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Looking to buy a flat bed

Discussion in 'Flatbed Printers' started by gfxsigns, Apr 10, 2013.

  1. gfxsigns

    gfxsigns New Member

    Dec 10, 2009
    Hello all,

    I'm a Flat bed virgin here looking to break his cherry...saw a bunch of machines in Vegas last week.

    We have been loyal Roland buyers for the past 10 years but see a lot more value in a flat bed for us. I looked at their machine-cheap, workable, easy transition for us-however it only prints up to 1/2" thick (not a deal breaker) but just to point out-but the largest concern was the fact that the outdoor ink warranty was only 6 months to 1 year and 1 year warranty for inside...that was the deal breaker for us-thoughts on this-ink wasn't exactly 'cheap' compared to solvents we currently use

    Was pretty much the only other machine we looked at-the FB 500. Decent price point, seems very easy to use, Cheap ink (20 cents less a square than Roland), it can print 2" thick if needed. The largest advantage seemed to be the warranty of 4 years outdoor and 200 years inside

    We didn't look at much else except the CET as well-didn't get a chance to get back there and look at in depth as the HP seemed like the way to go...

    Any advice on a good printer that has an exterior warranty similar to the HP, similar price point etc? I spoke to a local guy here who has an HP and he loves it. Just thought I woudl check with others on thoughts on our decision and ensure we aren't missing anything. Overall the HP seems like the best bang for the buck and to top it off our main supplier carries it

    Thank you in advance for your input
  2. insignia

    insignia Very Active Member

    Very happy with our CET here. Buy based on what you project your future needs will be, or buy a machine you can grow into. Don't buy based on current demand or you will find yourself with an expensive paperweight that can't keep up with demand.
  3. gfxsigns

    gfxsigns New Member

    Dec 10, 2009
    Thanks for the reply

    Do any other fb in the fb500 price range have the same ink warranty of four years as that for us was the largest determining factor... I wish I had another week in Vegas to look at it all under one roof!
  4. artbot

    artbot Very Active Member

    Feb 18, 2010
    Houston TX
    ink warranty? as in the prints last four years or the heads/ink are ...??? get the HP if you need very high resolution, small foot print, and will not be running it non-stop. as for "warranty" a CET (used and new) is so easy to work on i really don't need a warranty. i just pop a part on it if needed and it's go time. the HP did not look DIY friendly.
  5. HulkSmash

    HulkSmash Major Contributor

    Sep 10, 2010
    HP is a very good machine. The FB 500 and 750 are going to require extended warranties each year. HP will treat you like an ugly step child if you don't have it. Trust me we've gone through it. They're very picky about who they're helpful with, which is probably why we are going a different direction with our new flatbed.
  6. garisimo

    garisimo Member

    Oct 14, 2009
    Uv led

    Any idea if CET is going to adopt LED curing in their machines? Are there severe disadvantages to LED over std. bulbs?
  7. gfxsigns

    gfxsigns New Member

    Dec 10, 2009
    Hi All,

    sorry I believe I might not be being clear with what I am requesting...I am curious what the unlaminated warranty is on the inks on other flat bed machines when printed...

    ie: HP claims to have a 4 year warranty outside with a 200 year warranty inside (unlaminated)

    Roland is 6months to 1 year outside and 1 year inside...

    any idea what CET is or if anyone makes a comprarable warranty to the HP-It sounds like a lot of guys here run the CET-what was the main choice for the CET over a system like HP?

    Space is definetly an issues for us as we weren't planning on this purchase for a couple more years when we wre going to add onto to our existing facility-however the cost savings of a flat bad seems too hard to ignore. The 15' x 24' requirment of the HP is doable-but we wouldn't be able to go much larger than that...

    I feel like I am rambling now-so my main question is outdoor durabillity of flat bed prints (unlaminated)....any takers?
  8. Robert M

    Robert M Very Active Member

    Jan 23, 2007
    Flat bed

    Mimaki has a new one, LED and "special" Ricoh print heads. Said to be very fast and priced right. Didn't see it run and have no specs on it yet, but maybe worth looking at.
  9. davecich

    davecich Member

    Sep 21, 2010
    Good Evening all......

    We are adopting LED into our latest K-Series printer, bu that is 20 boards an hour at high quality. Anything slower, it is not worth the 40k.

    I thank everyone for our success. Let me know how else we can help!

  10. Hzone15

    Hzone15 Member

    Jul 20, 2007

    I believe the people at HP you spoke to are talking about expected outdoor and indoor durability, not warranty. All UV Curable inks offer longevity unless you start talking silver and white.

    The HP, CET etc will last outdoors up to 3+ years depending on the material, lamination, location, application etc.

    The only warranties I know of would be flatbed printers offering a 3M ink such as Vutek.

    However, both great machines you couldn't go wrong with either.

    As far as dealing with HP out of warranty, that's why I have a good distributor to take the burden out.
  11. Robert Gruner

    Robert Gruner Member

    Mar 6, 2012
    houston tx

    You correctly took the first step attending ISA.

    There certainly were a lot of UV flatbeds on the show floor.

    The HP FB500 is a super printer and is priced right. I think the roll to roll option for $10K is perhaps a bit steep, when for $14K you could purchase a L26500 61" roll to roll latex ink printer for all your flexible substrates and use the FB500 for rigid material printing.

    Someone mentioned the Mimaki 7' x 10' table. At $189K, it might be a stretch. There was bantering in the Mimaki booth that a 4'x8' version of same flatbed for aroud $90K was in the works for possibly later this year. My advice here is believe it when you see it. :)

  12. HulkSmash

    HulkSmash Major Contributor

    Sep 10, 2010
    which distributor, if you don't mind me asking.
  13. rlarkin

    rlarkin New Member

    Dec 20, 2011
    I have two CET printers currently and they are great machines. I would suggest taking the time to see all the machines you are interested in run in person.
  14. synergy_jim

    synergy_jim Very Active Member

    Love my CET so far.
  15. neil_se

    neil_se Member

    Jan 21, 2012
    Qld, Australia
    I had only ever owned Rolands up until the time I purchased an FB500 mid last year, but I didn't feel that pinch rollers were an ideal method of feeding for a flatbed, it had to be true flatbed or vacuum belt for me. I don't think it can do edge-to-edge printing either.
  16. The Sign Center

    The Sign Center New Member

    Oct 15, 2012
    First time post/reply...I notice no one mentions the Oce 480 GT. I did see the CET 500QE run. I liked everything the rep said about it, especially the user serviceable aspect. However the quality was on par with Oce 318 GL. It was in viewing the 318 that I saw the 480 print samples. BIG difference. Got a price of 150000 plus tax. Its the service of the Oce that bothers me. A service contract is 1200.00 a month! Anyone out there have experience with Oce?
  17. Matt-Tastic

    Matt-Tastic Member

    Nov 25, 2008
    With a 1200/mo contract, it makes the 1 year purchase price more like $210,000. I've never been a huge fan of Oce, but they do have some spectacular quality. If you need it, get it.
  18. particleman

    particleman Member

    Feb 1, 2008
    HP has no such "warranty" that I'm aware of. It would be nearly impossible to warranty something like that with the amount of materials you could print on. I believe what you are experiencing is a typical Sign Show sales pitch. As others have stated, the durability is totally dependant on what material you print on. I can assure you 4 years on the HP is the absolute max without any sort of protection. 2-3 years is more realistic honestly for hard substrates. The shop I worked at was one of the first to have the FB500 when it came out, so I've seen physically how the prints hold up. The exposure to direct sunlight, rain, snow, and moisture all have drastic effects on how UV prints hold up outdoors.

    You'll find comparing UV inks between manufacturers is not often apples to apples anyway. Some cure very hard and work well on metal (very good scratch resistance, but can crack), while others (such as the HP) are a more flexible formulation that works on most anything. Scratch resistance on metal with the FB ink set isn't that great, but you can print on banner with it and it won't crack. Agfa for example has two formulations of ink G1 and G2 that cover both of what I just described. You see that with other companies also.

    To the HP FB500, yes it is easy to use as it looks. The belt system on it is really nice and superior to many other hybrids. You owe it to yourself to look at CET though, too many positive opinions on them not to. Be sure to figure the total cost of "getting going" and maintenance costs. The HP doesn't require compressed air, lamps are reasonably priced, few consumables really with it.

    neil_se, yes it can do printing with bleeds
  19. graphixlee

    graphixlee New Member

    Dec 23, 2010
    Cleveland Ohio
    Flat Bed Questions

    Are you planning to get White Ink? If so, there is a catch-22 in the HP FB-500. It has 6 slots for ink. The normal setup is CMYK LC LM. When you need White the LC LM must come out, and a changeover is done to the White. Time consuming and wasteful. When you need max quality the White has to come out and the LC LM go back in - more wasted ink and time. HP will not bring this up - they just say "We have a White Option. Did you want to include that?" Some people have not realized this until the printer is installed.

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