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HP L26500/Graphtec FC8000 vs. Roland or Mimaki Print &Cut

Discussion in 'Hewlett Packard' started by Robert Gruner, Jul 31, 2012.

  1. Robert Gruner

    Robert Gruner Member

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    The standalone solution of L26500 and 54" Graphtec is solid. However, this solution must include a $2k to $3k PS RIP making it's price point $5K to $7K higher.

    Is this price difference worth it?
     
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  2. rjssigns

    rjssigns Major Contributor

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    I like my Roland print/cut. Looked at the HP's decided against. We outsource more than we print in house. Why spend money when you don't have to?
     
  3. Banners Signs Etc.

    Banners Signs Etc. Active Member

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    I always thought print/cut systems kinda didn't work because you really need to let the print sit before cutting (especially if there is ink to the edges)...also do you want to tie your printer up cutting when it could be printing?
     
  4. Banners Signs Etc.

    Banners Signs Etc. Active Member

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    What if you have to laminate before you cut...best to have a cutter and a printer IMO
     
  5. Coloradosigns

    Coloradosigns Major Contributor

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    Worth every penny. You can't print and cut at the same time.
    Not to mention that if your printer goes down, so does your cutter... or visa versa.

    Print, remove, lam, put back in printer, cut. While your cutting, it takes time away from work that can be printing... just overall not a good idea.
     
  6. rjssigns

    rjssigns Major Contributor

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    Gee never heard that one before. LOL. If you notice I said we outsource more than we print in house. Plus I am the only installer, and our Roland cranks out more in a day than I can install in a day.

    Everyone's business model is different. Far too different to make blanket statements on what does and does not work.
     
  7. Banners Signs Etc.

    Banners Signs Etc. Active Member

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    You have never had an edge curl up that had been cut right after print?
    Do you ever print full bleed bumper stickers and such?

    Why do you outsource more than you print in house if your roland can keep up? I understand large banners but why? $$$$?

    I reserve the right to make blanket statements.

    If you are just getting into the business...straight into print seems unlikely as I feel like most people start by weeding vinyl before going into print. You should have a plotter before a printer.

    I am interested in your business model though.
     
  8. Charlie J

    Charlie J Very Active Member

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    Graphtec hands down. I love my Roland printer, but Graphtec smokes Roland in the cutting department.
     
  9. Banners Signs Etc.

    Banners Signs Etc. Active Member

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    Not to flog your business model, but there is something wrong if you have a newer model printer and can't double your profits over outsourcing...I understand hundreds of 1 color yard signs but...you must be highly sought after RJssigns or you need to hire a boy to watch the printer.

    @charlie
    Our graphtec also burns through the vinyl.
     
  10. Banners Signs Etc.

    Banners Signs Etc. Active Member

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    one last thing...if you are mid to high volume you NEED a cold laminator
     
  11. jayhawksigns

    jayhawksigns Very Active Member

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    Separates everyday of the week. But I would switch out the Graphtec for a Summa.

    Like many have said earlier, once you print a job, the printer can continue on to the next and not hold up the jobs because its trying to cut the last one. With as good as the optical sensor systems have gotten with the plotters these days, unless you are space limited, I don't know why you would want an all in one.
     
  12. LittleSnakey

    LittleSnakey Member

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    I agree on 2 things

    Summa over graphtec, had problems with graphtec finding marks from our roland.

    And definately get a cold laminator.

    And yes you can print and cut with the same machine but it will slow production. What we did before we got a cutter was print half the day then break down the machine and cut.

    Both the graphtec and the summa cut better than our vp-540 roland in my experience.
     
  13. Banners Signs Etc.

    Banners Signs Etc. Active Member

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    you still here robert gruner?
     
  14. Robert Gruner

    Robert Gruner Member

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    All valid comments! Question was meant to be generic in a sense.

    I personally prefer latex over mild-solvent...no smell, green ink, no outgassing. If die-cutting decals is part of your product portfolio then a standalone cutter is necessary. It can be 24" wide to 64" wide depending on how large decals one wishes to cut. If you marry a 54" cutter (Graphtec or Mimaki) to the HP L26500 latex ink printer then you will pay around $7K more for the standalone printer/cutter than you would pay for a 54" print&cut (Mimaki or Roland). Purchasing the Summa standalone cutter simply widens the gap from $7K more to $8K or $9K.

    For the average sign shop, is that price delta worth it?

    Print & Cut in one (Mimaki or Roland)? or

    Standalone HP latex printer and standalone 54" vinyl cutter (Graphtec, Mimaki or Summa)
     
  15. jayhawksigns

    jayhawksigns Very Active Member

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    You CAN always add a separate cutter later on, but consider its not just a contour cutting unit, it'll also cut all of you other vinyl too.

    As for printer tech, still liking our HP.
     
  16. airborneassault

    airborneassault Member

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    Switched from a Roland print/cut to our HP and haven't ever thought of looking back. Technology is nice, speed is considerable and overall quality of the print still blows me away.

    I'm with Jayhawk here though, I would spend the $2k or 3k extra and get the Summa. No experience with Graphtec's but our Summa is amazing. We do a lot of print/cut on extremely cheap intermediate vinyl for low cost decals our customers give away and I will say there is a learning curve. Don't get frustrated if registration is off right away, the key is getting those heat temps down to where it's dry but not distorting the vinyl. It took us a bit but we've got the temps set up correctly and have a beautiful print/cut workflow.
     
  17. Freese

    Freese Member

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    This.

    People always see the convenience factor, when in fact you are bottle-necking your own workflow.
     
  18. 401Graphics

    401Graphics Very Active Member

    i love my separate print cut system. I have used a roland sp300v and a xc540. My fc-8000 graphtec is insane fast compared to roland. and i do love being able to cut while the printing is going.
     
  19. jayhawksigns

    jayhawksigns Very Active Member

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    Also the cutter may last through a couple of printers depending on how often you upgrade.
     
  20. FatCat

    FatCat Very Active Member

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    As has already been said, much depends on your business model. However, I think if cost were not a deciding factor I feel a standalone cutter and individual printer is the overall best scenario for most shops other than those mostly doing print and cut stickers/decals with no lam.

    However, if you do go with a print & cut machine at first, what happens if/when you have to upgrade? If you keep your current print/cut machine you'll likely either buy a bigger/faster printer and dedicate your current print/cut to a cutter and/or you buy a good cutter for $4-6k and likely not use the cut feature on your print/cut machine. As strange as it sounds, I know a few shops who are doing one of the exact scenarios I list above. IMHO it seems like a waste, i would prefer to spend a little more up front and grow into it vs. being forced to upgrade before I was ready and then have to shell out even more cash to fix a problem that would have been cheaper to resolve up front.

    Just my .02¢
     
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