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Printer & Laminator recomendations?

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Ruairi O'Boyle

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Post Sun Nov 29, 2009 11:31 pm

Printer & Laminator recomendations?

I am looking to get into wide format printing but not sure where to start.

Can anyone advise me on what I should be looking for and the best machines etc for the job?

Thanks
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Robert Lambie

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Post Sun Nov 29, 2009 11:53 pm

Allot depends on what you plan using the machine for mate...
My personal view "as a sign company", would be to go for Roland Print & Cut machine 54 inch wide if you have the funds...

http://www.rolandpro.co.uk/print_and_cut/

However, i think you should also look at threads going here on UKSB regarding the new HP Solvent machines. certainly worth thinking about...

https://www.uksignboards.com/viewtopic.php?t=44208
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Post Mon Nov 30, 2009 8:48 am

I think rob made a slight typo there Ruairi,
the HP machines are Latex inks, not solvent, that is their main selling point.

I would also add Mimaki printers to your list as possible candidates, also available as print and cut.

Peter
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Ruairi O'Boyle

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Post Mon Nov 30, 2009 9:55 am

Thanks guys,

I have had quotes for both Mimaki and Roland:

Roland VP540v with Seal 62 Base Laminator

OR

Mimaki CJV30-130 with Titan 1060 Laminator (heat assist) or (Kala Bunny 140+ Cold Laminator)

price wise the Roland is working out slightly more expensive but I dont know enough to differentiate between the two options.

I am a small sign maker looking to expand but I know the machine will not be running all that regularly at the start! I would imagine I need to get one that is reasonably easy to maintain!?

The HP one doesnt seem to be print and cut which deters me from this option a bit!

What do you guys think?
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John Childs

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Post Mon Nov 30, 2009 11:25 am

I prefer to have separate printer and cutter.

Sure, you might not have much work for a printer initially, but hopefully that will change, and you might find that having to wait for a print to finish before you can cut something will cause big bottlenecks in your production, and artificially limit your output.

There's not much quite so satisfying as listening to two machines churning out work, and it is so much better than the frustration you would get having to wait for your printer to finish before you could cut a vinyl sign for another customer.

My preferred equipment would be a Mimaki JV33 with Easymount heated laminator and a Mimaki CG-FX cutter. It might be a little more expensive upfront, but should reap dividends down the line for many years to come.

I would like to buy a Mimaki CJV, but that will only be if we can generate enough unlaminated label business to justify the purchase, but our main production gear will always be separates.
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Ruairi O'Boyle

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Post Mon Nov 30, 2009 11:46 am

Thanks John Ill look up that Mimaki

I have a graphtec ce2000-1200 so the print and cut machine was just for ease of use rather than chopping and changing from one machine to the other!

The other option my mimaki rep gave me was the JV33 printer and CG130FX cutter seperate and the titan 1060 laminator. This worked out slightly more expensive.
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Vic Adair

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Post Mon Nov 30, 2009 11:56 am

Hi Ruairi,

you should also look at the ink usage. Inks can be pretty expensive and have a short life span as Mimaki inks have up to a year.

The JV3 has 8 cartridges at about £70 each, alot of money if your not using them much and the date runs out.
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Russell Huffer

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Post Mon Nov 30, 2009 12:06 pm

Hi Ruairi,

I used to have a Roland sol jet II 1.9M print only and a Graphtec CE 3000 Cutter and an Easymount laminator 1.6M top heat roller.

Personally i prefer separate print and cut I now have the same setup as John Mimaki JV33 printer CGFX cutter and still my easymount laminator.

The Mimaki printers are great bits of kit and the JV33 won printer of the year, i used to find materials every so often that my Roland would not print on however the Mimaki has printed on every material i have tried in it so far.

There is no comparison in my opinion between the Graphtec and the Mimaki cutters I never really got on with the Graphtec but the CGFX is a brilliant cutter, always finds the registration marks and just feels and sounds solidly built.

May be more expensive but full solvent inks and 2 years warranty the Mimaki machines have more than impressed me.

The downside of Mimaki is the software will not run on 64 bit machines.

Regards

Russell.
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Jon Marshall

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Post Mon Nov 30, 2009 5:27 pm

I don't see the benefit of print+cut.

Mostly, you will laminate the prints anyway so they have to be removed from the machine for that and you rarely print and cut something in one go even if you don't intend to laminate. Not unless you want issues with curling.
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Ruairi O'Boyle

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Post Tue Dec 01, 2009 11:47 am

Thanks for all your input so far but now I am even more confused!

Is there any Roland fans out there? And am I mad considering print and cut in the one unit?

My preferred supplier are Roland agents and I like working with them so that was swinging it in Roland Direction! Now I am totally undecided!
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Robert Lambie

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Post Tue Dec 01, 2009 12:30 pm

Ruairi O'Boyle wrote:Is there any Roland fans out there? And am I mad considering print and cut in the one unit?


I am a Roland fan mate... :lol1: seriously though, i have two of them and one being a 54inch print and cut. (originally a grenadier) had it 5 years now and works like a horse, and recently the Roland AJ 740 which is a brilliant bit of kit and blistering fast... the new Roland machines available today are leaps and bounds better than my print & cut, so definitely a good investment.

i know we have many favoring the two machine setup, printer and cutter, but ide imagine this a more expensive setup and i certainly am not convinced its better production wise. that maybe "my self preference" of course, but.... for years mimaki pushed pushed pushed the whole separate machines issue as being better, as did other printer suppliers, but only because i believe Roland own patents to this setup?
Fast forward 5 years and Mimaki have a work around on the print & cut setup and have now launched and heavily pushing THEIR print and cut machines....
Now if their old setup of print and cut was more cost effective and far better production wise, why now copy what is relatively old hat to Roland's machines?


.
Last edited by Robert Lambie on Tue Dec 01, 2009 12:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Ruairi O'Boyle

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Post Tue Dec 01, 2009 12:42 pm

Thanks Rob

To be hones the price difference slightly favours the mimaki (£1000 approx) but that includes the laminators i mentioned but I havent checked how they compare. One could be much cheaper than the other thus throwing the overall figure off. Must check that! The Roland package seems to have a better training and support offering!

Cheers
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Robert Lambie

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Post Tue Dec 01, 2009 12:53 pm

In fairness, i haven't compared prices in some time. i was basing my reply on when i was looking into buying our solvent printer. because back then we were also looking at and seriously considering the Mimaki machines, but i went with the Roland print & cut in the end. (B&P Grenadier)
I know the pennies add up fast when looking at printers, cutters, laminators, RIP, Computer server etc so I am honestly not trying to convince you on anything, just giving you it, how i seen it, when making the same move.
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Ruairi O'Boyle

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Post Tue Dec 01, 2009 1:38 pm

I appreciate the help Rob its just nice to hear from end users rather than salesmen/women!
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Malcolm Elliott

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Post Tue Dec 01, 2009 1:46 pm

I'm with Rob, love my VP540, might not be a true signmakers machine but it suits me and works hard with no problems. I've always had a Summa cutter on hand as well in case I need to run something off while printing.
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John Childs

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Post Tue Dec 01, 2009 1:51 pm

Robert Lambie wrote:i know we have many favoring the two machine setup, printer and cutter, but ide imagine this a more expensive setup and i certainly am not convinced its better production wise. that maybe "my self preference" of course, but.... for years mimaki pushed pushed pushed the whole separate machines issue as being better, as did other printer suppliers, but only because i believe Roland own patents to this setup?
Fast forward 5 years and Mimaki have a work around on the print & cut setup and have now launched and heavily pushing THEIR print and cut machines....

Rob, it does depend on the type of work that you are doing but, when there are cut jobs waiting to be done, it would drive me nuts to be paying people to stand around doing nothing because they were held up waiting for a print to finish.

I don't know about any patent issues but I think that Mimaki would have been right to push separate print and cut because I think that that is the only way to go for a smaller general shop. That's not to say that there isn't a place for print and cut, and I did say in my first post that I would like a CJV, but it would only be a justifiable purchase when there is sufficient unlaminated work for them to do.

Another consideration is that, yes, you have two printers, and so aren't out of production if one breaks down. But someone who only has the one print and cut would be completely out of business under those circumstances.

I also wonder, if you had separates, whether you would actually need two printers. Last year we did a fairly major job where our JV33 was running for between eighteen and twenty four hours a day, and all the cutting was done on a CG-FX. Now, if we were dependant on the printer to cut as well, then we would have needed two machines. As it was we managed perfectly well with just the one.
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Ruairi O'Boyle

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Post Tue Dec 01, 2009 2:15 pm

Just in case it was missed and it is causing confusion I do have a 1200 wide cutting machine already. Therefore I wont be stuck if a cutting job comes in at the same time.

Yes it would be handy to have a second cutter but I certainly am not at the level of production yet. All valid points though, thanks so far!
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OwenTaylor

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Post Wed Jan 27, 2010 9:04 am

I'm sure you have taken it into consideration as it hasn't been mentioned but some smaller sign shops just won't have the space for a 54" printer, a laminator AND a second cutter/printer.

I think that this is where the print and cut units really have an advantage unless you are a larger shop with higher volume output and staff etc.
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Gary Birch

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Post Wed Jan 27, 2010 9:30 am

We have had our Versacamm 3 and a half years now. Apart from wipers etc we haven't changed a part on it. I cannot praise it highly enough. Even now if I contact Roland when its out of warranty they are still very helpful.

I did make the mistake of taking a lease purchase deal out for it over 5 years though otherwise we would have upgraded to the Soljet but the cost implications of the upgrade just outweigh the need.

I don't have any experience of the Mimaki but believe them to be great printers.

No matter which you choose I think you will find it changes your business and the way you do things beyond belief.

Good luck with which ever you go with.

Cheers

Gary
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Mark Latchford

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Post Wed Jan 27, 2010 3:00 pm

We have just installed a new Mimaki cjv30- 130 and you can still print and laminate a label job and then put back on the machine to contour cut out,
as long as you remember to put the cut registration marks on.
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Nick Monir

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Post Fri Feb 12, 2010 8:54 pm

I'm another VP fan! :D We bought one almost two years ago and it has been brilliant. Never had an engineer near it and has worked away without a single issue. Also bought an Ability 1600mm hot laminator from Europoint - different story I'm afraid. We're onto our second one now and still having problems with it. After care from Print Finishing Solutions (Europoint's supplier) is horrific. It has came to the point now that we're simply going to cut our losses and replace the machine.

Anyone interested in buying it? :lol1:
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Andrew Blackett

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Post Sat Feb 13, 2010 9:11 am

Nope!.......

I'd put a vote down for Seal Laminators, we picked up a second hand seal image 600, she's a big girl with heat on both rollers up to 125 degrees, loads of mandrels for take up, unwind etc etc. The pressure on the rollers is controlled by air pressure so it has endless options.

After we got it a full health check and re-calibration it runs like a dream. and the best thing...... when you press the button to lift the top roller you get the most amazing star trek door opening style noise!!

We paid about what you'd pay for a brand new easymount or ability one but our independant engineer was saying the build quality on the seal machines is far far better.

Oh and printer..... was wittering on a bit there! Roland definately, we've got the SP540 and I cant sing its praises highly enough.

Andy
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Andrew Blackett

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Post Sat Feb 13, 2010 4:40 pm

Nick Monir wrote:Also bought an Ability 1600mm hot laminator from Europoint - different story I'm afraid. We're onto our second one now and still having problems with it. After care from Print Finishing Solutions (Europoint's supplier) is horrific.


On that the newer machines are rebranded Vivid Easymount single hot ones. Never dealt with Vivid for a machine but know Bruce there really knows his stuff. The original ones are the typhoon ones from China I believe.

Andy
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Post Sat Feb 13, 2010 7:09 pm

When starting out solvent machines still need to be cleaned when not being used consuming valuable ink. Is this still the case on newer machines?

Will Latex ink machines finally take over from solvent as they appear to lean on environment credentials as well as no daily cleaning?
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John Childs

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Post Sat Feb 13, 2010 9:16 pm

Stuart,

Cleaning on solvent machines was never a problem. It is not onerous, and we regard it as a cost of doing business in supplying the most robust prints to our clients.

However, our JV33 uses a lot less ink in cleaning than did our previous JV3, so I would say that more modern machinery is more economical to use.

Of course, we are interested in green, but not at the expense of the quality of product. As soon as I am convinced that latex is up the the job, then I will place an order.

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