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Taking the next step in printers...

Discussion in 'General Signmaking Topics' started by FatCat, Sep 28, 2020.

  1. GaSouthpaw

    GaSouthpaw Active Member

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    Yes! From any equipment manufacturer. They're talking "laboratory", ideal conditions- conditions that don't exist in any shop that I've ever seen.
     
  2. Ldireprophil

    Ldireprophil Member

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    Unless you need (1) really high quality out of a flatbed for MDO, foam board, and coro, and (2) if your Mimaki's have a few years on them, I would consider this idea. Find your local HP dealer, (Grimco, etc) and see if they can get you some trade-in value for one or all of your mimakis and upgrade to HP Latex 365. You could go with a 5 series, but I'd rather have two or three 365's personally. The quality is high and you can take prints straight over to your CWT and laminate immediately. No maintenance and rock solid. Ink and heads are cheap. Then find an HP Scitex FB lightly used, either a 550 or 750, and pay about 1/3-1/4 of the original retail price. This will do all of your yard signs, MDO, and foamboard at a decent quality. If you need an MDO board really high quality just apply the SAV you can print on the 365 to the board using your CWT as you do now. I own all of these machines and the process of running/finishing using this setup is quick and easily done by one person. I was about to trade in my HP Scitex FB550 for the R1000 a few days ago taking advantage of the current $10-$25K trade-in/up program but because of one of your main concerns mentioned, (uncertain economy ahead), I decided to forgo the new $3500/month lease payment I'd be looking at and stick with what I have. I would love the R1000, the quality is amazing, but not until we get through the next 12-18 months. I cut/route on a Summa F1612 like yourself, and it fits perfectly within this setup! Good luck, at least you are always thinking ahead which is what I do every day.

    *Edit: You can also pick up lightly used Latex 365's on the secondary market cheap!)
     
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  3. Notarealsignguy

    Notarealsignguy Active Member

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    If I were in your position then I would, skip the roll printer, buy the mimaki and see how much slack it takes up. The price point is good on them and should be manageable enough to afford if it slows down some. I don't see the point in overbuying a flatbed as suggested when you don't even have one to begin with. It should take you a bit to grow into that one and then you can make your next move if needed.
     
  4. Christian @ 2CT Media

    Christian @ 2CT Media Major Contributor

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    You are saying he doesn't have one so don't overbuy, but he is doing a lot of mounting which is essentially a flatbed. Buying for the future wouldn't be overbuying, but buying a machine that one paper solves your current situation only is the quickest way to back yourself into a corner. The Vanguard is very similar in price to the Mimaki, Stratojet also makes great fast machines in comparable price ranges to the Mimakis but both would be faster with higher quality output.
     
  5. Troy Lesher

    Troy Lesher Merchant Member

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    FatCat is some good feedback so far, let me throw our hat into the ring, If you get to a point you are considering a true flatbed to your portfolio we are certainly one to consider as we are the only North American made in USA , San AntonioTexas specifically.
    Christian@2CTmedia makes a very valid point regarding Hybrids, IMHO, with regards to equipment your either really good at one thing (RTR, or True Flatbed, or your fairly good at multiple things (Hybrids)

    Balstestrat Also has a good point, looking at your peak jobs, and future growth will be key in getting a printer that will last and grow with you. even an entry level or offshore printer will cost 100K+ so to have to upgrade in a couple even few years, or outsourcing peak work because the aforementioned printers cant handle the load . Point being consider the longterm as you dont wont to underestimate your needs.

    Superior Adam advice is also sound, when it comes to printer speeds, Test, Test, Test, Take a file and run it on what quality level you will sell that piece for and that the ink will stay on the substrate, that will be your true speed. all of these printers, have many setting and between substrates, profiles and printer builds and software modes, so again I say TEST TEST TEST ! and while your testing check ink consumption, not only from the printed piece but maintenance whether its manual or self maintaining.

    One last thought, Take the time to see these products in person.
     
  6. Notarealsignguy

    Notarealsignguy Active Member

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    You can't assume that everyone runs their business with mass expansion in mind. Going from no flatbed to having a flatbed is a decent step and is buying for the future. If you don't already run one, then how can you already be over capacity? It doesn't make a bit of sense to buy more than what you foresee needing in the short term. Equipment wears out and when it does replace it accordingly but there is no point in running a $120k machine to turn the same dollars as an $80k machine can do. For an entry level flatbed, I like the mimaki because there are dealers everywhere, you don't have to fly in techs to fix it, they have tons of these already in the field and the company is not going anywhere. The concern with a small manufacturer is them being bought out, closing up or having their key guy take off to another company and then you own a brick.
     
  7. Solventinkjet

    Solventinkjet DIY Printer Fixing Guide

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    I have a customer who bought a JFX200 and ended up not using as much as he thought. He now leases it out to another company in town. So this is a real concern but by the sounds of it, FatCat does a decent amount of work compared to the customer I mentioned.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. FatCat

    FatCat Very Active Member

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    Can't thank you all enough for the feedback. We aren't a large shop by any stretch of the imagination, just myself and 3 FT and 1 PT. We were on track to hit about $600-$650k this year before COVID. We won't hit that this year after closing for 6 weeks. But this September was SUPER busy, in fact a record breaking month for us, and hence while I always think about new equipment, it really hit home that we should be looking NOW.

    I agree with Christian's viewpoint to buy a little more than what we need now, and then hopefully grow into it. I would HATE to spend $80k on a Mimaki and then in a year or so realize I should have spent a little more and take a bath on unloading it to upgrade. (I've read several threads on here with that exact situation.) The only caveat with the Mimaki is that it isn't upgradeable. The Vanguard can be purchased with 4 heads, and then upgraded to 8 or 12 depending on model and needs down the road. I just don't know anyone local that has one to go watch it run and of course, no trade shows at the moment...

    I really like the idea of the HP R-1000, but I also detest HP's business and service model as I know there are some who have been burnt by them and with no competition they can raise prices on ink and consumables at the drop of a hat and nothing you can do about it. I really have no interest in owning an HP latex roll-to-roll, I would prefer just to stick with solvent as I am so familiar with it.

    I guess unless the R-1000 really blows me away next month in Chicago, I'll likely just wind up with a dedicated flatbed (not sure which yet) and then upgrade 1 R2R to a dual head solvent to gain some speed. Then after everything is up and running, phase out the single head R2R machines and make a decision on getting another dual head solvent, or step up to something like the Colorado.

    Decisions...decisions...lol.
     
  9. iPrintStuff

    iPrintStuff Prints stuff

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    As far as ink costs goes on our Colorado, we get about 200,000 square feet per 100 litres of ink if that’s any help.

    I’d convert to $ per square foot but probably no point as the ink costs etc may be different over there.
     
  10. Christian @ 2CT Media

    Christian @ 2CT Media Major Contributor

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    You are getting 2000sqft per liter? We are lucky to get 3 150' rolls of black (CMYK) on white 30% coverage at Max Speed! Using our custom profiles and various ones from Canon.
     
  11. iPrintStuff

    iPrintStuff Prints stuff

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    Yep, about 50% of our artworks are customer supplied and we don’t run many low coverage jobs that I can pinpoint. It just doesn’t go through much ink compared to what we’re used to.

    Our old mimaki used to do about 2 litres a full coverage roll lol.

    What I can say is we don’t run many high density black jobs, can’t really think of any specific jobs that we used a LOT of black. Either way we went from about £1.70/m2 (third party ink) on the mimaki to about £0.60/m2 on the Colorado based on actual usage.
     
  12. Zendavor Signs

    Zendavor Signs Member

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    I have the original 2513. The "2x speed" the EX offers is for white ink printing. AFAIK, 4c printing is NOT any faster on the EX (unless possibly if you forgo white ink). The biggest drawback to the Mimaki, IMO, is the RIP (Rasterlink). Mimaki does not play well with Onyx (not at all with other RIPS I believe). If you want to do print-cut, you will need to be set up with Onyx. For example, we are only able to run our machine at 16 pass through Onyx. That is the fastest Mimaki supports through Onyx. That is about 30-40 minutes per board. So with Mimaki, it is not just about slow speed, it is about support of other equipment, like your Summa cutter that is a concern. Although I really like our Mimaki in a lot of ways, if I had to do it over, I would likely get a low-end Vanguard instead.
     
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  13. White Haus

    White Haus Formally known as RJPW..........

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    Not to get too sidetracked here, but have you tried creating custom profiles in Onyx for your Mimaki?

    We went through a similar situation a year ago when we added a UCJV - quickly realized Rasterlink was a joke and we would HAVE to run it through Onyx Thrive. Took some time with a tech on site but we were able to create several custom profiles for Onyx and it's been working well ever since. It was a struggle, since the drivers aren't perfect, but we managed to get some regular cmyk profiles and a good cmyk+w one made up.

    I'm still confused as to why Mimaki's/Onyx don't play nice. Considering how bad their OEM rip is, it's really hard to believe that any production environment could afford not to drive it with Onyx or other 3rd party rips, although I'm not sure if Caldera etc do any better.
     
  14. FatCat

    FatCat Very Active Member

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    Hmm, that is confusing as both the rep and several videos show the EX outperforming the regular 2513...assuming this video is using the same profile?

     
  15. Christian @ 2CT Media

    Christian @ 2CT Media Major Contributor

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    It is faster, it has a 3 head row. It most apparent on White and Clear printing but there is a difference in color too.
     
  16. Eforcer

    Eforcer Member

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    I love your arsenal of equipment. My employees would love a CWT 9' for our place but just dropped $11K for new 6/6 Screen press. But if you are doing an excess pf mounting. Direct is best. Can't recommend the type that would work best for you. But keep us in the loop.



    Sign Up!
     
  17. Zendavor Signs

    Zendavor Signs Member

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    I stand corrected. I was sure our rep had said the EX model only helped with white ink printing. It may depend some on what inks are configured. For me, the biggest issue is the paltry support for Onyx. We did have custom profiles built for Onyx, so we only use Rasterlink when we absolutely have to. Mimaki's lack of 3rd party support concerns me.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  18. iPrintStuff

    iPrintStuff Prints stuff

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    The worst part about rasterlink is I actually liked 5 more than 6. They went so, so wrong with 6.

    It’s like the MS Paint of rip softwares.
     
  19. Yeahgor

    Yeahgor Born to be The Designer.

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    Sorry that brakes so rapidly, I have a question about...
    Where you are guys buying used/pre-owned equipment (Printers/cutters/laminators/CNC.. e.t.c)?
    P.S. ...I'm in South California.
     
  20. FatCat

    FatCat Very Active Member

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    Global Garage is the best place to go for big equipment. For smaller stuff check the marketplace here, also Digitsmith has a good forum as well. Lastly, check ebay and Craigslist - I always use Searchtempest to search Craigslist, it's so much easier and covers more regions.
     
    • Pure Genius! Pure Genius! x 1
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