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COLEX or ESKO

Discussion in 'CNC Routing & Laser Cutting' started by jsonpaul, Nov 14, 2019.

  1. jsonpaul

    jsonpaul JASD

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    Hello All,

    I am looking for your great opinions and suggestions. We are in a position to purchase our first CNC machine and i am about to make a decision this weekend. We just signed our purchase on the flatbed and working on the Cutting table next

    We narrowed down our selection to ESKO X24 Edge Short Run and COLEX sharpcut and i want your inputs on which would be a more better machine I broken it down on the specs.

    - Router, we dont do a lot of it but we have a small CO2 Laser for acrylics and we are retiring in favor of the CNC.
    ESKO offers 3Kw (4hp equivalent) liquid cooled while COLEX has 3hp router

    - Knives, we do alot hand cut of PVC foamboard magnet and styrene cutting
    Both Colex and Esko includes very similar set of knives for different purposes

    - Vacuum Zone
    Colex has 6 while Esko has 4

    -Dust Collector
    Both have dust collector but Esko seems to be better at it is build for that purpose than Colex which is regular shop vac

    - Max Thickness
    Colex is 2.5 inch while Esko added the upgrade of upto 3.5 inches

    - Software for Packaging and POP signs
    Colex has Engview while Esko have Atrios CAD builder and connect

    - Upgradability, not sure if this is really relevant at all
    Esko is saying that their table is modular and can be upgraded in the future

    - Technician
    Both need to fly in technician for any issues

    - Price
    It is expected that ESKO is expensive but to my surprise it was only around 8% more expensive. After considering all add on-s and options

    Waiting for anybody's opinion and owners and operator if machines or those who has been in the market that can give me some kind of advise will be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you!
     
  2. Christian @ 2CT Media

    Christian @ 2CT Media Major Contributor

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    Colex has a 40w Laser now, but esko has much better software.
     
  3. jsonpaul

    jsonpaul JASD

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    Would the $10,000 CAD (around $7,500 USD) worth the difference in software and 4hp router? When you say software is it the controller or the Artios CAD?
     
  4. Christian @ 2CT Media

    Christian @ 2CT Media Major Contributor

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    The software that drives the table is what I'm referring too. I would say yes to the cost difference being worth it, definitely, but if you add the laser in and it works for you and it's a wash then I'd say the colex is better.
     
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  5. jsonpaul

    jsonpaul JASD

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    Laser is something i did not consider due to the venting and fumes when you laser acrylic.

    Both suppliers said delivery time is 4-6 weeks, is this true? I see some other posts here pertain to both that lead times were around 3 months 6 months and longer.
     
  6. Christian @ 2CT Media

    Christian @ 2CT Media Major Contributor

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    We were quoted 4 weeks for esko and 6 weeks for colex.
     
  7. Bly

    Bly Very Active Member

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    Take both for a test drive and see which is the easiest to use.
     
  8. SignMeUpGraphics

    SignMeUpGraphics Moderator

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    You're not wrong there. We have a laser with excellent fume extraction and acrylic cutting still smells a bit. You do not want to be venting this straight out into the workshop.
    Be interesting to see what Colex's answer to that is. I haven't looked into their machines for a few years now.
     
  9. jsonpaul

    jsonpaul JASD

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    I did some on Colex and it looks great, while Esko came into the mix lately as i expected it to be far on cost so i did not really put too much effort in looking at them. But the rep flew from Toronto just to meet me at my shop and submitted his proposal and they have heck of a lot on printing united special pricing as they presented that made it closer to the Colex pricing.
     
  10. Superior_Adam

    Superior_Adam Member

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    I would say neither and get a Zund. When we looked into them the Zund was a far better machine over the Esko platforms.
     
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  11. Christian @ 2CT Media

    Christian @ 2CT Media Major Contributor

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    How so?
     
  12. Superior_Adam

    Superior_Adam Member

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    better build, ease of use on software, ease of changing tooling. I know of a few large shops that had Esko and switched to Zund and said they would never go back and have 3 of the largest Zund tables you can get. We have had our machine over two years and have not had a tech visit yet.
     
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  13. Christian @ 2CT Media

    Christian @ 2CT Media Major Contributor

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    Hmm, that's surprising... I've heard mixed of that but the software was always Esko. From the testing we did on Zund and Procut vs Esko I'd say the Esko interface was smarter and easier but the zund was safer.
     
  14. Superior_Adam

    Superior_Adam Member

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    Set your layers in illustrator send to Prep Center it then rips out your print file and cut file to the assigned folders. Print your job, scan the barcode and Zund cut Center will tell you what tool you need and start cutting. Really easy to use and fool proof for operators.
     
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  15. greysquirrel

    greysquirrel Active Member

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    I demo the Colex recently...its pretty solid. I was impressed with their manufacturing facility and their next day EOT repair return policy. Summa takes 2-3 months. I have a firm working/service knowledge of the Summa and I'm in the market. Colex actually has a licensed version of the software Zund and Summa copied...the Summa version was always a bit buggy. As far as acrylic, we mowed through a 1 inch piece pain free and it looked really good. Not laser finished but better than any other samples I've seen so far. The conveyer belt is more of my need and tool changing was super easy on the Colex. The Summa has to be taken apart to use the router. BUT it is priced that way. I just wish Colex where more eager to sell units...I can get a Summa loaded for less than the cost of the Colex table.
     
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  16. Robert Gruner

    Robert Gruner Member

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    JASD,

    When it comes to Flatbed Cutters and CNC Routers, there's always a lot of commentary!
    Based upon your requirements, I believe you would be happy with the performance of either the Esko or the Colex. Superior_Adam has suggested the Zund might be a more robust solution. I concur; but, at a considerably higher price. I believe the greysquirrel has suggested the BEST solution in the Summa Flatbed Cutter. You would be doing yourself a disservice by not benchmarking the Summa cutter for your particular applications. The F1612 with all the tools you would require (including a High Frequency Router) can be had for under $80K. Greysquirrel noted that the EOT could take a couple months to service; however, most dealers keep an EOT with their demo unit to loan clients who must have their EOT serviced.
    Here's wishing you success in whatever decision you ultimately make.
    Bob
     
  17. jsonpaul

    jsonpaul JASD

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    Hi Bob, I actually had the summa demo in toronto last September and was not too impressed I got costing for F1330 and cost is actually higher maybe dealer has higher margin and also price i got is prior to Printing United show. Also dealer is not very keen on selling or maybe I just did not feel the machine to be fit to us. Yes it has conveyor but i did not appeal to us as we are not huge in decal and roll printing.
     
  18. jsonpaul

    jsonpaul JASD

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    According to literature the COLEX weighs 3750 lbs while esko is at 1,390lbs i just found the weight difference very odd and think of material it could be made of and why the weight is just over 1,000lbs. Any thoughts?
     
  19. MGB_LE

    MGB_LE Member

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    The laser, they say is really for textiles only. That wasn't what I was hoping to hear, but I asked directly recently at the Print United show in Dallas.

    We have a Colex Sharpcut from 2015, and we love it. the ONLY thing I wish it could do additionally is laser cut. We've cut paper, wood, acrylic, metal, corrugated plastic, and have been happy with it, equipped with the 3hp router.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2019
  20. Christian @ 2CT Media

    Christian @ 2CT Media Major Contributor

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    Our rep here gave us a sample of a 1/4" acrylic cut on the laser and it looked as good as our laser cutter. He also said they tested 1/4" woods too.
     
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