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Looking at new equipment...

Discussion in 'Digital Printing' started by daenterpri, May 24, 2011.

  1. daenterpri

    daenterpri Member

    Jan 26, 2011
    Coeur d'Alene, ID
    So... I'm kinda looking into getting into a larger, ink based setup. I'm a poor man, I don't have much monies, and we just had a baby... so I'm not in high-risk mode. However, I run across jobs that I'm limited on with my small thermal equipment as far as detailed graphics, and at the moment I have a customer that wants me to do a wrap on his company vehicle. I'm pretty sure I could snag some more jobs, and even fairly steady jobs if I had some kind of larger printing equipment.

    Anyways, my local supplier was raving about the new HP L25500 Latex printer, and said that I should totally go with that. I work out of my home at the moment, so I do like the idea of not going with the traditional solvent based printers. From what I gather, 54" printer, plotter, and laminator would probably run me around $36k. I realize that $36k probably isn't too shabby.

    However, I am curious about your opinions:
    • Is the new latex technology the way to go?
    • Is the HP L25500 a good machine?
    • Would I be better off to try and snag someone's used equipment like I did with my Gerber? ( I saved a ton of money)
    • What is your opinion on the Roland VersaCAMM 4-Color printer/cutter combo: http://www.uscutter.com/Roland-VersaCAMM-SPi-Series-4-color-PrinterCutter-_p_570.html
    • Is a printer/cutter combo the way I should go for being a little lower production shop?

    Thanks for your suggestions :)
  2. Big House Signs

    Big House Signs Active Member

    Jul 23, 2007
    I can tell you, when I was looking I wanted to go with a print and cut too...seemed easier and I was very intimidated. But I am so glad I got separate machines. Not everything you print will you cut...so while you are cutting something you can already be printing another job. Plus most things you are going to laminate which means you'd have to take it out of the printer anyway before you cut. I do love when all the machines are running at the same time. cha ching. Good luck!
  3. PromoGuyTy

    PromoGuyTy Member

    Mar 4, 2007
    If you are mechanically inclined, not scared by downtime, have the cash, and don't mind a little risk to save some $, buy used.

    If you don't want to tinker on stuff, want as little downtime as possible, want to protect your current cash flow, buy or lease new.

    I've bought lots of new equipment...and lots of used...in retrospect, my best decisions have been the new equipment...
  4. BigfishDM

    BigfishDM Merchant Member

    Jun 22, 2009
    All Over
    Save your money and outsource.
  5. Tim Aucoin

    Tim Aucoin Very Active Member

    Agreed... especially if your on a tight budget and don't have enough work to keep the L25500 going each and every day. Outsource until you build the business to the point where you can EASILY purchase the equipment you're looking at.

    As far as the L25500 goes, it is an excellent printer and I would highly recommend it. I'm working on trading my older Roland SP540V for a 54" cutter to compliment the L25500. I just don't run the Roland any longer since becoming very good at running the HP! Currently I laminate smaller, short run jobs by hand using a Big Squeegee, but then again, I don't need to laminate a lot of the work I do... that is just my market. If that changes, I will look at a laminator, but until then, I outsource any larger laminating jobs.
  6. Mike F

    Mike F Active Member

    May 11, 2011
    Don't know about the latex printer, but we've got a Roland VersaCAMM VS-640, awesome machine. As far as whether a print/cut machine is better than having 2 separate machines, couldn't tell you. I'm comfortable only having a print/cut machine, but I can see how having them separate could have it's advantages.
  7. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

    Jun 7, 2006
    If you have a little one around the house and you buy a solvent or mild solvent printer.... you should be shot. I'm sure even latex printers would be frowned upon by most standards for those young lungs. No upstanding distributor will [should] let you put those things in a house, unless you were single.

    Outsource until you have enough business to actually justify moving into a separate building and then start thinking about printers and laminators.
  8. wes70

    wes70 Very Active Member

    Oct 31, 2005
  9. WrapperX

    WrapperX Active Member

    Dec 18, 2009
    For being a "poor man with out much monies" 36K would be a high risk move so if you aren't in "high risk mode" then don't do it. There are plenty of people here on this site that would be more then happy to be your outsourced print supplier. Work out of your home until you have built up a steady customer base and can afford a seperate location. Once in that location work there for a while and if you are still increasing sales, business and profits and you are in a position for a high risk move then I would certainly advise going with a printer like the HP. Currently it is a nice machine. The ability to work with the prints same day is very convinient compared to the solvents which need 12-24 hours of dry/outgassing time.

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