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Summa S140-D Vs Graphtex FC8000 54"

Discussion in 'Summa' started by morganq, Aug 3, 2011.

  1. morganq

    morganq New Member

    Feb 3, 2011

    Can anyone give their thoughts on which machine is a better buy???

    Pros and cons of each unit??

    Thanks in advance
  2. rshacklett

    rshacklett Wholesale Sign Specialist

    We own two S160-T's and know that the -D version is very similar, and originally owned a FC7000. In my opinion there is no comparison between the Summa and the Graphtec. The Summa hands down is a FAR better machine. We can run our Summa all day long with no problems, whereas the Graphtec we had to continually let cool down. Graphtec had poor support. Summa support is excellent. Just all around they are a far better engineered machine, and are worth the extra cost.
  3. Charlie J

    Charlie J Very Active Member

    Oct 1, 2006
    I've never used a Summa, but I love my Graphtec FC 8000.
  4. rshacklett

    rshacklett Wholesale Sign Specialist

    I guess a better way to describe the differences are:
    1) Summa can run much harder, much faster. We usually push 450 grams at 16 in/sec all day no problem. Our graphtec would have overheated in easily in 30 minutes.
    2) The controls are much easier to work and understand.
    3) The registration is far more accurate -- not sure how Summa does it, but their "legendary tracking" is true. -- however, you do really to make sure you maintain your machine to keep that up -- ie keep the rollers CLEAN!

    I have made some mods to our machines -- low friction tape. Added marks for the operators to how far over you can put the material before you run into issues with the mark recognition system.

    But otherwise, we haven't had to do anything to them.
  5. Ursta Graphics

    Ursta Graphics Member

    Feb 17, 2005
    Hermitage, Pa
    I just picked up an S120 last week to match my DC4sx ...It's Rock solid. Still learning the opos but its an incredible machine and the tracking is unbelievable. I've used summa cutters since I opened. I just put up my d60 on the classifieds here... the only thing I ever changed on it was the power supply and cutting strip in 10 years.

    I've never used graphtec other than as a backup at a shop I used to work for years ago, so I can't speak for them. I definitely recommend the Summa though.
  6. LittleSnakey

    LittleSnakey Member

    Jan 12, 2008
    Plus one on everything here!
    we had to send our fc8000 back it was replaced with the Summa
    definately worth the extra money

  7. bigben

    bigben Very Active Member

    Sep 3, 2007
    Just bought a D160R less than a month and love it. I've tried the D series vs S series and I think the extra money did not worth it in my situation. I was looking for the S160T in the first case.
  8. parrott

    parrott Member

    Jan 2, 2008
    Vol Nation
    Never used a Summa, but I regret buying the graphtec. We fight with it every time it reads registration marks. Graphtec calls it human error, but that is complete bull sh!t. You shouldn't have to turn the lights off, put tape over the registration marks and slow the speed all the way down just to make it work. Piece of advice, dont buy graphtec.
  9. Bly

    Bly Very Active Member

    Mar 9, 2004
    I've had a D120 for four years and am selling to buy a D160 simply for the extra width.
    We had some issues reading the Opos marks but once we calibrated it for problem media it now works great.
  10. rshacklett

    rshacklett Wholesale Sign Specialist

    Hey all, I'm going to be selling my 2010 S160-T with OPOS CAM. Been a great machine with absolutely no problems. The reason I'm selling it is because we are using Caldera RIP software, and the OPOS CAM function isn't supported with Caldera's "fully automatic" cutting mode. I believe its supported on all other rips... but not Caldera... so we manually scan the barcodes of each "nest" manually to start each cut, or use the "replot" feature if there's a boatload of the same nest repeated on the roll.

    We actually broke down and just bought another S160-T with regular OPOS X (so we have 2 of them now). I've got to say the Summas run so well that in Caldera's fully automatic mode (with a couple of minor tweaks), we have been able to let the machine 100% untouched for 3-4 hours at a time. ...so doing this allows me to literally eliminate a staff member (freeing them up to do other jobs!). BUT where the OPOS CAM really shines is if you're just loading and cutting -- it really cuts down on the time you're standing there waiting for the machine to do its thing.

    I'm sad because the photo recognition on the OPOS CAM vs the regular X is screaming fast - easily 1/8 the time it takes the regular OPOS X, and its really reliable. ..alright, enough of me sounding like a salesman...

    I'll be taking some photos and posting it on the classifieds sometime this week.

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