I need helpr to decide, Buzhub -8000, Ricoh, cannon, zerox
I have read every thread on this forum about these machines, I have listened to every sales guys LOS and read every product review I can find, I have been ready to buy for 2 months, but I just cannot pull the trigger.
I own and operate a commercial printing company in Bakersfield Ca. My equipment includes a Harris m-110 heat set web, 12 units of Goss Community, 6 color Heidelberg Speed-Master, and a few duplicators from Hamada and AB Dick. I print mostly publications in the 100 to 100,000 range, but also run my fair share or newsletters, brochures, flyers, postcard, business cards, the typical commercial printing plate, and my is pretty full. We do variable data and a good amount of mailing. Having said that , we are sooo ready for a digital press.
I have done the math and it tells me I can not only gain a new share in the market, I too can reduce the cost of most of the work I do now on my large format sheet fed, in a lot less time. My large format only makes up about 18% of my total business, but I believe that could increase should i go digital. I feel I have no choice but to go digital and I am excited with the opportunities it offers my business.
About 4 months ago I purchased a Konica 6501 as well as a blk only machine, In November my click cost were over 10k, we provided added value to our clients projects and produced jobs in a time frame we never had before, and with less people and far less production time, we made money, and it was good, and now we want more of it.
I had a Konica already and I was very happy with the local guys for service and training so the Bizhub seemed logical and it did all the things my 6501 would not. About the time I was ready to sign on, a Cannon rep showed up and I considered the 7010, I got over that and shortly their after went back to the bizhub 8000. I looked hard at the xerox 1000 with spot varnish, it was twice the money it must be twice as good, right.
Needles to say I have invested a lot of time doing my due diligence trying to decide what is best, I have for the most part kicked Cannon, Ricoh and xerox to the curb and in that order. I am reasonable sure I want the bizhub 8000. I will purchase a flood UV , I like the tech lighting machine and I have considered a offline booklet maker, or at least a much simpler folder to handle the 4 page sigs more effectively than the large stahls i have. I have 3 muller martini, stitcher, 3 and 4 knife trimmers. I will most likely get the booklet maker with the 8000 as well as the extra feed drawers and delivery stations . I feel I need to do more in making the short runs books a little easier on the make ready side of things, also this way it will not interfere with the current production demands on my large format finishing equipment.
OK I have never joined on of these forums before, and this is my first post, I know it is lengthy, I have read post here form some very informed people, I need help deciding, and I am sick of copier sales people.
Please someone help me.
Thank you in advance, I have no problem paying for consulting from some one qualified to do so, I know enough to know I don't know enough.
To me it sounds like you have made your decision.
Originally Posted by iprint4u
We've operated a c8000 for almost a year now and have a couple of 6501s as well. I've been mostly pretty happy with the c8000, but there are lots of things that need improving and should never have been released in a production machine. However, I'm sure that's true of every digital "press" out there and the c8000 is probably no better or worse than the others.
The absolute key thing is service. It will break. It will break down a great deal. Anyone who says otherwise (on a KM, Canon, Xerox or Ricoh) is either blowing smoke up your wassit, doesn't know what they are talking about, or doesn't use the machine very much. So, if your heart is set on a c8000 (or whatever), make absolutely sure that there are sufficient manufacturer trained and competent engineers to give you prompt and competent service. Make sure it's on the RIGHT machine too! If you're buying a c8000 and the company providing service says they have 5 trained engineers in your immediate area, make sure that all of them are FULLY trained on the c8000 and not on other machines. I learned that one the hard way! Also, understand HOW MANY of those specific machines the engineers in your area maintain currently. You are looking for a big number. If they are rare as hen's teeth, then the engineers are not getting enough experience to support you properly.
The second thing is training. Piss poor training is at the heart of 90% of all problems. Do they have a dedicated trainer with a formal (i.e. some thought has gone into it) training plan that can be delivered to your staff? If the engineer who installs the machine is going to do the training, then run away quickly. Do they have a dedicated "colour specialist" who will train you on these specifics and help you integrate the new RIP/printer with your existing environment. Good training can't turn a bad press into a good one, but a good press can turn into a nightmare in poorly trained hands.
Third thing is to make sure that the machine is right for your specific business needs. A c8000 is great, but if you're running lightweight stock all day, a c7000 might be better suited and half the price. Believe nothing that the sales person tells you. Treat the specification sheet as a list of things to check. Consider the demo day as good opportunity to test the machine, but remember that it's been prepared for your visit and is not 200K impressions into it's service cycle. Go and visit other people with the same machine.
Oh, and don't forget installation and environmental controls are vital!
Hope that helps in general, post any more specific questions.
".....I will most likely get the booklet maker with the 8000 as well as the extra feed drawers and delivery stations....."
Here's the problem with inline booklet makers: If you're running mixed stock for your booklets (outsides=80# Cover, insides= 60# text, etc.) Your print speed will slow down drastically. A sales person will tell you that thier machine "will run ANY stock at rated speed". What they won't tell you is that they won't run "MIXED" stock at rated speed. When the printer switches between stocks, the printer will pause so that the fuser pressure and temp adjusts to the thicker or thinner stock. You will get much more productivity by keeping your saddlestitch process offline. If your only running on 1 machine, run all your cover stock at the same time, and then run all your inside pages on the second run, then marry them at the offline bookletmaker.
Last edited by MailGuru; 12-20-2012 at 01:44 PM.
MailGuru is correct, any switching between stocks will cause the machines to pause to adjust fuser temperature. Let me throw one more box in the mix, have you looked at the xerox 8080? We were being "pressured" to upgrade our 8000AP to the 800/1000 platform, but like you thought the price was way to inflated. We actually got the 8080 for about $1200 per month less than what we were paying for the 8000AP and $2500 less than what we would have paid for the 800. We have had it for about 2 month with about 300,000 on it so far.
Make sure you get a demo or 2 with your files, your paper and run the crap out of it. I put at least 5000 sheets through on a demo, once you are satisfied on the demo it will give you a hint of what to expect on that box. Sales Monkeys will only regurgitate what they have been spoon fed, so take whatever they say lightly, if they insist a machine will do something then get it in writing so when it doesnt do it you have a leg to stand on. Also ask for a customer expectations document and compare them to each machine. This IS what the manufacture will back the machine up with.
Also ask to them to lock your service rate for the term of the lease. Xerox is known for hitting you with a 10% increase every year. Don't let them tell you they cannot lock the rate, all our machines with Konica & Xerox are locked for term.
Thank you, this is what I was looking for, I appreciate you taking the time, you do have me concerned now about some things I was not even worried about previously. If it is not too much of a bother I would like to direct some specific questions or thoughts your way if I may.
Currently I have considered my service from Konica to be good, really good, but simply because they show up, my local dealer has one guy trained on this machine, he happens to be their best tech and I was told that he scored very high on some program Konica has their techs go through, honestly I did not pay attention to exactly what that program was but it did pertain to this machine. There is no other 8000 in Bakersfield, seems to be Cannon and Xerox country. With that said, these machines are in schools and hospitals, they don't sell print, so when they compliment their particular machine they are not looking at it from the same perspective that I am, i print for folks that pay for it, and that means they are opinionated, or should I say they have expectations. So the biggest number of local techs would be the guys from xerox, the school districts are full of these machines, yearbooks and the like is what they produce mainly. The only other printer in town coping for the private sector, who just happens to be my largest competitor runs the xerox 800, I looked hard at the 1000. I have heard lots of complaints about my competitor from his clients, they love the work that he does with the zerox , they complain it is always broken, mainly booklet maker problems.
You mentioned training, the dealer said they would be bringing in someone to train and that they would be training some of their staff as well, at first that seemed like a good thing but now I am not sure. My thought for the operator would be a graphic designer, most have been to college, have a brain and understand software , even if they don't get color theory, and most do not as it applies to offset printing. I have hopes that with what they know about software and maybe sending them off to get I believe it is called G7 training, a graphic artist may have a real opportunity in the digital world to expand his ability to actually produce what the client is looking for, previously the graphic artist has a pressman in between the client and himself, having started as a pressman many years ago, I know this can be tough to get past.
As for the third suggestion, "make sure it is right for my needs" originally my local rep wanted me to have the 7000, I thought if 7000 was good, 8000 must be better, I would imagine I produce more lightweight stock-say #80 gloss book than anything else, but I want to do more of the post card variable data deal, so hell I am not even sure now.
I am 55 years old and I have been in this trade from the age of 17, I put away my prideful ways long ago and if I don't know I ask, Thank you so very much for making me think , I did get a little stalled, it is a tough choice and while a coin toss would probably work, I am too flippen long in the saddle for that gamble.
Do I answer or reply to everyone in the same post or individuality. See I waited just as long to go digital as I have to post on a forum, both I feel are great decisions for my future, and the future of my employees.
Thank you for your comments, this is awesome ask a question and get an answer. This booklet maker deal has troubled me from the beginning, I have one on my 6501 but oh my is it slow. I looked at a plot,matic or something of that nature, it is offline and fast and I agree, even stronger now, I am going to skip the booklet maker in line. But I do like that folder, gate fold and such, nice thing to offer on short runs.
Again thanks so much for the reply, greatly appreciated.
My KM 8000 with the booklet maker will be installed probably in the next week. This is in addition to my KM 7000 which I am keeping. The 8000 will allow us to duplex heavier stock and gives us a backup in the event one of them is down. They tell me the 8000 will have less time between service calls but that remains to be seen. A great deal of our work is variable with much of that being on cards that we mail. The price point of the 8000 trumps their competition. I have been very happy with my 7000 but need to expand capacity.
I am looking at the Morgana Digifold Pro for finishing the digital products but am also considering the Duplo 645 also. This will allow us faster finishing without interrupting jobs already in bindery.
Good luck with your decision. If you have put that much work on you 6501 the 8000 will really be an improvement for you. I had a 6501 prior to putting in our 7000.
I have two Xerox 8002's with inline ColorWorksPro booklet makers. The booklet makers are fast...when using all one weight of stock, they slow down substantially with mixed weight covers. I have two 8080s coming in when we are going to use for mostly sheet work. We did not go with the KM8000 becuase it slowed down for heavy stock and had no full bleed booklet making capability which was very important for our brands. We had two 6500's before the 8002s, the booklet makers were impressive when it came to face trim only books but they were slow. They could handle a higher page count though which I miss. We now twin loop books over 50 pages. We run an average of 400K peaking @ 600K montly on the 2 8002s. The 8080s are coming in from an acquistion that should raise our volume about 25-50%
We have the Duplo 645 and like the quality...overall a very high quality machine although somewhat slow. I don't really have a comparison to measure it's speed against though.
KopyBoss - Re click rates and 10% increases. I agree - All of our equipment is locked in over term with no minimum commitment and no year over year increase and no oversize click upcharge. If you ever go with Xerox I recommend their Global Imaging Solutions subsidiaries....much more flexible with negotiating price and terms as they operate their businesses locally. I will never buy a Xerox 800\1000 as long as they want .01 for oversize, unless the click is .03441 8.5x11 and .0441 oversize that is.
Last edited by Despotes; 12-21-2012 at 04:39 PM.