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Question First Eco Solvent printer

Discussion in 'Newbie Forum' started by stuart m, May 28, 2020.

  1. stuart m

    stuart m New Member

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    Apr 11, 2020
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    Im looking at purchasing a used roland 540. I have been doing basic vinyl graphics on a summa cutter for two years now.

    Does anyone have any recommendations for or against this machine? where i am in canada is limited for support and used equipment.

    first question, how much can you do without a laminator?

    How long can the machine sit without use, i did google this but seams like there are lots of very different answers.

    Whats the biggest hurdle to moving up to full color printing from just decals?
     
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  2. jimmmi

    jimmmi Member

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    According to these questions an hp latex fits you better
    Super easy to work with. No need lamination in many circumstances, can sit turned off some days without problem
     
  3. FatCat

    FatCat Very Active Member

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    Here are my thoughts;

    1. If you're getting it cheap, it's probably at worst going to be a good learning tool for you. Hopefully you've seen it print, and know the condition, etc. If you're buying a fixer-upper and don't know anything about solvent machines, save your money and buy new. ROLAND, MIMAKI, MUTOH solvent machines are all very similar and require the same care and maintenance.

    2. If you plan on doing any long term outdoor signs or vehicle wraps a laminator is a must. Cheap yard signs and banners don't need laminate in most cases - but real estate signs, vehicle magnets or anything that customers expect to last really should be laminated for best durability.

    3. If the machine is in good shape, cap top is sealing good and tight, pump works fine, etc.you can let an eco-solvent printer sit for about a week and still be able to clean up the head without too much fuss. HOWEVER, that is only if everything is in perfect shape. I would recommend no more than 2-3 days for good measure, our printers are turned off every night and all weekend. If you're not running it much turn it on every other day and print a small test print or a yard sign or something just to keep ink moving. Do a test pattern and check it to make sure all your nozzles are good every time you print with it.

    4. I believe the biggest hurdle is understanding correct file setup, color theory and the materials and settings you must use to print correctly and achieve good results. If you have none or little background in printing or prepress in general you have a lot to learn and it can be a daunting task with a steep learning curve. It isn't like buying a desktop printer and plug and play...to get good sellable prints you need to know how to fix and tweak colors to match your customer expectations. You also need to understand resolution and how different types of graphic files should be used and when to use them. Then you have to learn all the materials, calendared vs. cast, when to use what material for what application, etc. All of that takes time and experimenting on your dime.

    In the end, I know everyone thinks a printer is a great thing to have, but unless you can average about $5,000/month in sales minimum, you'll be better off subbing out your prints to a wholesale vendor and skip the cost and time needed to maintain a solvent printer.

    Again, just my opinion - I wish you the best of luck in either case.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. stuart m

    stuart m New Member

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    Apr 11, 2020
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    asking price is 8k ,(canadian) its currently being used in production so i can see it operating, they have had it for two years and the heads were replaced when they bought it. They are upgrading because its too slow for them i guess. Only other machine on the east coast for sale is a roland VG 540 with laminator for 15k. For my volume i dont think its worth it for me to look at a new machine.

    As far as latex goes i dont really understand the difference i guess well enough ? Latex is only made by HP ? does that make the ink more expensive with no competition in the market.

    One of my interested being on the ocean is doing waterproof hull decals as fishermen love customizing their boats out here. I also want something with cutting built in as stickers is another thing i get asked about almost daily. (not sure theres a lot of money in stickers?).
     
  5. FrankW

    FrankW Very Active Member

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    There are a lot of different Roland 540 models: do you mean a Hifijet FJ 540, a Soljet SC540, a Versacamm SP540V, a SP540i, VP540, VP540i, VS540, VS540i, Soljet XC540, VG540, VG2-540 ..,

    Depending of the age and model, a „Roland 540“ can be both ... a good or bad choice.
     
  6. rjssigns

    rjssigns Major Contributor

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    Nozzle check and shot count need to be looked at. Also what series 540? SP, VG, VS?

    As far as being idle my SP540V would sit for one or two weeks while on vacation. Fired right up when I got back. Main thing is to leave the power on so they can self clean.

    Integrated cutter is not the way to go. Been there done that got a Summa to pair with my SP540V. Unreal difference in cut quality and no longer had to worry if the Roland was going to "eat" the job. Sold the Roland and kept the Summa.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  7. stuart m

    stuart m New Member

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    Apr 11, 2020
    Rothesay CA
    Sorry its a sp-540v , i have a summa d60u currently but it does not have the ops system so i dont think i can cut printed stuff properly.

    There is also a what looks like newer ? VS-540 , with a one year old head for 9500. its about 10 hours away.
     
  8. player

    player Major Contributor

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    Maybe buy new on payments so you get on site warranty. How big is your cutter?
     
  9. SignMeUpGraphics

    SignMeUpGraphics Moderator

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    • Agree Agree x 2
  10. ams

    ams Very Active Member

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    You can't go wrong with Roland. I've been in the industry for 12 years and have only used Roland's they are work horses. You don't need laminate for short turn or coroplast signs. But for aluminum, vehicles, etc you need it. I recommend a SEAL cold laminator EL54. Roland's do self cleaning so you can let it sit for a few weeks without use.
     
  11. ikarasu

    ikarasu Very Active Member

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    You wont be doing hull decals without a laminator. If your volume is not high enough to purchase a proper setup... Sub it out to another company until you get enough work for it to make sense.

    8K is too much as well. You can buy a brand new Latex 115 for 8-9K... Put it on a lease and you can pay it off over 5 years. It's not as fast, but for your use case it suits you better.
     
  12. Notarealsignguy

    Notarealsignguy Active Member

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    You can get a new printer for not much more. They will be lucky to get half what they are asking, its an old machine.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  13. Chriswagner92

    Chriswagner92 Member

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    I would stay away from the sp540v, especially if you're looking for a print and cut setup. I've ran one for a few years and the cut tolerances were never within an acceptable range. I've been running the hp 335 with separate cutter for 2 years now and am very happy with the machines and quality of the prints.
     
  14. chester215

    chester215 Just call me Chester.

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    You can get a new Epson for a relatively good price.

    upload_2020-5-29_9-49-37.png
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  15. FatCat

    FatCat Very Active Member

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    SP-540 is kind of a dinosaur compared to today's printers. Yes, they still print and can still do the job, but I agree with everyone else, $8,000 is way too much money no matter the condition.
     
  16. rjssigns

    rjssigns Major Contributor

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    Way too much for an SP540V. Sold mine for $2800 last year. Built like a tank though.
    BTW ribbon cables, encoder strip, encoder board are all consumables.
     
  17. Goatshaver

    Goatshaver Member

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    I agree with the others. I bought my SP540V two years ago, and it was in great shape for $2500. That's way too much for that old of a printer. I'd try and talk them down.
     
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