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Honest latex opinions welcomed

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Post Fri Jun 15, 2018 12:50 pm

Honest latex opinions welcomed

Hi everyone.
After having my Roland XR640 for around 3 years now, it’s developed a fault with the wiper mechanism which is beyond my knowledge which is largely concerned with versacamms. Engineer is coming tomorrow to sort hopefully but I’ve been contacted by a supplier suggesting I trade in for a hp latex
Machine. We have 3 other fully working Roland’s so I’m not dead in the water. Are they a lot better than solvent?
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Post Fri Jun 15, 2018 2:22 pm

Re: Honest latex opinions welcomed

I am in a similar position wanting to upgrade from our JV33. Everyone seems to be getting the HP latex machines but whenever I look seriously into it there's a few downsides..the extra power requirements, the colours going off when the heads begin to wear, the more complicated loading etc.

The big problem with solvent machines is the outgassing, Fine if you're doing small prints, but not good when you are doing big van or bus wraps. There's no way you can effectively out gas the prints when you've printed a full roll or two.

That's why I started the topic on the new Epsons, They claim 4-6 hours for outgas plus better gamut, ink usage etc. There don't seem to be a whole lot of people running them though so hard to get opinions..
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Post Fri Jun 15, 2018 2:49 pm

Re: Honest latex opinions welcomed

Most of our work is vehicle livery so yes, outgassing is a problem but I generally give plenty of drying time. The client is made aware of our 48 hour drying policy so not massively difficult. My worry is colour matching & consistency against years worth of solvent print. All the Roland machines were on the same ink until the pro 4 arrived which used a more modern ink type as it doesn’t have the same print heads. The difference was huge & I must admit I wasn’t blown away, I was told that I was never going to get an exact match as the ink was being laid down differently to the older machines. Colours were ok but a little flat compared to the pro 3. I’ve never considered latex before so never done any homework. I’m worried that as we run 4 printers, the differences will be too noticeable.
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Post Fri Jun 15, 2018 3:02 pm

Re: Honest latex opinions welcomed

Not sure about 'complicated loading' - it's easy as our old Mimaki with benefits of front loading (space saving), the loading assistant helps with those 1600mm x 50m of heavy weight banner.

Power: 16amp feeds aren't an issue - very simple for a sparky to install - 16amp feed is not 3 phase, just uprated wiring and sockets from the Consumer unit.

We use Onyx RIP and find the print quality incredible - solids are perfect, photos are stunning, boost up the pass and DPI and you can print 6pt text on mini labels (okay this does slow the machine down, but the quality is there).

Drying time... what drying time.. well advertised so 'nuff said.

Only tip I would say, is buy the version that has the inbuilt spectrometer an create your own profiles - you will notice the benefits over using standard profiles.


Downsides
Dark solids (black) unless profile & setting are perfect (build your own profiles....) you may get a oily surface, due to some of the water not evaporating on some medias - not on vinyl, mainly pop up banners.

Mist - again mainly on dark colours, at certain environmental temperature the evaporating water dissipates into the atmosphere, looking like smoke! first time causes mass panic :lol: Oh and optical fire alarms will see this as smoke.... just to add the fun.

100% love the HP Latex 360's, cracking machines, don't think we'll be going back to solvents.
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Post Fri Jun 15, 2018 3:19 pm

Re: Honest latex opinions welcomed

Many thanks Colin, kicking off with a definite yes vote. The price of the 54” is very cheap, but I know I would always regret not buying a 64” which is double the price. What are ink costs like?
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Post Fri Jun 15, 2018 3:31 pm

Re: Honest latex opinions welcomed

Ink, we pay between £78 - £83 per 775ml cart.

Oh to add - We went for the 64", but mainly use 1370mm media I would say about 90% of the time.
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Post Fri Jun 15, 2018 3:35 pm

Re: Honest latex opinions welcomed

Same here, just nice to have the option as & when necessary
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Post Fri Jun 15, 2018 3:48 pm

Re: Honest latex opinions welcomed

Hi Kevin,

Ive just purchased an Epson and had a good look into the latex's but decided that the EPson 80600 was for me, ive just posted a post regarding it so have a look on there. any questions you have feel free to ask.

Thanks Neil D.
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Post Fri Jun 15, 2018 3:54 pm

Re: Honest latex opinions welcomed

I’ve recently purchased a new latex after having a mimaki Solvent- for me personally it’s a no brainier, HP all the way
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Post Sat Jun 16, 2018 9:41 am

Re: Honest latex opinions welcomed

On my second Latex machine now and would never look back, started with the 26500 and now on the 310, its a perfect machine for a small company, 13amp sockets so no messing with 16amp sockets being installed just plug straight into your normal sockets. With the old machine I only ever printed wider than 54" a couple of times so when it was time to change this made a good choice to stick at 54 instead of paying the extra.

Agree with whats been said above specially with Colins detailed description he has pretty much nailed it with the pros and cons, I know it might not be as cheap as a solvent but I dont think I could cope with degassing times being a very small operator, I am nearly always printing and out the door same day.

Colin would like to know where your getting your ink Ive been paying £85 for the last few months.
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Post Sat Jun 16, 2018 10:30 am

Re: Honest latex opinions welcomed

Like the idea of Latex, but what about print and cut jobs if you only have the one printer?
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Post Sat Jun 16, 2018 11:12 am

Re: Honest latex opinions welcomed

Ink, we buy from AD Young - BUT we buy £1000+ at a time.

Print N Cut - we have a few Summa's, with Onyx barcodes its a seamless workflow.
We don't use all-in-one print N cut machines, find them pointless as if your cutting you can't print (and vice versa), wasting valuable machine time, creating a bottleneck in production.
I think HP realised this and have a L315 Print & cut package - latex 315 + Hp 54 cutter (never seen one, but to me looks like a Summa from the website photos / videos).
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Post Sat Jun 16, 2018 12:23 pm

Re: Honest latex opinions welcomed

Colin Crabb wrote:Ink, we buy from AD Young - BUT we buy £1000+ at a time.

Print N Cut - we have a few Summa's, with Onyx barcodes its a seamless workflow.
We don't use all-in-one print N cut machines, find them pointless as if your cutting you can't print (and vice versa), wasting valuable machine time, creating a bottleneck in production.
I think HP realised this and have a L315 Print & cut package - latex 315 + Hp 54 cutter (never seen one, but to me looks like a Summa from the website photos / videos).


I have the 315 package - it’s faultless so far
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Post Mon Jun 18, 2018 1:21 pm

Re: Honest latex opinions welcomed

Be careful when purchasing latex printers, we have some issues with delamination when using latex Gen 3 Inks.
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Post Tue Jun 19, 2018 9:39 am

Re: Honest latex opinions welcomed

Gary Barker wrote:Be careful when purchasing latex printers, we have some issues with delamination when using latex Gen 3 Inks.


Funny you should mention that I've only had that happen a couple times and it was always on Metamark Vinyl with solid black ink, its almost like the laminate will not stick to the ant scratch coating of the ink. Had to take some contour cut vinyl decals off a vehicle a week after applying and the laminate came straight off but left behind the MD5 like nothing had been there. Did query it with Metamark and they simply said it needs outgassing which to be fair I did try but made no difference.

Not had any issues with LG media though.
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Post Tue Jun 19, 2018 10:37 am

Re: Honest latex opinions welcomed

Why would you need to outgas latex ?
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Post Tue Jun 19, 2018 12:04 pm

Re: Honest latex opinions welcomed

Ive been told by HP, that all jobs now need to be outgased for 48hrs and laminated 48hrs before use, but this is still ongoing.
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Post Tue Jun 19, 2018 12:10 pm

Re: Honest latex opinions welcomed

So why would they advertise it as not needing outgassing if it does need it ?
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Post Tue Jun 19, 2018 12:14 pm

Re: Honest latex opinions welcomed

they are changing all their paperwork, the new Gen 3 inks are causing problems, you won't see paperwork now that says laminate straight away, and profiles are getting removed (certified HP ones)
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Post Tue Jun 19, 2018 12:15 pm

Re: Honest latex opinions welcomed

Where did you get this information Gary ?
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Post Tue Jun 19, 2018 12:43 pm

Re: Honest latex opinions welcomed

Ive emailed you Iain.
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Post Tue Jun 19, 2018 1:00 pm

Re: Honest latex opinions welcomed

This is the sort of feedback I feared even though most latex owners are really happy with their machines. I’ll maybe stick with solvent as we don’t need instantly dried & useable prints & would always leave to outgas even if given a cast iron guarantee that it wasn’t necessary. Thank you all for your comments.
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Post Tue Jun 19, 2018 3:43 pm

Re: Honest latex opinions welcomed

Hi Gary

Wouldn't mind if you could PM me the same information?

We've had HP latex as our primary roll to roll printers for years, 25500, then 360's and now 560's. We've never really had any problems we could attribute to not gassing out before laminating, the odd 'oily' print requiring lower saturation and/or increasing the curing temp but even then very few and far between. Just a bit worried now that we are storing up a potential future problem that could come back to bite us! That said we do currently remain very happy with with the HP Latex and virtually every print comes straight off and into the laminator.

Cheers
Dave
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Post Tue Jun 19, 2018 7:07 pm

Re: Honest latex opinions welcomed

Although most printers have the odd issue now and then, I’m sceptical that there is a big issue with HP Latex.
I know dozens of people with various guises of HP latex and never heard a bad word said. Surely if there was such a major problem they would have done a product recall or at the very least postponed the sale of new equipment ?
Will be interesting to see if there is any announcement from HP of if it’s just a couple of isolated incidents
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Post Tue Jun 19, 2018 7:47 pm

Re: Honest latex opinions welcomed

I spoke to somebody at perfect colours, they said out of around 1000 Latex machines they have put out there, they only have around 30 customers shouting back at them about the issue, but they are shouting very loud! So only a small percentage that it causes real problems for. As mentioned, you are supposed to be outgassing with the newer latex machines, I think it’s just lucky that maybe sometimes you can get away without. I would dare bet HP would be working on the issue for the next model!
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Post Tue Jun 19, 2018 7:50 pm

Re: Honest latex opinions welcomed

The out gassing and delamination problems are not a latex problem, they’re an optimiser problem. If you find a latex printer that runs without the need of an optimiser you won’t have delamination problems.

Just saying.
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Post Tue Jun 19, 2018 8:11 pm

Re: Honest latex opinions welcomed

Hi all, I've been told the by the UK importer of HP Latex printers, there are only a few cases in the UK with this problem.

I've spoken to other sign companies & printer reps, and there are more than a few cases.

The easy way to find out if you have a problem, Print a dark blue sample, the one we used is C100, M90, Y36, K36 its just a dark blue colour.

Laminate it and try the pull test, after leaving it laminated for the correct length of time, lift the graphic from one edge and see if you can pull the laminate off, I cant go into much detail yet as I have HP on-site at the beginning of July, good luck.

Watch on youtube.com


video in drop box
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Post Thu Jun 21, 2018 12:40 pm

Re: Honest latex opinions welcomed

Hi all

I have had every HP latex ever sold in the UK pass through my team at ArtSystems and have been personally responsible for the distribution and support of this range since launch a decade ago so I do have some degree of understanding of this issue.

I would also urge caution regarding posts of what HP are reported to say about various subjects - often resellers and media vendors use professed "inside knowledge" to gain kudos vs the competition or have an issue with their laminate reported and lack the technical knowledge with the printer to know how to resolve it. It creates a huge amount of disinformation that when put up on forums can give a false steer to what is a vital decision for any business.

So in light of this and according due respect to the subject line of this initial post looking for an honest opinion i am happy to set the record straight.

There are multiple thousands of latex printers in the UK now. I have had six (and now with Gary, seven) cases escalated where a simple visit with reprofiling did not solve the problem. This doesn't mean there haven't been others where the issue isn't escalated to my attention but resolved by other means of course, but this is all the info to date. If there was an intrinsic issue it would have been seen by hundreds if not thousands of users by now - this simply isn't the case.

Of these six, the solution (after reprofiling) was to find an alternative substrate choice that performed better. All Latex users understand that some substrates perform better than others with this technology and this meant that a change to the substrate (vinyl and/or laminate) and a new profile using a bit less ink did the trick. I can say with confidence that a company with the reputation of 3M would not offer an 8 year MCS warranty on current HP latex ink if it did not stick to laminate.

I have visited Gary and understand that he needs to keep with his current substrates for very good reasons and some others he tried didn't resolve the problem and thus we have asked HP to visit in July to investigate further to find a solution which will work.

Regarding the other claims on this thread:

Latex does not need "outgassing" - there is no chemical that needs to escape before it is laminated. Often a period of a few hours is left by users between printing and laminating to allow the product to relax again after heating but this isn't deemed as a requirement by HP - indeed with Gary's issue we asked him to leave printed samples 48 hours before laminating to compare and the results were the same - extra time did not make a difference for him or for the other gentleman on this thread.

I've noticed a number of reseller reps and techies say this - what i think it is, is that profiles that are *just* curing in normal use are tipping over into an uncured state when the atmosphere is humid - HP have for a while tried to get users to choose the ink limit patch behind the first patch that shows as cured to give a bit of leeway in this regard. But certainly from a technical point of view there is no reason to have a gassing-off period for properly cured latex prints.

HP are not removing media Certifications or communications regarding this point. They do change regularly for a variety of reasons but there's no changes to this due to any delamination issue.

Optimiser certainly isn't a cause of delamination (nice try Stafford :rollseyes: ) Optimiser is simply a clear ink - nothing more. It just has an opposite electrical charge to the ink particles so they stick to the media quickly. It helps adhesion and allows for faster print speeds. It also sits underneath the inked surface and does not play any roll in laminate adhesion.

So hopefully I can say for the huge majority of users they will never have any issues but for the few that do a simple reprofiling session using less ink and (if required) more heat usually does the trick. If this doesn't work then a change of substrate / laminate usually sorts it. If you are in an unfortunate position like Gary is where several substrates show the issue on his customer's heavy dark blue then we will get involved with the help of HP and we will work hard for you Gary to find a solution that you are happy with.

All print technologies have pros and cons - it would be shame for the original poster to this thread if he missed out on all the amazing benefits of HP Latex technology for something that 99.5% of users will never have an issue with.

Andrew
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Post Thu Jun 21, 2018 12:53 pm

Re: Honest latex opinions welcomed

Thanks Andrew, an excellent response.
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Post Thu Jun 21, 2018 1:00 pm

Re: Honest latex opinions welcomed

Hi Andrew fingers crossed they can fix my problems.

It would still be a good idea to do the blue test, so they know they don't have the same problems, as you are The HP importer I think you are biased towards HP more than me :)

Gary
Last edited by Gary Barker on Thu Jun 21, 2018 2:20 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Post Thu Jun 21, 2018 1:31 pm

Re: Honest latex opinions welcomed

Thank you Andrew, I think that collectively sums up things nicely - Well done
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Post Thu Jun 21, 2018 5:53 pm

Re: Honest latex opinions welcomed

Thanks Andrew, that makes me feel better, had a 560 for nearly two years and have run thousands of metres through it. Have been really happy with the printer, and not aware of any problems as yet. Printing the blue test now.

Gary could you pm me that info too please.

thanks
Dan
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Post Thu Jun 21, 2018 6:41 pm

Re: Honest latex opinions welcomed

Hi Dan, the problems I'm getting might not be the same for everyone, I don't want to cause people unnecessary headaches, I was just giving my "Honest latex opinions" once I've had HP on-site at the beginning of July, I will give you all an update from a 21 years in signmaker :-)

Started 1997 with one month's wage of £500.00
First Printer Encad Pro 36" with Go Outdoor Inks with a Vivid RIP (2005 ish)
Mutoh SC650 610 plotter (1998 ish)
First Wrapping course (2005) Spandex (totally dynamic)

lol how things have changed.
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Post Thu Jun 21, 2018 7:01 pm

Re: Honest latex opinions welcomed

HI Gary,
i'm in my 20th year too! How did you get such a good starting wage??????? :smiles: I have printed the test and will try it in a minute, as i said i have been really happy with the printer and just the thought of everything coming back unlaminated is a scary one. Im sure it will be fine after reading Andrews post.
i started with a new star 38cm wide cutter. it stayed with me for 17 years when it finally gave up the ghost.

thanks
Dan
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Post Thu Jun 21, 2018 8:37 pm

Re: Honest latex opinions welcomed

Has any one bought the new mimaki Printer?? I’m getting mixed reports about Printing cast?
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Post Fri Jun 22, 2018 12:08 am

Re: Honest latex opinions welcomed

Andrew Edwards wrote:Optimiser certainly isn't a cause of delamination (nice try Stafford :rollseyes: ) Optimiser is simply a clear ink - nothing more. It just has an opposite electrical charge to the ink particles so they stick to the media quickly. It helps adhesion and allows for faster print speeds. It also sits underneath the inked surface and does not play any roll in laminate adhesion.


What a genuinely great post. I stand corrected.

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