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  • Switching from SM52-2 to Presstek 52DI


    Hi,

    We are a small company doing Graphic design and litho printing (mostly on a Speedmaster SM52-2).
    Since we are located in a small town with no specialized market we virtually print everything from one or two colors envelopes and pads to 4color booklets, post cards and high volume catalogs. (We Outsourcing the last).
    As you may realise the run lenghts varies as well. From 500 to 15000. In some rare cases even more such as 30000 or 40000

    We are considering of buying a new press and we 've been thiking of Presstek 52DI.
    1. My *main* question is if the DI is fitted to produce all the work that currentlly our Speedmaster produce or its only profitable for four color work.
    2. With the speedmaster we do have a lot of problems as far as the drying problems are concerned. Is the DI52 (IR supported) a solution to that?
    3. The speedmaster has a good feeder (at least in my opinion..) What would be the case for the DI52 ?
    4. We use Sontara Jumbo Rolls for the autowash system of the speedmaster. Is that possible the DI52 blanket wash system?
    5. The presstek guy here in Greece told that the machine has a plate cleaner roll as well. What is that?
    6. I know that if we buy the machine we have to buy only Presstek plates. What is the case as far as the other consumables are concerned such as blankets or rollers

    Sorry for being so long. I would appreciate if someone could give me some advice.


  • #2
    Re: Switching from SM52-2 to Presstek 52DI

    I'm not familiar with the Presstek presses, but I now a few people who have owned a Presstek Vector CTP system, and they weren't very impressed (to say it mildly) with the quality of the plates it produced. If the 52DI uses the same plate technology as the vector I would think twice... Just my 2 cents.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Switching from SM52-2 to Presstek 52DI

      Danos,
      Welcome to the discussion and it is good to see you are doing research on the purchase of a new machine. A 52DI is meant to compete with toner and ink jet based machines for short runs. The machine offers no coating or VDP capabilities at the moment unless it is down offline. Plus you will have to deal with waterless ink and all the other requirements for the machine to perform in.
      Ptekx is based on the Razor and Blade theory of Business. You buy their machine you must use their plates and supplies and lasers. The DI’s are also referred to as Consumable Burning Engines meaning the more plates and supplies you use the more profit the stock holders see. Depending on one company for all my needs is not a smarter way to print. Have a look at the stock details and company problems also for any machine you consider.
      Please explore all the other companies that make a product like the DI before you purchase anything,
      There is nothing like the look and gloss of a real oil based offset press.
      OG

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Switching from SM52-2 to Presstek 52DI

        I think you will be very impressed with the speed of the machine and the quality. I have the smaller 34DI and have only been running it a few weeks but wow what an easy machine to run. I run allmost no powder and it is up to color and running 10 times faster than my old machine. I sent a job this morning about 9 and the boss was back watching it run at 20 minutes after and it was up to color and looked great. I printed 27,800 sheets yesterday on one set of plates, it realy starts to get ink on the edges but the job had a half inch trim so it didn't matter. I tell you it is amazing and the 52 has pull guides and is a little faster so I think it would be a great upgrade. Now if you are going to run envelopes and a lot of different size jobs be prepared to change blankets if you run a big job then change size. I ran about 80,000 sheets of 11 x 17 70# offset and then I ran a 12 x 18 gloss job and had to change the blue and black blanket as one inch up the sheet there was a very faint line fron where the edge of the 11 x 17 paper ran. This has happened on our old 4 color too so it it the same, still a press and has a lot of the same characteristics. I would not want to go back to the old stuff, maybe I'm jumping the gun a little cause we have only had it a few weeks but I like it so far. We made Presstek take us to a working shop and see one run in a real print shop.

        rhutson in NC

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Switching from SM52-2 to Presstek 52DI

          We have been running a DI for three years producing everything from envelopes to projects as complicated as a 6/C annual report. The machine is capable of truly beautiful work. However, you must have a highly skilled operator to reach truly consistent and fine, salable/profitable work. The machine sounds like a great idea...the sales pitch is good...but practically speaking - not the best investment for a commercial printer.

          The feeder is under-whelming with significant issues on many stocks - especially lighter weights. The waterless aspect takes some getting used to, but works quite well as long as you are meticulous about temperature control, and spending the money to buy the right ink. The biggest drawback for the press is the cost of the consummables...AND the very delicate nature of those consummables....talking of course about the plates. Not only are the plates expensive (Presstech just increased pricing again), but they scratch very, very easily. We are maniacal about care and cleanliness on the machine...and we still get an unacceptable amount of spoilage. Another issue involves registration. On heavier, and then on lighter weight papers, we frequently have to make new plates with a registration adjustment available in the software. Countless requests for help on this - gone unanswered - have led us to believe that this is the result of print length changes as a result of paper weight changes with no mechanical compensation.

          So...at the end of the day.....if you have clients that basically need "ink on paper" and aren't hyper critical...and you've got a good operator...and you are in a niche market that affords a higher than normal pricing/margin scenario...then MAYBE this is the right machine for you. However, I'd bet a year's salary that a Heidelberg PM 52 would blow the doors off the press from a production standpoint - be easier to man - much lower, more dependable plating issues - and at the end of the day, give you better work for safer, more manageable margins.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Switching from SM52-2 to Presstek 52DI

            Bob,
            Thanks for your thoughtful and eloquent post. It is important for present and future purchasers of equipment to know the good and bad points of both the equipment and the company selling the equipment.
            Another useful tool would be the pricing of the equipment and the consumables involved. For instance if printer A and PrinterB purchase the same equipment it would be interesting to let them compare costs much like buying a car online.
            These big printing equipment companies pay all these high salaries to sales weasels when a simple ASP or Linux powered web site could do the same job for very little cost! Plus it would keep everyone on a level playing field. It would make the cost of the machine and supplies lower also with less sales people plus they could hire more service techs which would be a plus.
            They sell work flows and W2P software and say you will be lost without these tools so let the printers have a place to compare and buy their equipment and consumables.
            If these companies wish to force Digital Printing and Green machines down the Printers throats let’s do it right. A site like bestpressprice should do it.
            OG

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Switching from SM52-2 to Presstek 52DI

              Bob,

              We have one of the first Ryobi 3404DI that came out and we've been running it for 3 years now. We didn't start getting the registration problems you're talking about until a year ago. Now we have to re-image plates often when registration is critical (knock-out type, multiple spot colors). Switching paper weight throws the registration off. So does ink coverage and the impression pressure. We've tried to troubleshoot by changing/adjusting grippers but has not helped. Even worse, we've had situations where one color is off by almost half a millimeter and we just re-image without adjusting anything and it corrects itself. Seems like a problem with the plate spool mechanism. Any ideas?

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Switching from SM52-2 to Presstek 52DI

                Unfortunately, I have no good advice for you. We thought it was/is due to changes in stock thickness due to basic testing we've done by changing papers and having the registration look a bit better. However, like you, we never had this problem earlier on. We sent samples to XPEDX who then forwarded them to Japan. We've never had a word of response other than to remake the plates with an adjustment.

                It really makes no sense, though. The problem is inconsistent. Yesterday, we printed a job on a textured, uncoated stock...medium 4/C coverage...first pull, everything fit perfectly - and I do mean perfectly. (photo attached of this job) This paper should have given us a problem if it were JUST a paper problem.

                There are many things about this press that are great....but the shortcomings it has really make this press a good idea, but not really ready for prime time in a commercial shop.

                You don't know any other supplier that sells the plate rolls at a competitive rate, do you?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Switching from SM52-2 to Presstek 52DI

                  The 52DI and the Vector52 use the same imaging technology at a base level, but are two completely different animals with regard to the Plate Technology. Remember, the DI Presses are Waterless, and contemporary versions run standard at 300lpi on coated.

                  I'd take the man's bet below regarding a year's salary, I could use it as a down payment for a 52DI for myself.

                  Good Luck,
                  Peter Furnee

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Switching from SM52-2 to Presstek 52DI

                    1. My main question is if the DI is fitted to produce all the work that currentlly our Speedmaster produce or its only profitable for four color work.
                    You can utilize Waterless Spot Inks (Pantone or Local Equiv (If available)), or you may find that at 300lpi, building some spots may be economical as well.

                    2. With the speedmaster we do have a lot of problems as far as the drying problems are concerned. Is the DI52 (IR supported) a solution to that?
                    It is Waterless. Combined with an IR, you can generally flip and run quickly, or take to Bindery. You can offline coat within an hour.

                    3. The speedmaster has a good feeder (at least in my opinion..) What would be the case for the DI52 ?
                    The 1st Generation feeder lacked, but I am pretty sure they have addressed that with a 2nd or even 3rd.

                    4. We use Sontara Jumbo Rolls for the autowash system of the speedmaster. Is that possible the DI52 blanket wash system?
                    unk

                    5. The presstek guy here in Greece told that the machine has a plate cleaner roll as well. What is that?
                    That is to provide mild cleansing of the ablated silicone from the plates.

                    6. I know that if we buy the machine we have to buy only Presstek plates. What is the case as far as the other consumables are concerned such as blankets or rollers.
                    Unk, but it is a Ryobi Frame. Are Ryobi presses popular in Greece?

                    Peter Furnee

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Switching from SM52-2 to Presstek 52DI

                      We switched from GTO 4Color to 34DI, and that was the best thing we ever did. Forget the plate cost, if you do the math then $9/plate is cheap.

                      Visit www.dipressforums.com to read more. This forum is dedicated for DI.

                      Shawn
                      PrintPapa.com

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Switching from SM52-2 to Presstek 52DI

                        A GTO will out print a DI any day of the week. A GTO is a true Litho machine unlike a DI that is rated in the copier machine class. Waterless Ink or Toner on paper is one thing but true litho printing is another. Why did you down grade from a GTO to a DI?

                        You can not compare the dull flat look of DI or toner on a sheet of gloss stock to one produced on a Hiedy or Komari or Sakurai or other fine Litho machines.

                        The only true DI press out right now is the screen 344

                        Proprietary machines are not a Smarter way to print but a smarter way to the Razor and Blade Theroy of consumable burning engines. Which means $$$$ to own.

                        Wake me when it is over

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Switching from SM52-2 to Presstek 52DI

                          You are going to have a few differences
                          A. SM52 - 5 colour
                          1. The feeder on the SM52 is far superior
                          2. You can buy a 5 colour and use the 1st unit for dusting paper. This will fix your backing up problem
                          3.maximum speed is 15K/hr - 50% faster.. not sure if you can print this fast
                          4. You can get hicky pickers on the SM52
                          5. You an run cheap stock
                          6. You an buy a coating unit - you can charge extra for it
                          7. You use traditional inks.. half the price of waterless inks
                          8. Long run lenghts - plate doesent break down
                          9. You can run panone colours - you can use all the inks you currently have on the floor

                          B. 52DI
                          1. Colour to colour registration is instant, no tweaking around to get there - envelopes are a perfect application for it
                          2. dont have to worry about mounting plates
                          3. dont need to by a platesetter and then have a operator to make plates and chemistry disposal
                          4. Anyone can run this press and be good at it in a year
                          5. Dont have to worry about chemistry like ph and conductivity, dries a lot quicker on uncoated and matte stocks
                          6. The dot lays down a lot cleaner and sharper

                          That should sum it up unless I missed something

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Switching from SM52-2 to Presstek 52DI

                            Hi, we had a 34DI and have now got a 52Di, here is my 2p worth...

                            1. My main question is if the DI is fitted to produce all the work that currentlly our Speedmaster produce or its only profitable for four color work.
                            >Cant see why it could not compete, running one, two or three colours on a four/five colour press is never the best idea but you only use the plates that the job needs.

                            2. With the speedmaster we do have a lot of problems as far as the drying problems are concerned. Is the DI52 (IR supported) a solution to that?
                            >The IR is good, we can turn 130gsm art jobs in 20-30 minutes, quicker if we push our luck on a friday.

                            3. The speedmaster has a good feeder (at least in my opinion..) What would be the case for the DI52 ?
                            >Our 52 has the new style feeder, we run long (>5000) jobs at 9000-9500 sheets per hour easily.

                            4. We use Sontara Jumbo Rolls for the autowash system of the speedmaster. Is that possible the DI52 blanket wash system?
                            >The DI52 blanket washes are nothing short of fantastic. The wipes only need replacing around every three weeks (depends how many times you wash of course)

                            5. The presstek guy here in Greece told that the machine has a plate cleaner roll as well. What is that?
                            >Its for giving the exposed plate a final clean beore printing, lasts a long while per roll.

                            6. I know that if we buy the machine we have to buy only Presstek plates. What is the case as far as the other consumables are concerned such as blankets or rollers.
                            >We use Toyo inks, Ultrachem blankets, and Varn wash for the ink ducts, there is nothing else needed. I dont know about rollers yet.

                            Personally i would love a head to head race with ANY other press around, i am confident i could win.

                            There are down sides though, the process is heat sensitive, spend the litle extra and put the press in its own cubicle with air-con at 21c and you will be fine. Also the maintenance & cleaning is important, its 20 mins at the end of each day and two hours at the end of each week. This can seem a lot but you must remember you are also servicing a plate making and developing system as well as a press.

                            p.s. The DI52 is definately NOT a colour copier, go see one runing flat out and you will understand why.

                            Edited by: Disappointed on Feb 11, 2008 4:07 PM

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Switching from SM52-2 to Presstek 52DI

                              Offset guy,
                              Have you ever even seen a Presstek DI? I'm going to assume you have not. Its a "litho" press, plain and simple. What's your problem with digital anyway? And please with the razor and blade theory,...we have all heard it. It was witty the first hundred and fifty times. DI or digital isn't for everyone or every job, just like litho isn't.

                              Comment

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