do you have lc, lm? Do you make a lk for any machines?
     
  14. CMYKENGINEERING

    CMYKENGINEERING Member

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    With inks, it mostly comes down to droplet size in picaliters, and the Kyocera heads that some CET Color machines use are capable of 3pL (currently the smallest droplet volume possible).

    light cyan and light magenta, but they are unnecessary with the right profiles. In fact, you'll end up using more ink with the light colors for no real advantage.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 26, 2018
    • Like Like x 1
  15. D3D

    D3D Member

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    Do you notice any greater clogging issues with the Kyocera over the Ricoh heads?
     
  16. CMYKENGINEERING

    CMYKENGINEERING Member

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    No, but that's because of our ink's small droplet size. A cheaper (but not necessarily less expensive) ink with a droplet size of say 14-21 will definitely clog on a high-speed head like Kyocera. You always get what you pay for.
     
  17. DSGI

    DSGI Member

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    We also have a CET and it has been a love hate love relationship. Currently we love it!

    As mentioned above we use Vanguard for ink and servicing (but that is because we bought ours from a distributor that CET dissolved the relationship with to try and start selling direct, which failed and CET is now back to a distributor network I hear, we don't interact with CET at all). The machine prints better speed and quality than our NEW Acuity 28x double bed (we have a CET Q51000 Hybrid and use it mainly for banner, 3M intermediate vinyl, canvas, and some fabrics, we also can print rigid boards but have moved that to our true flatbed from Fujifilm), but since the CET is a hybrid it doesn't print the boards as well as the Acuity in regards to double sided and issues with warped media.


    I don't know what your price is but when we bought our Acuity at the end of last year we got an 8*10 Acuity Select with auto head cleaner, roll media option, and 8 heads (cmyklclmwhitewhite) for less than the Vanguard was quoted to use from the same distributor that sold us our CET (the distributor now reps Vanguard). While the Vanguard was going to be faster, it didn't do the roll to roll and we didn't need the speed for extra price.

    I would look at CET for sure IF they are less expensive than the Vanguard because after your warranty you can always have CET OR Vanguard service it if you buy Vanguard ink which is the 96 service and is the same ink CET uses for the Q5 96 series.

    I bet this is the same with any China printer, after about one year we had a major problem with the CET for a few months as parts started to fail and it made us hate it for a while, but Vanguard did a great job and got us back up and running and since then I can say that the CET has been the best printer we've bought and we hav over 10 Epsons (though the Epsons are great and right up there with the CET), had an HP Latex (I didn't like it, it wasn't for me), two Fuji Acuities (good machines but the ink from CET/Vanguard is better), and now we are looking at a Colorado or another Fuji RTR (but the Fuji RTR is probably as good as the CET from our testing and crazy cheap for a 126" printer - under $70k).

    Also, If you also look at Vanguard you should look at the EFI machines, they released a new flatbed entry printer (that is what I consider CET, Vanguard, Fuji, Flora, etc. As they are not half a million dollars or more). I am pretty sure the new EFI is like Vanguard, just a private labeled version of the Flora but out get the EFI software side of things with it which I hear really adds value. Full disclosure, I don't have any evidence of that claim, but when looking at the machines they are too similar to not have stated out at the same factory in China IMO.


    Best of luck, hopefully you get a great machine.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2018
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  18. D3D

    D3D Member

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    ChrisN , thanks for all the info, very useful. Was tweaking the voltage something you were shown how to do during the training that happened at the time of installation? Are you using CET inks?
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2018
  19. D3D

    D3D Member

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    Thanks DSGI. Do you recall what the problems were. . . white ink pumps in there some where?
     
  20. DSGI

    DSGI Member

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    We had a lot of problems with nozzles clogging which was mainly related to the pumps and how they fail/failed over time. Once we got better training and support from Vanguard Techs we were up and running and haven't had a problem in about 9 months now. The machine in it's prime printers higher quality than any machine I've seen for UV, but it's got some issues you have to be aware of/deal with - for example the CET uses Chinese software that has quite a few bugs. It's not uncommon for a pop up to say "I Am Printer" or "Error: Printer No Available" stuff like that. Also, the last time I talked with CET they were not supporting Windows 10 so you have to run Windows 7 on your printer controller computer but the OS ALWAYS TRIES TO UPDATE and you have to be very active to STOP the updates... Maybe they have new version of the printer controller software that now supports Windows 10, but I've not looked into it as Vanguard does our support and they are not developing new software for the CETs.
     
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