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Mimaki printing costs VS Roland VP540

Discussion in 'Digital Printing' started by AylmerSigns, May 10, 2013.

  1. AylmerSigns

    AylmerSigns Member

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    Good afternoon guys,

    I am currently running a 5 year old VP-540. It was my first digital printer, and I have made quite a few mistakes, in maintenance, and things I didn't know I wasn't supposed to do, meaning that I'll most likely either start putting money in it, or simply replace it (I'm not too sure if I actually want to put money in it, seeing how rough its life has been, and may eventually become a money pit...).

    I was looking at the Mimaki CJV30-130, and do find the machine quite interesting. I love the "continuous" crop-mark detection. Crop-marks in 4 corners of my current VP-540, does tend to create an issue with smaller printed stickers. I also like the idea of a more aggressive solvent ink, which in my opinion, could somewhat lower my "possible come-back stress" of using EcoSol ink.

    I was wondering if anyone has cost figures, per square foot, or per sample job, to run the Mimaki machine, on promotional grade medias? My main concern is ink cost, on which I have absolutely no guideline, other than my current VP540. I know it wouldn't make sense to post prices on a forum, but I would very much like if someone could PM me, and let me know different costs, in accordance to ink coverage - especially if anyone has work with both the Mimaki, and the Roland.

    Thanks again, this forum absolutely never fails to deliver.
     
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  2. MikePro

    MikePro Major Contributor

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    ink cost shouldn't really be a deal-breaker... as you're going to be within 15-30 cents/sq.ft depending on if you're rocking OEM/3rd party inks. adjust your pricing accordingly, and upsell your expanded media selection.
     
  3. Z SIGNS

    Z SIGNS Very Active Member

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    I agree with mikepro.
    The difference in ink cost is pennies and should be only a small percentage of the cost to the customer.We don't sell ink on boards we sell graphic solutions that fill the customers needs.
    The ink on the board is just the median we use to accomplish this.
     
  4. bilge

    bilge Member

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    ink cost really matters. even 15 cents sq ft difference is huge. we live on this 15 cents, means all my profit. I have Roland Versa art RA640. (on eco-sol mode)
    you should calculate ink cost on each printer carefully before you buy. with 15 c/sq.ft difference just over 10K sq.m prints the printer pays itself. if 30c it becomes only 5K sq.m (approx 53.7K sq.ft)
    I highly recommend you don't buy Mimaki especially CJV-30 series. You will struggle with banding (guaranteed).
    Two of my friends have CJV-30 160 and both says too slow and can't cut accurate.
    I had JV3, JV4, JV5 and sold them all. Of course JV3 was very good printer but not perfect.
    In North America Roland sells RA as aquos, RE eco sol model.
    I don't know whether Roland RE 640 has similar function "ink run out mode". I'm using refillable cartridges from China with chip and bottled ink. Now I don't calculate ink cost anymore (0.000...?) Most people still believe OEM ink is the best.
    If you do mostly decals you'd better to buy separate cutter e.g Summa or Graphtec. I don't do much decals, so I print and give it my friend who has cheap chinese cutter. We joke his eyes are OPOS system.
    maybe my experience is helpful some people here kinda success story
     
  5. tomence

    tomence Very Active Member

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    Mimakis waste a lot more ink than Rolands, i can guarantee you that much.
     
  6. AylmerSigns

    AylmerSigns Member

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    Thank you for the advice. I'm actually on the same opinion, concerning the cost of ink. I'm currently using a VP540, and am using Nazdar inks (Technically, EcoSol ink. I managed to go from 135$ for a 440ml, to 85$, which is exactly the same reproduction in coloring as the OEM ink, with very slight profile adjustments. I know most people will tell me that I should not "struggle" with non-oem inks, but I figure, to the amount I print, with a 50$ difference per ink cartridge, all I am doing, is kind of having a "insurance", putting money aside, for when (and if) repairs are required; the 50$ saved per cartridge will surely overcompensate for the repairs that could possibly be related to non oem ink usage.

    I'm absolutely grateful for your advice. I had heard similar stories from other distributors, but I thought they were only trying to convince me to stay with Roland, or switch to HP. Your hands-on experience convinced me, more than enough!

    As for the cheap cutter; I am not sure exactly what the difference is between using the on-board cutter, and a separate one? Would another Summa cutter, for instance, be able to detect my crop-marks printed from my VP540?

    Thanks again for the amazing info, and have a beautiful Saturday
     
  7. ironchef

    ironchef Very Active Member

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    Mimaki user here, cjv30, if i use the media compensation and feed comp. adjustment buttons i never have banding.
     
  8. LittleSnakey

    LittleSnakey Member

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    only if you use an aftermarket rip, such as flexi, wasach or onyx
    versaworks will only support roland cutters


     
  9. SightLine

    SightLine Very Active Member

    I know many do not like aftermarket ink but the savings can be very significant, IF, your volume is quite high. When you get into the larger bulk volumes (2000ml of a color at a time versus 440ml) the cost reductions can be quite dramatic over OEM inks. One average OEM inks are near .30 cents per ml, aftermarket cartridge inks can drop that .20 cents per ml, larger volume bulk like we use, .10 cents per ml. They can go lower but generally only once you are in the grand format arena.

    I realize tomence feels that Rolands are Gods gift to wide format but as you are aware there are other options. Stating that a Mimaki wastes a lot more ink than a Roland is a joke. :rolleyes: You can set the automatic cleaning cycles as low or as high as you want on either printer as far as I know, ink use during printing depends completely on the profiles being used and if they are properly done. More realistic, I can confidently say our highly optimized Mimaki JV33 (all custom profiles, machines settings optimized, etc) wastes much less ink than a stock configured Roland that is running generic canned profiles and is not optimized in any way. If you make a profile for Versaworks that has stupidly high ink limits it will put down stupid amounts of ink, same with a Mimaki. The VP540 is a much older technology machine using 4 2 channel Epson DX4 print heads - it would be more fair to compare that to an older Mimaki JV3 using the same technology. The CJV Mimaki uses the much newer (but already becoming dated) single 8 channel Epson DX5 print head. The DX5 head has a big advantage over older DX4 heads like higher resolution, smaller drop size, and almost zero alignment to worry about.

    I personally think when comparing machines and running costs. If being fair you need to compare similar machines then look at oem ink costs and try to figure some sort of service costs. If you rely solely on service techs to fix or repair your machine in the event of a problem I'd suggest going to the brand that has service nearest to you.
     
  10. bilge

    bilge Member

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    Thanks for kind words.
    Re: cheap chinese cutters, I don’t recommend you. Here in Mongolia, different story. We are neighboring china, so sign guys go to china buy Chinese cutter at 200-400 USD (50”) and earn 1-2K dollars then the cutter breaks, throw it away and buy another one. One my friend has 4-5 broken units, I asked why are you keeping all these, he says he placed them visible to customers as his fleet, customers don’t know whether they work or not only think he has well equipped company. Huh. In china 2 different price exist, local and export. You are on the other part of the earth, you can’t buy a cutter at chinese local price and adding shipping cost, customs duty etc. it won’t be cheap enough. Another thing is that Graphtec sold very well in China, why Chinese companies pay 10 or 20 times over (CE5000-120 costs ~4000 USD, FC8000 price ~7800 USD) than their local make. One sign guy from Finland came to my shop with my friend, he recommend me to buy Summa. I’d like to compare Summa and Graphtec, but Summa has no distributor in China.
    Re: separate cutters, all my vinyl jobs are laminated. It becomes convenient for customers applying the stickers themselves without wrinkle or bubble, less curling at the edges, less fading and scratch proof.
    Once you remove printed job from the printer for laminating, there is no meaning to have cutter in the printer unless you are in a tight space. About crop mark detection, you’d better to ask to Summa or Graphtec about compatibility. In my case, generally I prepare design in corel and export picture as a whole page with outside stroke in jpeg. and cut line with the outside stroke as eps. format. I give to my friend the eps. file with printed media.

    they were only trying to convince me to stay with Roland, or switch to HP.

    Once you’ve mentioned HP, here is my story:
    First my printer was mimaki JV4, 1 row printheads for dye ink and another row for pigment ink. It can’t print on vinyl or banner material then I bought JV3. They were good so I didn’t look other brand and bought JV5 at 45000 USD without hesitation. Then I got too much problem and almost bankrupt. I sold them all and moved to another location as a print for pay shop.
    I print on HP Z6100 60” and DJ5100 60” (rebirth of 5500) some other small stuff and worked for 3 years very successful. Very good printers, customers bring their ready for print files and print them as quickly as possible onto many different media. Then I was thinking to expand and buy a printer for removable stickers (vinyl) choosing HP L25500. In the internet search about L25500 info I found half success story half horror story. Then I went to sign expo in Guangzhou china to see how L25500 acts. Within 2 days it prints only on wallpaper. They print 2-3m and stopped to cool the printer. I saw just printed materials but it was not good enough to comparing to RoMiMu. I went back without purchase (6 hours flight in one way) and search again on internet. I found in Russian sign forum following info. (it was last year) good affordable printers list:
    1. Mimaki JV33
    2.Roland Versa art RE 640
    3. Mutoh VJ1624
    4. Epson Surecolor 30700 series

    Each has single Epson printhead, less than 20000 USD.
    mimaki JV33: DX5 the same printhead as JV5, no intelligent pass control or waveprint like feature (exclude)
    mutoh vj1624: DX6 new printhead like Epson GS 6000, Roland versaart RA/RE640, but 3400 USD higher price than RA640 in China.(exclude)
    Epson Surecolor: DX7 10 channel printhead, but no aftermarket ink so far.(exclude)
    Only affordable printer left was Roland RE640. I bought RA640 at 13500 USD without TUR from china.

    I won’t say all Roland printers good or all HP printers good or all Mimaki printers bad. You’d better to see yourself chosen models actually and compare. I buy ink from china at 25 USD/liter, (less than 3 cents per ml) labeled for JV5!?
    No any wide or large format printers distributor or service agent in my country. We buy them from China, S.Korea or Singapore. Of course any (maybe) printer works fine if its service agent located near you. In my opinion a good printer works without interruption, less tech calls, easy replaceable parts, well written manual, self diagnosis etc. I run my two HPs for last 5 years using their service manual and some good people’s advice on the internet with my poor English.
     
  11. AylmerSigns

    AylmerSigns Member

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    Wow! Very interesting story. Thank you the precious information. I love reading your story, all while explaining many things; it is very much appreciated.

    It's unbelievable how you are able to buy ink for the JV5 for 25$ a liter! But again, the money fetched for your prints must not be close, in comparison, with our crazy printing market. I guess it's all in proportions.

    I was thinking on buying a new printer, due to problems I was having with my VP540. Finally, after a lot of help from this forum, and many other forums, I was able to fix my printer yesterday, in the service mode! You can not possibly imagine how happy I am, of having a perfectly working printer now!

    Thank you again for all the valuable information, and I hope you have great success in your business.
     
  12. fresh

    fresh Very Active Member

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    We just got a CJV30-130, and we love the print quality. Seriously, we cannot get it to print poorly. We are not a high-volume shop, so ink costs are not a top priority.

    I do have to mention, if I were to buy another machine, I would NOT get the print/cut. The cut function is not accurate over long-ish spans. We print and then cut on our Graphtec. I wish I had saved that extra $$ to invest in a laminator. But, c'est la vie, its hard to know everything the first time out of the gate.
     
  13. ironchef

    ironchef Very Active Member

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    Im happy with mimaki print and cut, i cam cut upto 5-6ft accurately, its on the 8-10 ft long runs where it messes up, anyone having better luck on long runs? And with what printer/plotter?
     
  14. Robert M

    Robert M Very Active Member

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    ink costs

    Roland 440ml cart suggested retail 129.00
    Mimaki 440ml cart suggested retail 124.00


    I would guess, I repeat guess that because the Mimaki has an on board cleaning cartridge and uses that instead of ink to do cleans it may in fact use less ink. Mimaki should look into this to see if they have an advantage here as the printers are so similar.
     
  15. ironchef

    ironchef Very Active Member

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    I pay less then 124. Lol and the cleaning cartridge is $70 and it last me a couple of months
     
  16. wmshuman

    wmshuman Member

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    I own a SP-300V and a JV33-160 and both are 4 color printers although the JV33 can be switched to a 6 color at anytime. Comparing them both on a 4 color level, the Mimaki beats the Roland when it comes to printable gamut. I have noticed that I can print much brighter blues, reds and greens on the Mimaki.

    As far as costs, I am told a cc of ink for the Mimaki runs about 25 cents for OEM ss21 ink. You could probably cut that in half printing at 540x720 mode. I do it all the time, printing on Cal and Banner material but not backlit material. I can tell you that the Mimaki's print quality at 540x720 (4 pass) is much better than Roland's 720x720 (8 pass mode), using less ink too.

    I personally think I save much more ink using my Mimaki than my Roland. Only time will tell though.
     
  17. MRLGraphicstz

    MRLGraphicstz Graphic Designer / Print Operator

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    Why can't we get something we wish for….

    Hello to all… This blog guided me a lot to make a lot of decisions. I have VS-540. But for past 3 months i am into huge problem of getting it fixed. Did not get proper support from roland Resellers agents. Purchased myself another had for worth of 2200usd and then it was messed up without a single print by the technician who came to install.

    I have spent so much money until now that i have become very confused what to do. I got a loan and recently in my country someone is taking Mimaki agency. So they will have the demo on 10th march 2014. I had almost decided that i will go for Mimaki CJv-30 130 but after reading and a guidance from my good friend in Vietnam i am about to change the decision based on the excellent quality printing with very vivid colors on roland rather then Mimaki.

    He suggests should go with Roland VS-640i and use Chinese inks which will save my costs. My jobs are mostly small small labels which are used for Frozen food products and insurance stickers. I have a separate FUSION Chinese Vinyl cut with FLEXI 10 not bad if there are some cuttings to be done. Biggest issue comes that the Roland resellers in our country do not give you better price or good offer for the machine. They make sure they get good price rather then the price sold in the international market.

    Secondly availability of the machine. If you want it on immediate base you have to wait for it as long as 3-4 weeks. And the price variation also becomes big issue even if it is VS-540 or VS-540i.

    But in terms of quality as far i know Rolland really gives me good excellent results. Only once i want it to be fixed then i can choose cheaper inks. I wish Roland Direct dealer could hear the voice of the people who wants to buy the machine but face loads of problems to get it through agency. If Roland company decided to open their own store rather then giving agency out who charge more and take advantage.

    ANy suggest please send me personal message. Thanks to all….
     
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