What's a really good 1 color press with roller coaster volume?
Looking for info on a really good 1 color press that's cheap and easy to operate with excellent quality.
I have a situation where the press would need to be "ok" sitting for a few days or weeks at a time idle (at least initially) but in a short time would need to pump out a few hundred thousand images in just a few days time.
I've been using several different digital equipment and some duplicators here and there and my cost is VERY low per page but could probably be lower with the press. The killer is I'm going through coronas and charge units left and right.
And I can't really afford the big boy presses for this work at this time plus it's 1 color...could do 2 color maybe...
Presses are made to run, they do not like to sit. I used to teach presswork, and even on the brand new Heidy we had, it would give me fits till she got "settled in" I would suggest sticking to the digital. Only other way to drop cost would be to go to a Risograph, but thats a drop in quality as well, and your limited in colors, but you can let it sit for weeks with no problems.
depending on the size of the images and the quality required . . . sometimes the old school duplicators still fit into the workflow very well. We still use a Chief 17 to imprint menus for a pizza chain with an itek camera - but getting out a few hundred thousand in a few day may fall out of their range . . . . just a thought
Hmm...the digital equipment works and gets it done but like I said the charge units (typically 3 of them per machine) need replaced constantly...and that's about a thousand bucks each time.
What about some of those small older ABDick presses...I see a lot of them on ebay and youtube. I forget the model numbers...9850 maybe, t-head, or something.
Another advantage thought is that I'd probably save on the electric bill.
I cancelled a reply yesterday; here's my 2 cents.
A decent operator can easily push 8000 tabloid/A3 sheets per hour (subtract 10% for load time with a "loadable while running feeder"; 20% load time a AB Dick 9800 or Ryobi 3200). (I'd be running balls to the walls 10,000 iph after the first pile)
That's equivilant to 14,400 clicks per hour. What's you fastest black & white copier? 5000?
Acceptable plates become the concern at this volume, but will easily match digital for black & white. You might change a poly plate or have a daylight camera with plates lasting 20,000 impressions. Desktop and chemical free plates are an option I have never needed to explore, but cheap to get in to. A metal plate should last 100,000 impressions.
A Ryobi 3302/Itek 3985 will serve your needs in two colors. Personally, after 20 years, I would not buy an AB Dick 9800 series. (I would never fathom sitting in this office for 20 minutes with an AB Dick running top speed; the 3302, common practice.)
A Ryobi 3200 is suitable. AB Dick did have some (one?) A2 sheet press which would be cheap and run 4 up lettersize, but a platemaker in that format limits its appeal to me.
Our machines vary but I'd say 6,000-7,000 per hour on average with constant monitoring. I do like that typically our first thru to last sheet is almost always identicle; but we're constantly feeding and unloading paper...we don't have any fancy true production finishers...but we make do.
I have had the Ryobi 3302 referenced before in discussion so it seems like that may be a viable alternative. Since that is two color, is there a lot of waste on the machine thru parts and wear and tear running just one color on it instead of two or would this be negligible?
Would the Ryobi 3302 be better than a Heidelberg equivalent?...keep in mind I can't dish out six figures for this piece of equipment.
One final question, if I went with a Ryobi 3302; is there a certain year or year range that I should look for or stay away from?
Sorry one last thought...should I stay away from Ebay stuff...I've gotten good and really bad junk on there before...
Thanks folks, I appreciate the input.
Last edited by firstname.lastname@example.org; 07-06-2012 at 04:54 PM.
What about an AB Dick 360 press? Saw one running...they seem a bit slow but ran envelopes good too.
Small single color presses are going to be termed duplicators. All were able to be equiped with a T-Head (developed/manufactured by Townsend Industries, referred to simply as T-Heads) for two color work. Their consistency/abilities is not as full as a true press unit due to there small size and roller train. They are a nice option for line work, small coverage areas. Mind you, many long time operators have done fine work, large image areas & pushed them to the limits. But that is aided by new rollers, all stripes & settings new and set. New rubber is not that expensive, probably far cheaper than fuser/corona/charge units.
If you purchased a used press from a broker, new rubber (rollers) would be expected. If you opt to purchase a press independently, budget new rollers for the entire machine.
With a two tower/true two color, each head is a true printing head. You would have to operate one to really appreciate the difference; words cannot do justice to the performance versus a T-Head.
The Ryobi 3302 is arguably the best small (A3/Tabloid) press. Hamada made a two tower small press, it may have been a fine machine; in the market there is also Toko, Chief, Multilith, Itek and AB Dick. I speak from experience to the 3302; it is common opinion they they are built like tanks. I work daily with two 3302's and a newer AB Dick 9810. For a days worth of single color work and envelopes, I won't fire up the 9810 until my arm is twisted. (A two color press is not able to back up (print the back side of) an uncoated sheet without smearing without several hours dry time.
All that said, I think your interest should steer towards, in this order:
Ryobi 3200/Itek 975 single color machine - (Itek/Ryobi were co-branded equivilant machines. My Ryobi notes are relevant to an Itek press as well.) Their small footprint and construction make them dependable. Envelope friendly. Parts and service have good availability.
AB Dick 9800 series single color - Envelope able, parts and service (?) readily avalable. Note - AB Dick presses use a 3 ply blanket (65 guage), Ryobi's use a 5 ply (98~102 guage). A lesser ply blanket is not as forgivable for envelope work. Either frequent replacement or more commonly, blanket savor (a swelling compound) is used for the smash correction.
Ryobi 3302/Itek 3985 - I am biased towards these machines; wouldn't be where I am withut one. The standard for a small shop. Their registration is necessary for mutli pass/3 & 4 color work, not pertinant for your position. Not as envelope friendly, but after 18 years with one, I don't hesitate an envelope changeover. If you look at one of these machines I know that my machine purchased in 1994 was more suited for envelopes; it has 5 feeder tapes; older machines had 7 which prohibit (?) their envelope feeding. I have a 7 tape machine and a 5 tape machine; I'd probably cut the two extra tapes without much consideration if the need ever arose.
AB Dick 360 - These are older than my myself and have had every operator attempt repairs and adjustments, some good, some bad. Get a 90 day warranty. I think they just barely print 11 x 17. You'll appreciate the small extra ability of everything else after some wear/tear and usage.
As important as everything above, for photo work/halftones you would benefit 100% with a continous dampening system on any press above. Your mention of large runs enforces that idea even more. Crestline or Kompac dampeners have gauranteed return on investment.
You have not mentioned plates - long conversation there...
Last edited by pdan; 07-07-2012 at 01:07 PM.
3302 is an awesome machine but is not going to produce decent solids and as mentioned before can not back uncoated jobs up due to infeed roller pressure. Another option is a Quick master 46/2. Parts are a lot more expensive for the QM46 but I have managed to go 3 years without a service call and after 5 years I am going to have to have my rollers redone. 3302 will load on the fly which is nice. On a 3302 running 10K an hour on an 8 hour shift I averaged 6400 impressions an hour. That included plate changes, blanket washing and load and unload time. The press stayed on 10k per hour during the whole production time. Two color work is easier on the 3302 because of separate blankets where you have wet trap issues on the QM46 where you need to mechanical trapping and use correct tacks and color orders. Me personally would stay away from AB Dick. They are junk
Thanks for the replies...VERY helpful.
I would think rubber rollers would be less than charge units...about a grand per 300k or so.
It looks like the 3302 is probably my best option then. I see a couple on ebay for $4,000-$5,000 on the low end up to about $13,000...so the machine itself seems affordable...although lord knows what I'd have to put into a $4,000 press...that just seems a bit too low. I saw a 3304 for about a hundred grand but that's waaaaay too much for what I want to get into right now...plus there's a lot more 3302's available.
What would the cost be for all new rubbers? Are you guys going through Ryobi direct or Xpedx I think is their distributor in the US?
Of course I have more questions now. I wasn't originally planning on getting a press just for envelopes but I outsource a lot of that kind of thing...I was checking the Halm envelope presses and in the videos they appear to be great for envelopes but I've never seen anybody use them for cut sheet printing. Anybody got any advice on Halm presses? My initial thoughts are it would be too expensive to get something just for envelopes and that you should really be doing enough envelopes to keep it busy all day long...
I was actually curious about plates...I read about the polyester ones that you can do on a laser printer for about a buck or two...I think if the metal ones are about $5 or less per plate then I would be fine with that although I don't know the average costs. It seems that they last longer and probably give better quality, registration, etc.
My plate concern would be what the heck to go with to make the plates. My guidelines are: I don't want to spend a fortune, want decent resale value, don't have to go green although I care about the earth, but don't want to get cancer printing stuff either.
While we're at it, I guess ink is going to be a very long discussion as well...totally clueless there...all I can remember is a few things d ink man posted on here and that I've seen a ton of van son ink ads in trade mags.