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Gerber Solara UV2

Discussion in 'Gerber' started by mreffex, Jun 4, 2006.

  1. mreffex

    mreffex New Member

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    anyone running the gerber flatbed uv printer. what have you printed on so far???
     
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  2. Bell Signs

    Bell Signs Member

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    Did not see too much on this machine here..Have been wondering the same thing. We are considering the Solara, and have had a up close and personal demo. Not overly impressed..and would love to hear any input on this machine, especially vs a competitive make
     
  3. signage

    signage Major Contributor

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    Then only thing I know about UV from my research is it is best suited for ridged substraights.
     
  4. Bell Signs

    Bell Signs Member

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    The Solara is a "Hybrid". It can print on rolled as well as rigid material. The Image quality is awesome..Just like to hear from someone who actually is using the machine and not sent to us from Gerber
     
  5. ChiknNutz

    ChiknNutz Major Contributor

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    If you're not "overly impressed" why are you considring it then?
     
  6. OldPaint

    OldPaint Major Contributor

    JUST FOR GRINS...whats the lastest greatest GOOBER COST???????????)))))))))))))))))))))
     
  7. Bell Signs

    Bell Signs Member

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    The machine and included's total up to around 54k. We are considering it because the cost per square ft of production will give us an increased profit margin on Full color large format jobs. We do not want a solvent printer, so a UV machine seems like the way to go.
     
  8. Matt Cuellar

    Matt Cuellar Active Member

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    Gerber Solara UV

    I wasn't very impressed with what I saw. The quality was not as good as advertised, and the printer was extremely slow! I've also heard that Gerber's tech support isn't the easiest to deal with, but that may be open to interpretation.

    If you're serious about UV, I'd take a hard look at the ColorSpan 72uvr/uvx models. They are higher priced units, but their overall cost of ownership and operation are much lower of any other flatbed, and quite honestly, ColorSpan's tech support and customer service is the best in the industry. They are extremely durable, high quality, reliable printers and I'd much rather spend a few thousand more to get something that'll give me better capabilities for the long haul...but hey, that's just one man's opinion!
     
  9. signage

    signage Major Contributor

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    I know they will print on roll materials, but the ink has a tendency to flake off when it is bent or waves in the wind.
     
  10. threeputt

    threeputt Very Active Member

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    Finally, look into lifespan of the UV bulbs. I talked with a tech from a competitor and he said that they are $900 each and he knew of a guy who'd gone through three of them in a year. (they're considered consumables and not under warranty replacement)

    Admittedly, he's working for the competition, but there may be a kernel of truth in this. He also echoed a previous poster's idea that the ink can "jump' off of flexible materials after they're printed and dried.
     
  11. Fred Weiss

    Fred Weiss Merchant Member

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    Yes, but the other side of the coin is

    • No clogged heads
    • Reduced maintenance
    • No smell
    • No solvent fumes
    • Print direct to many substrates

    I think it would be fairly easy to keep a machine like that very busy without ever running flexible films or banners though it.
     
  12. Bell Signs

    Bell Signs Member

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    The stated lifespan of the UV bulbs is 6 months, and yeah..the replacement cost is around 800 bucks apiece and you need 2 of them. The life span relates directly to hours of use, So I would think/hope that the profitability would outweigh this negative aspect.
     
  13. seattlesignguy

    seattlesignguy New Member

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    I have run cor-x, sintra, banner, vinyls, MDO, and acrylic. It can struggle with MDO that is not flat. Gerber has updated the firmware and have a 2pass mode that looks pretty good. I know that if properly installed you will not have to change the bulbs on a Solara UV2 three times in a year. This might have happened if they did not change the bulbs properly and handled them leaving the oil from their hands. In my opinion this machine would be profitable in a shop that has the room and if outputting qty 8 4'x8' flat signs a day would be an increase to their production. That being said I would go with the speed and versatilty you get from a solvent printer and laminator.
     
  14. gary barron

    gary barron New Member

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    we have been running ours for about 1 year. we findly found GOOD flat coroplast and prints great. registration on d/s signs can be an issue. make sure your material is squared. it will help. we find it runs better on rigid materials better. banner printing is a joke. they want to sell gerber brand at 3x the cost of regular. good hunting
     
  15. shawn_75

    shawn_75 Member

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    Sep 25, 2007
    The bulbs are $900 for the pair, not each.

    Shawn
     
  16. WYLDGFI

    WYLDGFI Active Member

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    Hey Fred...gotta disagree with you on a couple points you made:
    • Clogged heads.....UV Printers clog jets...Been running a Vutek PV 200 over a year now and they clog. Not like the Solvent printers...but I purge more than I thought I would.
    • Maintenance is TWICE what I put into my 10' Solvent printer. Between changing filters for the lamps, cleaning purge tray and all the other stuff...you HAVE to stay on top of it to keep it running well.
    • UV Curing Inks create OZONE when curing. Smells a little but when really pumping prints out, can be an irritant similar to cutting Onions.

    I love my UV Printer and it was the best thing I added to the shop but it does have some limitations due to ink adhesion. Check out FLAAR (?) Reports on some of the other printers out there. I signed up for a freebie and got 3 of them. Actually Spoke to the gentleman via email who Wrote the report when he read my input about the PV 200. I was quite impressed with his knowledge and the reports themselves. They go into HIGH detail about the factory, company and product as well as support. There are other UV Options out there...
     
  17. shawn_75

    shawn_75 Member

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    I purge my Solara once per day at the start of the day as a general practice, only have to re-purge due to a clog once or twice per week. I keep three or so towels in the purge tray and toss them once a week. I swab the heads twice per day, once after the purge and once at the end of the day. Other than the general dust blowout with canned air, I do no other regular maintenance. It does have a slight non-offensive odor when operating. For banner material I shut off the vacuum and have had no trouble yet, but I haven't run very much of it though.

    Shawn
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2007
  18. WVB

    WVB Very Active Member

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    If you plan on selling here, you should REALLY think about a merchant account themovierad...
     
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