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which is cheaper to run? UCJV300 or HP Latex 3xx

Discussion in 'Digital Printing' started by willkho, Oct 14, 2020.

  1. willkho

    willkho Member

    Jun 17, 2014
    Hi all,
    I know they are completely different.
    Wondering if anyone own both?
    Really want to know which one cost more to operate and maintain especially pass the warranty period?

    I'm a bit scare of mimaki, I heard operational and maintenance cost is quite high.
    I also heard that you need to get technician to do yearly service (just like a car) but latex you pretty much just keep running it until it needs service.
    Printing result, I'm more toward the UV mimaki since it can print white and clear.

    My work is mostly small stickers (around 10x10cm), rarely do signage.
    Only print about 3-4 meters every 2 days.
    Ink expiration is also probably my issue.

    Thanks in advance again.
  2. balstestrat

    balstestrat Member

    Aug 25, 2020
    I doubt anyone who doesn't really print has two of these sitting around doing nothing.
    Have you quoted the sale prices (not list prices) for you?
    With L300 you pretty much only have the one service maintenance the is done by someone else when it hits ~12000m2 unless something breaks which you can never estimate. To me less printing equals to less likely broken.
    You probably waste some material with latex as well because it's better to start with a little leading edge than have a crash. And you print so little that your material waste is high.
    Ink expiration isn't really an issue with latex. The current cartridges going out have a warranty date well past 2022. And with latex you get very minimal amount of waste ink.
    Printheads you will end up replacing at some point but people who print very little I've seen go 1-2 years before replacing any heads. But that varies a lot based on a lot of things.
    New latexes that come out very, very soon will have white ink as well.
  3. willkho

    willkho Member

    Jun 17, 2014
    Thanks for the explanation.

    I should have made it clearer, I've Latex and been using it for 2 years.
    So far quite happy with the machine because it's still under warranty anyway.
    I normally tape material to create the leading edge.

    I'm thinking to sell my latex and get mimaki since the print result suit me better.
    I also need the clear ink too to create emboss, etc. Most of the time, I print my own products/designs rather than printing for someone.

    However, I don't know how much service mimaki needed, that scare me a little bit.
  4. Solventinkjet

    Solventinkjet DIY Printer Fixing Guide

    Aug 2, 2011
    Denver, CO
    This is latex salesman scare tactics. I'm a certified Mimaki tech. I've never had a yearly schedule to maintain a customer's printer or even preventative maintenance. It's as simple as keeping a few rubber parts clean, a few minutes a week. If you follow the maintenance schedule, you just need to change out the cap top and dampers every year and the wiper once every 6 months or so. All user replaceable. That being said, most people don't even do that and they just go until something fails instead. I've seen guys with 6 year old heads printing a perfect nozzle check who never changed a thing in their machine. As you said in another comment, the Mimaki does print better for sure. I'm not even a salesman and latex may be right for you. I just don't like HP's propaganda getting any headway.
  5. Short answer, Mimaki
  6. kffernandez

    kffernandez Member

    Jun 26, 2010
    i do have both. hp L310 and UCJV300-160.

    the short answer to your question is that they pretty much are the same in terms of cost to operate and maintain.

    for the long answer: (1)ink-wise, mimaki is cheaper to purchase. but you have to remember that it is regularly spitting out ink so that the heads do not clog. and your mimaki will definitely use more ink during printing since uv prints tend to use a bit more ink on its prints than typical eco-solvent and latex.while the latex is incredibly frugal in its ink use. (2) maintenance wise, i've had my mimaki for 2 years, and my hp for about 4 years. just like any machine, things will break down. and you will need to replace them. that is just part of how things work. my observation is that hp latex is more akin to your desktop printer. the parts have not so long lifespans. and you will need to replace them pretty much when its stated life is reached. for example, the head, you can work it up to 8-10 liters++ but are you sure you're getting them to work reliably 100% of the time? it might be better for some/most to just replace them at 4-6liters where they are pretty much expected to last reliably. on the other hand, the mimaki is pretty much built to last. except for the typical dampers, filters, wipers, that you replace regularly, everything else is supposed to last a long time. unless you break it - which means you will spend much much more compared to when your latex broke down. i.e. the heads. and finally (3) i recommend that you stick to latex. you mentioned that you are used to printing small labels. the ucjv's limit in text size is at around 6pt for positives. smaller than that and you might need to go slow or uni directional which is just plain impractical. on the other hand, your latex can print up to 4pts for positives at the usual production speeds.

    sorry for the long post. i just found it interesting that i would have the 2 exact printers that you are comparing. :)
    hope this helps!

    • Like Like x 3
  7. karst41

    karst41 Member

    Nov 3, 2010
    Stone Mountain, GA
    Latex 26500 was great for material management.

    I have since upgraded to a 560.
    My digital work is now down to next to nothing.

    I Created a test print 5"x53" that I fire off twice a day.
    Uses very little ink and preserves the print heads
    It has a 10% and 20% value swatch of lc and lm
    that makes those heads fire individually.

    I found some rolls of expires print film to sacrifice through these slow days.

    I Love and Hate the 560 but it sure makes life easier when you are firing
    off several full rolls.
  8. Simplesolutions311

    Simplesolutions311 New Member

    Aug 5, 2020
    west Frankfort
    we have both a hp latex and a ucjv300.

    Mimaki with Lus-170 ink.

    Prints and cuts great. only complaint i have with it is ink usage. we use ours for banners posters and things along those lines. id say we print use it 3 out of 5 days a week. Still waist massive amounts of ink. Which is not cheap. overall it is a good printer maintenance is not that bad at all. would be great if you were just cranking out posters and banners all day everyday.

    Hp Latex 360

    Prints great clean. does not waist ink. no maintenance (or very rarely). we run this machine non stop printing wraps vinyl window perf. stickers signs. biggest downfall is it doesn't cut other than that its been nothing but a work horse.

    I personally would go with a latex over the ucjv. This is just my opinion after using both.
  9. Zendavor Signs

    Zendavor Signs Member

    Mar 3, 2011
    Peoria, IL
    If you have a latex already, I would just keep it and run it into the ground. I have both printers, but they serve very different functions for us. I would consider the latex a much better all around machine. It just works. The Mimaki is more finicky, but it does certain things really well, like backlit prints.
  10. willkho

    willkho Member

    Jun 17, 2014
    Thanks very much for all the answers.
    I'm now pretty confident that Latex is cheaper to run. Honestly, I love my latex, never give me any problem compare to the eco solvent I had before.

    Since I'm not really a sign writer, long big print won't be my products.

    The beauty of mimaki is I can boost the creativity up by using clear and white, meaning my product range is wider.

    I heard latex is going to release white ink version but the heat will still probably warp most of the media.
  11. signsdoneright

    signsdoneright New Member

    Oct 31, 2019
    I have a HP 365 latex and UCJV 300
    I will go for a latex, way cheaper to run and repair, no waste, and HP is much better to deal with than Mimaki ..
    I would only recommend Mimaki if you have to run white ink, clear ink or metallic stickers .. those look great on that one.
    Also Mimaki doesnt care much about customer Service .. they let that to the dealers that sell you the printer, so if your is bad .. like Tubelite or Tyrrel Tech .. you might have some troubles getting it repair or serviced even under warranty ..
    I heard that PDS for Mimaki are great, but they are not in my area.
    Good luck!
    • Agree Agree x 1

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