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GRAPHTEC opinions

Discussion in 'General Signmaking Topics' started by Fuzzbuster, Feb 18, 2020.

  1. Fuzzbuster

    Fuzzbuster Active Member

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    ive owned 4 Graphtecs over the years , now have an option of buying a FC 8600 or $2K more for the FC 9000, thoughts?? Ive had issues for YEARS with thick lam and reflective registration marks... New HP / Summa cutter ?? .. Thanx in advance
     
  2. eahicks

    eahicks Magna Cum Laude - School of Hard Knocks

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    Same as you, Graphtecs forever. Summa changed the game. Worth every extra penny.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. Andy D

    Andy D Very Active Member

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    I used to swear by Graphtecs, but we bought two lower end plotters & they seemed like they were China made cr@p,
    one died in 6 months, never again. I love Mimaki plotters and I hear Summa's are awesome.
     
    • I Appreciate You I Appreciate You x 1
  4. JBurton

    JBurton Signtologist

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    I like my fc8600, but can't speak to summa's. I've never had an issue with reg marks, aside from always making my own and being required to run cutting master 3.
     
  5. Fuzzbuster

    Fuzzbuster Active Member

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    Which one bud ? The S2 ?? or T2
     
  6. ikarasu

    ikarasu Very Active Member

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    The Fc9000 is supposed to be way better at reflective. We just ordered one in - I havent been able to use it (Arrives in march...) But some of the features seem nice.

    The whole reverse marks seems like a good idea - Not sure if summa has it... but I imagine this makes any material easy to read by the arms.

    upload_2020-2-18_16-57-18.png

    Though the main benefit to me... would be the take up. I understand the summas takeup is wind only - and it'll wind only when a panel is done cutting... While the graphtec will wind and unwind, making its take up option a bit better.

    But again, just what I've read/heard... Still awaiting ours to come in, we ordered 2 weeks ago... and we're told early march, apparently graphtec cant keep up with the demand.
     
  7. We have 2 Summa's, 1 tangential and one drag. A Graphtec and an old Roland drag as well. The Summa's are amazing. The old Roland is our workhorse and the graphtec gets used about 5 times a year now. Had issues with the usb port going bad twice on it. had to re-solder the port on the motherboard. It doesn't cut horribly, it's just not as easy to load and use as the other plotters.
     
  8. JBurton

    JBurton Signtologist

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    Oh man, I'd jump on a takeup reel for my graphtec! It's the only reason I run it on the slower side, as at 120 it shoots 5' material past the trough and then tries to kink it.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  9. ikarasu

    ikarasu Very Active Member

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    Yup... I cant wait to get it! We constantly do rolls of decals that get cut 1" x 3".... Talking hundreds of thousands. The auto scan + Auto cut/take up is going to be awesome - Theoretically you can put the roll in... hit 1 button and it'll cut everything for you and roll it all up nice and pretty!

    It was like $2000 ontop of the already expensiver price to get it added... but IMO, it'll pay for itself in a few jobs. No more sending the cut job 4 times...sheet cutting, send it 4 more...sheet cut. etc.
     
  10. JBurton

    JBurton Signtologist

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    Why not just set the plotter up to cross cut between each set of reg marks?
    Or does it not do that? I've always unchecked crosscut due to the luck of loosing reg marks, but I'd imagine with a 2.5" spacing between reg marks, you could crosscut with 0 advance?
     
  11. eahicks

    eahicks Magna Cum Laude - School of Hard Knocks

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    DALLAS, TEXAS
    S2 160 T series
     
  12. ikarasu

    ikarasu Very Active Member

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    I've never tried that option. I usually set the graphtec up once... Max roller width, then even if I'm loading 30" or 48" material the plotter thinks it's 54... Easier to read marks right on the edge that way. Then when you cross cut it'll cut in the mid of 54.... Which causes it to jam when your actually cutting a 30" roll. It's a bad habit... But it speeds up production.


    Plus I print my next set of marks with only.5" spacing. I imagine it'll cut too close and no be able to read the next set.


    We do a lot of labels for a specific company. They order them in batches of 500.... So it could be 5000, or 50,000. So we set up about 1000 up which is 5-8 ft of material using cutting master. Then we print that xx times... Can print a whole roll of different sized decals / quantities that way, much easier than using onyx or flexi.

    Not sure how the 9000 is with the bar code reading... Hopefully I can do it the same with with cm4 marks, not have to deal with onyx.
     
  13. BVG

    BVG Member

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    You can have it cross cut after each sheet, then automatically read the next set of reg marks. We cut whole rolls of perf cut decals unattended this way.
     
  14. JBurton

    JBurton Signtologist

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    I forget what option it is, and you may have already found it, but it essentially allows the plotter to cut at the edge of the pinch rollers, so you can get like 23.5 out of a 24" sheet, and it also allows reg marks to be read at the very edge.
    For some reason, I love setting up efficient workflows on tons of stickers, but man I hate actually doing the work once its fully efficient! If you are doing so many stickers at a whack, I'd probably go through the process of layering and changing the directionality of each individual cut to save that 6 seconds when the plotter does the first cut 30" from the start point, and all the other seemingly senseless transitions across the material. You can even turn off cross cut and weed border, layer out all of the stickers, then have the plotter cut a single stroke, in the same place 2x to cut fully through, then tear the last .25" as it ejects the page in preparation to scan the next set of marks.
    But I'm sure you've got a pretty good workflow by now after doing so many!
     
  15. Wide Image Solutions

    Wide Image Solutions Member

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    Jan 7, 2020
    Rockwall, TX
    Hi Our best units are indeed Graphtec and Summa. We have them all. Plus with our great trade in policy and financing program, we suit all clients needs. thx www.Wideimagesolutions.com
     
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