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Question What Printer would you stake your business on?

Discussion in 'Digital Printing' started by 2CT Media, Nov 5, 2019.

  1. 2CT Media

    2CT Media Very Active Member

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    After 10+ years of running HP Latex as our print tech... We have lost faith in HP as the best solution for our business.

    We are heavily leaning towards bringing in a new machines for our primary tech and keep our Latex printers as secondary / project specific.

    That said what do you stake your business on or what would you move too? Over 90% of our business is vehicle graphics and wraps, so speed and quality is most important. Huge color gamut is not necessary but color accuracy, repeatability, and predictability is paramount!

    We have been evaluating Epson, Mimaki, and Canon Colorado. We have basically ruled out Roland for the most part due to lack of innovation and slow production speeds with low quality output, but we are not closed minded to it and are open to exploring options.

    So I ask again expecting heated fan heavy debate what do you or would you stake your entire business on, print tech wise?
     
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  2. ikarasu

    ikarasu Very Active Member

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    Latex :p

    What's changed for you with the latex? I love hp printers still. Their flatbeds starting to annoy me with their shitty quality control on ink. I've seen a dozen posts about bad black and magenta inks... I've had two of my inks crap out at 50%, our tech told us bad ink for hp is everywhere right now. Normally I love hp, but thats one gripe about them that makes.me reconsider our next purchase also.


    If I were to buy a non latex... It'd be an epson for sure. The prints look fantastic on it.

    Most of the proven brands will be fine. They all have upside and downsides... I hate seiko cp printers because of a bad experience and would never buy another.. But I'm likely in the 1% that had issues with the printer, so I wouldn't even steer someone away from them.

    Hands down I'd buy a latex, and if not, then the epson... Without the fancy colors. While they look nice, I prefer longevity over prettyness that may fade in a few months.
     
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  3. Bly

    Bly Very Active Member

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    HP latex have been good for us but I am tired of the colour and length inconsistencies.
    Loading them is tedious and they take too long to start and stop.
    Our Epson is better but solvent also has inconvenience.
    We are definitely looking at a roll fed UV for the future.
    Our Oce flatbed is a real workhorse and probably the staple of our business now.
     
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  4. thomlov

    thomlov Member

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    Well, i currently have hp latex, oce colorado and uv flatbed (oce arizona)

    The latex has been the workhorse for the last 3 yrs. Before that it was eco solvent.
    The eco-solvent was way to slow, but ran dor 5yrs without anservice visit
    The latex can handle a lot more throughput, and the no drying time was a biiiig advantage in our workflow.
    The colorado is a lot faster, also for small runs, but can’t print wraps.

    So there is no one machine that can do everything. I think i will need a mix also in the future.

    But this all depends on how big you are, how much sqm tou do, what type of work you do. A small shop would be best with a hp latex i believe. Growing bigger demands higher output and repeatability, consistency in colors etc. And for that UV is good, unless you have a high percentage of wraps.
     
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  5. SignMeUpGraphics

    SignMeUpGraphics Moderator

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    Current equipment:
    - Oce Arizona 360GT
    - Epson S80600
    - Canon PRO-6000

    With a gun to my head, the Epson S80600. It's quick enough for most production work. Inks are virtually dry when they hit the take-up, but we'll generally wait before laminating.
    Anything the UV does, the Epson could probably do albeit slower and WAAAY more work (eg. board printing or white printing)
    Epson has limited photo papers available, so it would be annoying but not impossible to do most of the work we currently do.

    Each machine here has it's place though. UV for best for boards/glass/white prints. Solvent for all adhesive products and canvas. Aqueous for all photo work.
     
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  6. ams

    ams Premium Subscriber

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    I am a die hard Roland fan and their technology is not behind the times.
     
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  7. bluehammer

    bluehammer Member

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    Oce Colorpainter M64S for speed
    Epson S80600 for color gamut
     
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  8. 2CT Media

    2CT Media Very Active Member

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    Ok so back story, we have been die hard latex since release in 2009/10. Have owned all 4 generations and since 2017 have experienced constant issues not only with machines but service. HP is starting to really tie the hands of our preferred resellers when it comes to service in favor of B&H and the machine have become unreliable. We have had 1 3 series and 2 570s replaced under warranty since 2017. Now it seems that when they are needed for rush work 1 of them is down and not working.

    As a company we have decided if we stick with latex they are 1 year machines and we will have to replace them every year. We have been averaging 30,000+ sqft of vinyl a month on each machine and we are growing rapidly.

    As for our view of some brands Roland is behind the times due to using old head tech, much slower throughput than most other brands and the Image quality appears to be behind most brands. We have compared them with our dealer who also sells Mimaki and HP.

    The only solvent that truly interests us is the Epson Ls or the Oki. We really like Latex and are looking at the Ricohs but we have issue with their ink and curing. We really are spoiled with HP latex and it will be hard to find a low maintenance easy to use machine like them but we need to game plan.
     
  9. greysquirrel

    greysquirrel Member

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    what happened with your faith in HP? bad dealer experience or is it with hp? starting a new business having experience on both sides of epson, hp, seiko, Roland and mimaki...selling, operating and serving, I still chose hp. its not the fastest, nor the best iq...but it gives you the most range and flexibility. I recently added the r-series...for the same flexibility along with iq and user replaceable print heads....
     
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  10. 2CT Media

    2CT Media Very Active Member

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    Stability is no longer there... they are unreliable machines and service. Dealer is awesome, they bend over backwards... HP has become #1-4 and they show it every day by dragging things out for months.

    Do you like the R series for vinyl production?
     
  11. rjssigns

    rjssigns Major Contributor

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    I've been quite happy with my Mutoh 1624X. Switched over from Roland. Prints fast which is good. Wouldn't have been able to keep up with recent workload without it. Ink is almost dry before print hits the take up reel.
    One liter bags of ink are fantastic. Saving $400 on a set compared to buying 440 carts.
     
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  12. 2CT Media

    2CT Media Very Active Member

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    I use to run Mutohs 11+ years ago... I hated them mainly due to Mutoh service. I dont know of any dealers other than Fellers in my market, ironic since their headquarters is 30 miles from me.
     
  13. iPrintStuff

    iPrintStuff Prints stuff

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    Honestly the Colorado is a true workhorse, we get a great gamut from it and it’s speed is incredible. Just makes me laugh when we use our old mimaki.

    As far as service goes, we usually get a tech same day, next day at the latest. So there’s been little to no down time.

    Other than that, other than canon being less than transparent (especially about the 1650) it’s been great so far. If the 1640 gets flexible inks it’s got the benefits of all the machines and not a lot of downfalls. Colour consistency, gamut, great service, huge speeds and cheap to run make it a great all-rounder.
     
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  14. CanuckSigns

    CanuckSigns Very Active Member

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    I have owned the epson s80600 for the last 2 years and it's been a true workhorse, maintenance is pretty much eliminated, the machine will ask you to manually clean the heads about once a month, which takes less than 5 minutes.

    If you are running serious production and son't need the orange or red inks, I would look seriously into a Epson S60600, that machine is lightning fast and comes with an additional dryer to make sure the prints are dry. the take up on the epsons are the best I have ever seen, perfect tracking on full 150' rolls all day long.
     
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  15. jfiscus

    jfiscus Adobe Shinobi

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    Epson s60600. Super fast, repeat-ability all day long. We are a wrap/mural shop mainly so panel to panel consistency is key. They load lightning fast, basically clean their selves and get going immediately (no warm-up). You can laminate next day no worries and same day in emergencies. I do NOT recommend any printer with anything besides CMYK inks (even the s80600), as those additional colors are NOT warranted and will fade after a couple years UV exposure. Keep your warranty current and service if needed is next-day. Set up your own profiles and only use a couple, we print replacement panels for wrecks a year later without worries.

    We were in your same situation a couple years ago and ditched our latex for the same reasons.
     
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  16. TomK

    TomK Member

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    The simple answer for you based on quality support and print speed and quality is Epson S60600L (bulk ink model). You can also add the Digi-Dri if you need to lam immediately and can't wait a couple of hours.

    Good to see you get off the HP Latex Grain Train! Grimco is reselling the Epson line now too.
     
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  17. 2CT Media

    2CT Media Very Active Member

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    Doesn't the S60 include an external dryer?
     
  18. zspace

    zspace Merchant Member

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    We run an HP570 and installed the Colorado 1650 about a month ago. My operators say the Colorado is hands down the winner in terms of speed, time to start, maintenance and waste. A volume of 30k sf per month is about 2 rolls a day. I would definitely upgrade to something faster - keep the HP around for vehicle graphics until you're comfortable that the 1650 will work.
     
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  19. CanuckSigns

    CanuckSigns Very Active Member

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    I don't print that kind of volume on a regular basis, but when I need to, my S80600 will print 2 full rolls 54"x150' in 7 hours on 6 pass mode which is great quality, the S60600 would have no problem handling that every day, you might even get 3 rolls a day out of it.
     
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  20. BALLPARK

    BALLPARK Member

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    Your post is very concerning to me as a HP user. We used to use Roland and switched as we felt the quality of the print from the Latex 365 was superior and we wanted to upgrade to a Summa for the cut accuracy compared to Roland. The quick dry times and easy profiling made it even better in my eyes. We have consistent colors being printed for wall wraps, vehicle wraps, and long banner runs for the most part. I did notice a slight gray being off on a 100ft wall wrap and we had a couple heads past their prime for sure, so I thought less of it when I had to reprint a panel from the start of the wall after everything was already installed. I've always had issues from the color gray before the latex, but the HP has been the best overall for hitting all of our grays. But we do not print 30k sq ft per month and that is the red flag of concern from your post.

    We are building our model with HP Latex for the small roll to roll printers, the larger latex series, and Vutek for the UV. Although I was very impressed with the print quality and scratch ability of the HP Latex Flatbed based on the samples. So I've felt very good about our printer selection for the growth that we are about to come into using our business model. I will keep an eye on the HP flatbed latex series in future generations. I'm not a fan of the max print width on their flatbed, but the quality of their gen1 prints puts them in the running, if they can improve their print speeds and the inks test well over the next couple of years.

    My concern is that perhaps the uptick of volume on the HP series is the issue? Can this be resolved by replacing more heads before they suggest? We have had some heads that are long after warranty and they are still going strong. We have also had a couple issues with two heads going out under warranty and they had new ones to us the next day to replace it, which blew my mind and strengthened my belief in using them as our primary roll to roll only 64" printer series.

    What are some of the issues you have with the current quality of your prints?
    What is your main concern in terms of their printer will hinder your growth?
    Is there a certain volume you see a month in terms of when the issues start to pop-up?

    Is it possible that the small roll-to-roll series is really designed for 10k to 15k a month per printer? Which could mean a shop would need to have 3-5 units to ensure proper print quality and production times without moving to the larger latex series from HP? One of the best perks of latex is the price as they are not expensive to purchase. Sounds like you have a very nice setup with 3 latex printers, but perhaps the volume is too hard on just 3 printers?

    Have you looked into the larger latex series? I would think that series would be better suited for a production facility doing 30k+ sq ft a month?

    Any feedback from other Latex users in the 3000+ series? Do you have much down time? Do you have color issues in terms of consistency on large murals/wraps?

    I've seen many post of yours and I value your opinion. Sorry to hear you are having issues, but I would like to hear more about them.
     
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