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Versacamm or Cadet

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Post Thu Oct 21, 2004 12:57 pm

Versacamm or Cadet

Opinions sought on the merits of both the Roland Versacamm or the Cadet for general sign use. Had a rep in the other day ( for vinyls not print supplies ) who sang the praises of the Versacamm , but would like to pick the brains of uksb members.
We would use the machine for logos , vehicle graphics and small runs of stickers/ labels that we currently screen-print ( very labour-intensive on short runs )
Any feedback will be appreciated
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Post Thu Oct 21, 2004 1:28 pm

We have had a cadet for around 6 months now which we are more than happy with, as far as I know both machines do the same job and are the same price the only difference is the cadet uses full solvent inks which makes the print harder wearing and lasts longer which has got to be better! we would also recommend the troop rip which is really easy to use and better than the Roland rip. I have also been told that the spot colors on the cadet are much better the the versacmm which is quite important if you want to do stickers and stuff like that.

Best of luck

John
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Post Thu Oct 21, 2004 6:58 pm

for general "sign" use i would have to say the cadet.
both are exact same machines as im sure you know, just different ink being fed through them.
there are many machines on the market now, but only the cadet and versacamm come with contour cutting facilities built in.
true solvent machines (in my own opinion) have a much better bite into the vinyl, so are far more stubborn to remove after a few hours. eco-solvent appears to sit ontop of the vinyl and is more easily removed.

there are various pros and cons for both machines, do a back search on them.. you will be spoilt for opinions :lol1:
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Post Thu Oct 21, 2004 7:31 pm

I have to say, that today i took delivery of the Cadet,
the decision to go for this machine was not taken lightly, it has taken me about two weeks to decide on the cadet,
i did the usual pro's and con's of both machines i even brought my wife in to it to help me (drove her mad with it) but when it came down to it Durability was the key factor, as stand alone machines they both are the same
but in my opinion the cadet can achieve the required durability without lamination, but the Versacamm needs to be laminated all the time, on every job. so that was my main reason for going with the cadet.

a quick question for people that are using the cadet, what is the best materials ie: vinyl and banner, etc and where do you get them from
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Post Thu Oct 21, 2004 10:59 pm

jim wrote: but the Versacamm needs to be laminated all the time, on every job.


Untrue
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Post Fri Oct 22, 2004 6:26 am

Just to clear up some misconceptions here

1) The OEM rip (Wasatch) is as good or indeed better than any other
2) Colour Gamut and shading is no worse on eco-solvent or full solvent and in fact the aggressive nature of solvents often preclude some subtleties. NO ink will be able to reproduce every possible pantone , you face the same problems colour matching in both cases
3) You need to protect some prints whatever machine you get , do not be fooled , better resistance to abraision or solvent attack does NOT mean indestructible - factor some protective type process or machine into the equation regardless. In some cases , the solvent inks will allow you to get away without protection , there is no doubt about that.

What you DO have to look at is the level of support your re-seller gives in terms of profiles , training and most importantly tech backup and service. I would buy the machine that has the closest tech support and offered the best warrantee and that can produce saleable graphics from day 1.
All these machines have issues you aren't told about and even with our machine that is ultra reliable , we have had to get a tech in a few times to fix this and that. Being down for 2-3 days to wait for a tech guy loses a LOT of money. In this game , reliability , repeatability and prompt delivery etc are paramount.
There aint no such thing as a free lunch , solving one "issue" often leads to others popping up from the woodwork

Both machine's users seem pretty happy with what they got at any rate and I have yet to see a post from those that use either inkset relating to failed graphics in a real world application or regret at choosing a particular inkset.

Just to throw a spanner in the works......More importantly , is it going to be worth your while to buy a machine like this at all!!!!!!!!!?
The learning curves are high , the field is ultra competitive and you have to spend a lot more money and time marketing or trying to penetrate the market. Just having a digital print and cut machine wont guarantee the work will come in. Its often cheaper to sub out and build a market and then get a machine if it really takes off.
The Versacam/Cadet is not really a large format machine and will preclude economical entry into the banner and exhibition display market which is lucrative (bear in mind raw prints cannot command the profitablity of a fully finished job , and you will really only attract customers if you offer such)
Be very careful about a new and fairly expensive machine "leeching" , by this I mean its not that economically sensible to use the new machine to take production from other methods or machines. This HAS to increase the range of goods and services you offer , not just do it differently or better or a little faster. Work out what the new machine will do that caused you to LOSE jobs when using your old processes.
Are those small runs that you arent competitive in really worth the cost of a digital print and cut machine - you can STILL do them , albeit with more effort.
You must work out the true cost of owning it and whether it will ACTUALLY increase profits.
Factor in a new computer (you need processing power to rip fast) , Factor in an operator or "minder" (or the cost of your time if you doing it yourself) , factor in print finishing machinery like a trimmer , a laminator/mounter. Take the total cost of the machine , add 30-50% and then amortise it over 24 months to get the monthly cost of a machine.
In my neck of the woods , every tom (oh i swore !) and harry now has a digital printer and as new players enter , the market dilutes even further and a price war results. Average price for raw graphics here is about 25 quid a sq meter to end user , dropping to 12 quid for the trade and there are some folk here printing at 5 quid a sq meter to the PUBLIC!!!
I can tell you this , and I have said it before , as a general sign shop , a laser engraver or cutter as an addition , is IMHO a far better option.
Have a look at the post I made
https://www.uksignboards.com/viewtopic.php?t=7690
That machine is proving to be a REAL money spinner!!!
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Post Fri Oct 22, 2004 12:23 pm

Hi

There is a new Versa Camm 54 inch wide begin unveiled at Sign Ireland next month..

If i was buying at this time i would look at this machine..

One of the big advantages of the Versa Camm is ease of Maintenance not like the Cadet, if you leave the Cadet unused for a while you will have problems.. i know a man who had alot of problems this way , he had to get an engineer to come out and change alot of the system..

If you intend to do vehicle graphics you will have to laminate anyway. Also no ventilation needed for the Versa Camm.

There is no real problem with the durability of the prints form the Versa Camm, I have my machine over 6 months, no problems, touch wood..

Versa Camm 1
Cadet 0
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Post Fri Oct 22, 2004 3:12 pm

Hi,
I understand from our supplier that there is a 54" print and cut cadet coming onto the market at the end of November.
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Post Fri Oct 22, 2004 3:40 pm

How SLOW is the Versacamm??? - we have just bought one and find that the sales rep's boasts of 5sq mtr per hour at 720 is a load of e6.
It is no where near as fast as our Jetsolver which is printing at over 2 mtrs per hour at 720dpi, which isn't quick I know but there is my point.
We timed a .35 sq mtr print at 7 minutes which is 3 sq mtrs per hour AT 360 DRAFT!!!!!
I am hoping that I have got the hand brake on or something stupid like that.

oh well, you live and learn
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Post Fri Oct 22, 2004 4:43 pm

Slow versacamm?? Nahhhh

I can rattle out a 3m banner (2.2 sqm) in 26 minutes @ 720dpi, Variable, pass count 8 with a head speed of 760.

The fastest I can get it printing a linear metre in just under 4 minutes - that really does throw the media out, but I only use this for draft images or low cost, single use POS.

Please post the RIP settings - I'm sure we can get it going more like Rudolf on a cold and frosty night - and that's fast :plane:

Mark
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Post Fri Oct 22, 2004 4:49 pm

The claims for the soljet are 300 sq ft per hr. It can do that in the highest speed mode which is , unless you doing billboards viewed at some distance , unsaleable.
In reality , we can do 1/2 of that. At higher resolution we 1/2 that again , so its about 75 sq ft an hour , you can halve that for a machine with 1/2 the heads , so 3.5 sq m per hour is realistic.
Timing a small print is like counting your pulse for 5 secs , you need a bigger print to time .
there are strategies to decrease print time , for example setting scan width to just the graphic and whacking speed up to 1000 - if the media can hold the inks at those speeds.
Wait till you get to a print and cut scenario with small complex shapes , even with our Soljet , speeds low DRAMATICALLY.
We apply a 2x and 1/2 rule to salesppls claims , IE we halve the speed and double the cost and if it is still viable , its worth while going for it.
What amazes me in this field are the outrageous advertised claims. Whats even more amazing is the acceptance by consumers of "issues" and worse than that , the hiding of such "issues" by the mnfgrs in a machine that is way more than the price of a car - one would NOT accept the compromises if one had to buy a vehicle of the same value. This isnt specific to Roland , it stretches across all mnfgrs and seems to be prevalent within the industry in general. (same thing with my lasers, cnc engravers etc)
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Post Sat Oct 23, 2004 9:24 am

I agree, very seldom do I buy hardware or software that works the way I was lead to believe.
Alan
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Post Sat Oct 23, 2004 12:56 pm

To believe or not believe a salesperson is a tricky question.

When I was pondering over whether a Versacamm would be suitable for my needs I went to see John de la Roche - Northern Area Sales Manager for Roland based in Crewe.

We didn't talk about what the machine could do, we just made it do it. After spending almost 3 hours with John and printing off metres of vinyl and banner with every dpi and speed possible using Roland's images and images of my own the decision was very simple.

I paid the deposit and went away very happy. Six months later I'm still more than happy with the machine - I does everything I expect of it at a speed that is still very impressive.

I guess what I'm trying to say here; don't take a salesperson's word for it just because the specs say the machine can do this and do that - go and have a play, see for yourself. This goes for any piece of kit, try before you buy.

Mark
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Post Wed Oct 27, 2004 9:39 pm

Thanks for all your replies , Sorry it's taken so long for me to respond.
I think it is probably worth us trying to build up the workload for digital printing by subcontracting out the jobs whilst actively selling the product ( having previously turned away such jobs ) and only purchase / lease equipment once the workload is there for it . In the meantime I'll have to arrange a couple of demos.
Thanks again.

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