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Opinion: BN-20 Ink Options

Discussion in 'Digital Printing' started by niftytees, Oct 3, 2012.

  1. niftytees

    niftytees New Member

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    yep...I'm a newbie! I came here looking for information on the Roland BN-20 because we are screen printers looking to expand the products we can offer our customers. Saw this machine in Fort Worth last weekend and it looked pretty amazing. I am looking for opinions on the ink setup that would offer the most flexibility overall. From what I understand, you can choose CMMYK, CMYK with white and CMYK with metallic but once you choose, that's it....done deal. Totally new to this and was wondering what the experienced users here think about it. Thanks in advance!

    My apologies if I have posted in the wrong area....just let me know.
     
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  2. TXFB.INS

    TXFB.INS Very Active Member

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    What will you be using it for? That will be able to answer your question better.


    We have some VS 640 and one runs Metallic / White. It is a nice option but if you do not have an established customer base that wants these special inks (especially metallic) then you will be kicking yourself when the machine does a self clean and waste the ink and have to buy new containers when empty and the machine will not run with out a container in the slot.

    also from out testing the metallic offers only a minimal improvement on "bling" if that is your goal print to reflective.
     
  3. niftytees

    niftytees New Member

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    I realize this is a difficult question to answer. I suppose the majority of the people buying this machine are just getting into this area and that's definitely us. I have no established customer base for anything this machine will be able to do yet. We have really only been screen printing and doing tshirt vinyl on a cutter. Initially, I am thinking short run tshirts and then maybe decals etc. I guess I am asking what the best overall option might be for this machine. No matter which way I choose, I bet at some point I'll be sorry :Big Laugh Thanks!
     
  4. tomence

    tomence Very Active Member

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    You will be sorry right after you buy this printer.
     
  5. TXFB.INS

    TXFB.INS Very Active Member

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    ok,

    2 points

    1. get as big of a machine as you can the BN-20 can only take a limited selection of medias since it is narrow
    2. no white or metallic
     
  6. niftytees

    niftytees New Member

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    Thanks for the points. Have heard advice to buy a larger used machine instead of a new BN20 for about the same cost. Problem is....there aren't many used machines out there for sale. New cost for a 30" or bigger machine in the same family is too costly for us. Stretching a little to get into this new area. I feel Roland's marketing crosshairs on my chest since I am just the kind of customer this machine was developed for I guess.

    Wondering about your comment for no metallic or white. What does having two magenta cartridges do for you? I was thinking at least having the option of metallic or white would open up more opportunities. Perfectly happy to be wrong and learn something...that's why I asked!

    Thanks!
     
  7. Suz

    Suz Very Active Member

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    niftytees,

    I'm also a screenprinter. I have been doing very large signs for years, sometimes they were screenprinted, sometimes hand-lettered, sometimes cad cut vinyl. I looked at the same machine you are considering before I purchased my wide format HP Latex. I have the space and the Customers base to utilize a bigger machine, so I went with a 60" wide printer.

    For the price they are getting on the BN20, it does make you want to consider larger printer options. I wish it was a couple thousand dollars cheaper, but Roland seems to be getting the price they are asking for that machine, so why cheapen the deal, right?

    Still though, wish I could pickup a BN20, I'd probably load it with white ink, as that would be an option I would use quite a bit. I could also use the BN20 to print the scraps that accumulate from my large format printer.

    One of the benefits of the BN20 is that it would be cheaper to purchase rolled goods and get going with it and start making some money!!! This is tempting, isn't it? You might also want to ask suppliers if they might be willing to cut down rolls of materials for you, or maybe you can do it yourself and then take advantage of purchasing larger rolls of materials for the machine. Just a thought I had rolling around in my brain when I considered purchasing that machine too.

    Good luck with your decision.
     
  8. Mike_Koval

    Mike_Koval Active Member

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    First...let me say i don't think you will be sorry if you buy this machine, especially what you plan to use it for. The machine was made to produce short run t-shirt transfers and decals. It does this very well...yes it is slow print/cut, but when producing 1-36, speed isn't going to make or break you.

    Companies we have sold this to are just like you...wanting to produce short run jobs or just get into full color printing and expand their offering. I will say this...alot of times a call starts up with a bn-20 and then ends up being a 30" or even a 54" because of banners, wall graphics, yard signs, etc. You can do these types of applications on a BN-20, but it these types of applications, the size and speed don't make sense.

    It is going to get a bad rap on a sign forum because of what most people here are doing...volume production on banners, decals, vehicle wraps, etc...all day every day. If they bought one of these machine, most likely they would not be happy.

    So to sum it up in my opinion, the BN-20 would be a great machine for what you plan on doing with the machine.Is there a possibility that you can out grow the machine in a year...yes...but if you out grow it then it also served its purpose in making you some money to expand into even more. As far as ink set up...that is a tough one because once its set up thats how it stays. Me personally, i would go standard four color as the metallic and clear are beneficial in very niche markets.

    BTW...we supply a complete stock of 20" media for heat transfers, decals, banner, canvas, glossy paper, etc.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2012
  9. niftytees

    niftytees New Member

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    Suz....thanks very much for the reply and your perspective.

    Mike....you summed up our thinking and hopefully we would outgrow it in a year. That would be awesome!!!! I guess I'm not clear on your recommendation regarding clear? Probalby my lack of understanding but is clear really the white option? If we toss metallic...found out it's very expensive...can you help me understand how going with the two magenta setup is better than one magenta and one white? My uneducated thinking is that having at least the option to do white is better over the life of the machine since I don't know what we might get into down the road. If two magenta makes standard color printing faster, this isn't a fast machine anyway. I appreciate your help!
     
  10. cha88

    cha88 Member

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    i skipped to the bottom, sorry if theres any repeat info... white and metallic are a waste... two years on my vs-640 never sold either
     
  11. Mike_Koval

    Mike_Koval Active Member

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    What i meant by clear was clear decal vinyl or clear static cling. Sorry for the confusion. You will need to flood the back with a layer of white for the decals to be more opaque one applied.

    I would go with four color, because that is primarily what you will be using. For heat applied material, you will NEVER use white or metallic ink.
     
  12. niftytees

    niftytees New Member

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    I realize that I asked for opinions and that's what you guys have been good enough to provide :thankyou: However, I guess I'm pretty dense. You say I would "primarily" be using four colors. That's the part that I'm struggling with. I think I'm convinced on the metallic but still not sure why at least having the white as an option isn't a good choice. I'm not giving up any of the four colors to have white. Is it just the fact that white will be used up even if I don't have jobs to support it? Thanks for your patience :Big Laugh
     
  13. J Hill Designs

    J Hill Designs Major Contributor

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    the white is known to clog heads.

    If it were me, and I DID want white as an option, I would have a cleaning cart with a white chip in there, then when I did need white, I would put white back in and pull the ink up to print that job, then put cleaner cart back in and pull cleaner through again...

    cheaper as you dont lose white in cleanings, and less likely to clog the head with a little-used ink
     
  14. Mike_Koval

    Mike_Koval Active Member

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    With the BN-20 it is either white or metallic, not both. When you have it set up either metallic or white, and don't use them in printing...they will be used in the cleaning, which is a minuscule amount. With the cost being 99.99 for white and 229.99 for metallic, it would be tough for me to set up white or metallic knowing i may not use them.

    Don't get me wrong, i think they are great options to have...if you know you have the business for them.
     
  15. briankb

    briankb Active Member

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    If you do any dark or black t-shirts I would skip the metallic and get the white ink. I don't know for sure but it would be nice if the BN-20 software could laydown a white base then print on top of it so the colors will pop and look nice even on a dark or black t-shirt.
     
  16. niftytees

    niftytees New Member

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    Mike...the metallic is really high dollar so I get that but the color cartridges are $70, white is $100. If the amount is miniscule, then I think having the option of picking up a job where white is needed would more than cover the ink. Cost over the life of the printer would probably not be that much even if it just sat there. Since you are the tech, I am interested in your thoughts about what jhilldesigns had to say about white clogging and using that cleaning cart in place of white til needed. I've heard of clogging in DTG machines, but is it an issue with the BN20?

    Thanks for all the input everyone....Awesome!
     
  17. Mike_Koval

    Mike_Koval Active Member

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    We have a number of these units in the field and haven't had any clogs from the white. The recirculating heads and auto clean cycles really do a nice job in keeping the heads clear.

    As for the cleaning cartridge trick...i'll leave that to Roland to answer.

    For ink set up, just go with what you think is going to be best for you and your business. Either way, you wont be making a bad choice as they all have their place.

    We have tested the white ink on clear apparel media and it just does not produce a quality print.
     
  18. briankb

    briankb Active Member

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    Just got an email from RolandDGA.com that says they've dropped the price of their VS-540 by $4,000. The price on the VS-300 and BN-20 remain unchanged.
     
  19. TXFB.INS

    TXFB.INS Very Active Member

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    thanks for the idea
     
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