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  • Xerox 242 as entry level digital machine

    Does anyone have experience with the Xerox 242? Our shop has no digital right now (strictly offset), but we're looking into it for short run color. This would be our entry point into the digital world. I've been told that Xerox has a decent reputation for service and for pretty tough machines, and the 242 looks right for getting our feet wet. Any opinions, directions, complaints would be extremely helpful in guiding me. Thanks!

  • #2
    Re: Xerox 242 as entry level digital machine

    We have a 240 & 250 good machine -good service-best part is drop in Drums,Fusers so you can do most of your own service.

    You do need to make sure they set length so 17" image is 17" & double side alignment is accurate but once they do its accurate.

    Make sure to calibrate "Gradation Adjust" copier with print screen for print and copy screen for copy. If you use the combination print/copy screen the color is 10% over saturated and no Fiery Calibration fixes it.

    Better question would be Fiery or Creo RIP, it seems some have had some limitations with the internal RIP so external is preferred.

    By contrast we also have a Ikon Konica/Minolta CPP500 embroiled in lawsuit. Ikon sold it without installing the upgrade in the Fiery for Gloss Toner and claimed nothing was wrong and no one else was complaining. I complained to EFI and had to pass on the info provided by them as to Ikons head office location to get the upgrade which was considered a service patch - no service patches on your computer print out - no good. They claim not to have received so I assume a few hundred copiers ahead of me had to have the same problem.

    After that their hardware people came up with the same story, copier is fine- after all whats wrong with spots on the calibration sheets printed out by the copier?

    Any questions call.

    Ken Graham
    CommunityPrinters.com
    250-782-7108

    Edited by: Ken Graham on Nov 3, 2007 12:52 AM

    Edited by: Ken Graham on Nov 3, 2007 12:56 AM

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Xerox 242 as entry level digital machine

      I have been considering both the xerox 242/252 and the ikon/ km cpp550
      do most people get charged double clicks for 11x17. the canon we have does not double click.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Xerox 242 as entry level digital machine

        > I have been considering both the xerox 242/252 and the ikon/ km cpp550
        > do most people get charged double clicks for 11x17. the canon we have
        > does not double click.

        We pay same price for both sizes - therefore run double size whenever
        possible.

        I figure our problem with the Ikon was mostly technician lack of training
        and there not getting help from EFI or Konica Minolta. I hate to only
        recommend Xerox as we have since found a fine independent Konica Minolta &
        Canon reseller. Unfortunately they say there is enough difference in
        programming as they can not take over service on the Ikon CPP500.

        While our CPP500 was running we were actually doing over 50% of the work
        with a Xerox Docucolor 12 as it did not suffer the quality issues of the 4
        times faster 500 kind of a rabbit and turtle race with the turtle winning.

        I can not recommend Ikon as due to the above debacle we found they had left
        our Canon IR5000 black machine up to 390% past due for service and were
        telling me I should buy a new one as it was going to start breaking down,
        link to this info here.

        http://tinyurl.com/2ny8of


        It seems the best choice is to have 2 or 3 competing dealers drop off a
        machine and see which one is the best compromise of price and quality and
        one better compare their performance guarantee.



        Ken Graham
        ken@communityprinters.com
        250-782-7108

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Xerox 242 as entry level digital machine

          We have a 242 and it has some nice features, you can even do VDP to a limited capacity (overprint only). It is fairly fast and has a wide variety of sizes and stock that can run through it. I would suggest the extra tray (tray 6) for the long run jobs, it can handle a lot of paper. The autoduplex is limited to 12x18 text (have to manually flip cover stock). The backup on the duplex is ok, but not perfect. The color is "pleasing" but we haven't tried profiling it for a proofer -while it can be done- it hasn't been too important because it doesn't have to match a press.
          We have had a tech in many times to fix the machine, but their response has been pretty quick. It is no fun when it goes down in the middle of a run that is a must-have, (which is usually anything that goes through it) but it is nice to be able to do short runs with a quick turnaround.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Xerox 242 as entry level digital machine

            We are considering a Xerox 242, but there has been very limited information online or anywhere else. Is anyone running EFI Splash via iMac or MacPro? How easy is it to color calibrate this printer, do you need a Xerox's tech/specialist person to do it or is it a program anyone can run?

            Most information regarding EFI Splash and Xerox 242 are basic sales specs. It would be very helpful if anyone can direct me to a site that has more end user feedbacks regarding this product.

            Thank you.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Xerox 242 as entry level digital machine

              Hello,

              We are currently looking at the Xerox 262 and the Konica C6500 and would appreciate anyones input on their experiences, reliability and also if you don't mind the cost you paid for the units. I have had a quote from Konica and Xerox but have been told both are fairly loaded by a friend who has bought few similar machines. Also we have been recommended by both companies to go for the Creo rip for our needs but how advantages is the Creo over the Fiery, if at all?
              Our use for our current Xerox DC12 has been for proofing only at our litho printing house but we would like the upgrade to handle production jobs and are very interested in doing some variable data so also any comments you have about that would be welcomed.

              Thanks in advance for your feedback.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Xerox 242 as entry level digital machine

                > We are currently looking at the Xerox 262 and the Konica C6500 and would
                > appreciate anyones input on their experiences, reliability and also if you
                > don't mind the cost you paid for the units. I have had a quote from Konica
                > and Xerox but have been told both are fairly loaded by a friend who has
                > bought few similar machines. Also we have been recommended by both
                > companies to go for the Creo rip for our needs but how advantages is the
                > Creo over the Fiery, if at all?
                > Our use for our current Xerox DC12 has been for proofing only at our litho
                > printing house but we would like the upgrade to handle production jobs and
                > are very interested in doing some variable data so also any comments you
                > have about that would be welcomed.
                >
                > Thanks in advance for your feedback.

                Why not get a demo of both preferably at the same time installed in your
                business, as both are 220v you could probably interchange between the power
                if need be. If you got one of each RIP you could probably convince the
                manufacturer to switch external RIPs if one seemed preferred over the other,
                but you preferred the other features of the copier.

                We still find our Doc 12 handy as a backup for when our 240 is being
                serviced and for T shirt transfers that require the fuser oil, also a very
                small minority of jobs gain from the higher gloss of the fuser oil, if you
                have room I would keep it.

                Ken Graham

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Xerox 242 as entry level digital machine

                  We have the earlier version which is Xerox 240 - It is a excellent machine. here is a great testomonial: 44000 - 11x17 - 24lb Hammermill - 1/1 - done without a single jam. We run 100#, 80# gloss text & cover all day long. It is a great machine to buy. Xerox service is the best, so be carefull about dealers who will tell that they are from Xerox but they will provide service from their own team of technician. You WANT Service from Xerox ONLY and not from anyone else.

                  We have had this machine for past 1 year and already is going to reach the million mark on clicks. Don't forget to buy the oversize capacity Tray 6. Don't buy without that. You can load upto 1500 sheets of 12x18 and run it.

                  Not very happy with the duplex registration, but there is a cool thing in the fiery driver which lets you shift the image for alignment. It is a time save. We don't have a external rip, don't need one. get one later. If you plan to do variable data then get the creo.

                  Also don't forger the proffesional finisher which will allow you to do booklets. Our lease is around$850.00 /month with all of these (no external rip).

                  Best thing is to get it for a month on your floor for demo and if you like it then buy it.

                  STAY AWAY FROM KONICA's they are piece of junk. We will never go near one of them. We are now a Xerox shop with offset printing capabilities.

                  Email me if you have any questions.

                  Shawn

                  >>if you DI then go to DIPressForums.com<<

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Xerox 242 as entry level digital machine

                    Thanks for the information and your testimonial; although, I suggest you refrain from sharing your lease payments--you may be breaking some rules.

                    Printologist
                    Life of Print Blog
                    http://lifeofprint.com

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Xerox 242 as entry level digital machine

                      We have the 240/250 @ our shop for over a year and this thing is a work horse. I want another one

                      I've had it randomly fault or freeze during long runs, however we've put this machine through many so hoops and I can't really complain

                      Xerox may say this machine only runs up to 110lb. stock but we put 130lb through it on a regular basis, also 12pt C1S. (which is well beyond the recommended gsm)

                      Xerox will tell you not to do a lot of things but just become good friends with your service tech. and try them anyway.

                      We've run many specialty stocks which would require certain solvent inks on an offset press pretty much instantly.

                      We run odd shaped envelopes, carbon less forms, precut labels, tabs...we even tried tyvak once..didn't work lol

                      It's not uncommon for us to put this machine into the 10's of thousands of clicks by weeks end.

                      I'm able to set this machine @ end of day and run a job while I'm not even around, which is awesome.

                      We do small amount of VDP using InD, like numbering tickets, addressing letters/envelopes, personalizing cards - so as an entry level digital you're pretty much able to cover all of the bases.

                      Keep your humidity/temp in check around the machine, we had issues with high humidity this summer - our machine was constantly jamming, there was even condensation inside of the machine. But a small dehumidifier remedied this.

                      The scanner on this works great for scanning large documents, you can even scan to a PDF while printing a separate job. (You can have a 500 page manual in PDF format in a couple minutes, very cool)

                      We use a Fiery RIP, which is probably behind most of my complaints (One thing to beware with the Fiery, the software DOES NOT work properly on Macs and will crash, which is almost inexcusable in this industry, luckily we have a Windows based server)
                      At times the software may seem unresponsive to the things I've clicked and selected and will sometimes need a program restart or I'll have to erase the job raster data.

                      Color cals are easy with the 240/250 just be sure to do them quite regularly and always always keep a sample with your docket as there can be a significant shift by the next time you try the job.

                      However, color manipulation is very very easy with this machine.

                      If there are color issues across the sheet you have to check your drums, most of the time the issue isn't a color cal it's a poor drum.

                      The more you use your drums the more you'll find quality and color deteriorate therefore you'll always want one fresh set of drums on hand.

                      One thing to keep in mind - C M Y color drums still gain wear and tear from rotating during black clicks so you may want to put "bad" drums, ones that are streaking or giving poor color prints, in your machine when printing long run black only jobs.

                      I swap my drums back and forth on a regular basis and I find the drums will regain some of there quality after sitting for a while and end up using less supplies this way.

                      You'll also want 2 fusers if you're commonly switching between different stock sizes. ie. we almost always print either 12 x 18 or 11 x 17 sheets. I have one fuser for each sheet size as there are visible marks on the 11 x 17 fuser where the sheet ends and the fuser roller cracks. If we run a 12 x 18 or even 13 x 19 sheet with the 11 x 17 fuser, marks will appear all down the print, head to foot, where the 11" paper ended.

                      Hope that makes sense...sometimes fusers are in short supply BTW, which is why you'll want to maximize their life with your machine.

                      We keep 2 of each toner on hand as well - probably not necessary but very convenient when printing at night or on the weekends or when supplies are being shipped from out of town.

                      We have this machine on contract, service techs are great - service over the phone really not so great, I've certainly gotten bad advice from them before.

                      Can't knock the machine, if you take care of it, it will take care of you!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Xerox 242 as entry level digital machine

                        We also have the DC240 version of this machine. It has been a good, not great, machine.

                        I'll explain.

                        We got one of the very first ones (that I'm aware of) in August 2005. We're pretty sure that one fell off of the boat. It had so many problems, that it only fueled my low opinion of Xerox products. A little background: I worked in a shop where we had DocuTechs that were *very* troublesome.

                        We complained to Xerox and in May(?) of 2006 we got another DC240, this one has been relatively trouble-free. I really think the first one we had was a 'start-up' model, that the second one we currently have was built after they got the bugs worked out. I can say that the service from the second one has been good enough that I don't think poorly of Xerox as much as I used to.

                        However, any of the problems listed here seemed to have happened to me too. With the added (not) bonus that when I do call for service recently, Xerox techs have been scarce in Grand Rapids. I don't know if Xerox has cut back it's staff in Western Michigan, or just coincidence on the dates that I have called, but it seems that it's getting worse here.

                        I guess my biggest complaints are these: Registration front to back is not good and hard to adjust with the tools you're given. We don't have the 12 x18 high capacity feeder, so everything runs through the external tray. Our machine seems to have a little bias when it picks up paper, and all of the external tray copies have a slight skew to them. As an added bonus, the machine does not duplex 80# text weights (120 gsm). When I asked the tech why it didn't work, he just said that the machine won't do it. The bundled Fiery/EFI RIP is not one of my favorites, either. It seems to be the lowest-grade RIP they have, with attendant image quality issues, i.e. horrible banding, etc. Someone else posted here that if you have the $$'s go with the Creo. Based on my experiences, I would if I could. It's a huge $$ upgrade for the Fiery Production RIP which is almost the same money as the Creo. Why do they do that?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Xerox 242 as entry level digital machine

                          > I guess my biggest complaints are these: Registration front to back is not
                          > good and hard to adjust with the tools you're given. We don't have the 12
                          > x18 high capacity feeder, so everything runs through the external tray.
                          > Our machine seems to have a little bias when it picks up paper, and all of
                          > the external tray copies have a slight skew to them. As an added bonus,
                          > the machine does not duplex 80# text weights (120 gsm). When I asked the
                          > tech why it didn't work, he just said that the machine won't do it.

                          Regards the registration - I've had the technicians in for considerable time
                          to get it within a couple millimetres - they have also installed service
                          patches on the Docucolor itself.

                          As regards the 80# text - I have duplexed something in the order of 16,000
                          print run, several 100+ page books, and that on coated stock. It won't allow
                          you to duplex it if you state coated but it will work all day long if you
                          say Heavy1 and that can come from a tray. One should always ensure paper
                          goes into the trays under the machine face down or are more likely to get
                          jams.

                          We had the Internal RiP Ikon CPP500 and are awaiting a court case on it for
                          over 2 years, its my experience the Xerox runs coated 80# text duplex but
                          set as heavy 1 more reliably that the rated CPP500.

                          After the Ikon debacle we went with the External Fiery RIP on Xerox - no
                          banding, but I sure would have liked to try both the Creo and Fiery
                          External. It was the FreeForm capability that pointed me to the Fiery as I
                          was of the understanding Creo couldn't save a form at the RIP?

                          Ken Graham
                          CommunityPrinters.com

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Xerox 242 as entry level digital machine

                            Registration: Been there done that on two different machines. Had the techs in, patches applied, voodoo doctor danced around it, no major improvements. As I've said before, the second one is a lot better than the first, but still not great. We've learned to live with it.

                            Duplexing 80# text: Tried every sneaky workaround I can come up with, but the machine will not pick up the paper. Lot's o'frustrating hours (and wasted stock) with this issue, again, learned to work around it.

                            RIP and variable data: We have the bundled RIP which prints like it's 1999. Which means banding and color shifts in subtle colors, like pastels. I would prefer to have an external RIP, but I've been told it's not gonna happen. I would like to see the higher (better) versions of FreeForm in action, but we get the 'lite' version with the bundled RIP. With my other tools at my disposal I can produce VD jobs much more quickly than going through the FreeForm Lite.

                            Good luck with yours, Ken. It's not really a bad choice for entry level, but they seem to have some faults, like any other man-made device. It appears my experiences have been similar to that of other users.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Xerox 242 as entry level digital machine

                              > Registration: Been there done that on two different machines. Had the
                              > techs in, patches applied, voodoo doctor danced around it, no major
                              > improvements. As I've said before, the second one is a lot better than the
                              > first, but still not great. We've learned to live with it.
                              >
                              > Duplexing 80# text: Tried every sneaky workaround I can come up with, but
                              > the machine will not pick up the paper. Lot's >o'frustrating hours (and
                              > wasted stock) with this issue, again, learned to work around it.

                              You say it won't pick up paper - that means it would not run single sided?

                              Okay if runs single sided try heavy setting, Xerox duplex - not heavy 2.
                              That is something Xerox is supposed to do but not on Coated. If it will not
                              duplex heavy1 to uncoated 80 text that is a digital paper it is not in spec.
                              In reality I find using that setting I can run Futura 80# Coated as well,
                              for duplexing you must remember if placing in a tray under the machine as
                              compared to the bypass, the paper must be placed face down from the package
                              not face up otherwise you will get jams.

                              Ask for a refund from the president or a machine that will meat Specs.

                              >
                              > RIP and variable data: We have the bundled RIP which prints like it's
                              > 1999. Which means banding and color shifts in subtle colors, like pastels.
                              > I would prefer to have an external RIP, but I've been told it's not gonna
                              > happen. I would like to see the higher (better) versions of FreeForm in
                              > action, but we get the 'lite' version with the bundled RIP. With my other
                              > tools at my disposal I can produce VD jobs much more quickly than going
                              > through the FreeForm Lite.
                              >

                              My first question is have you been doing a Gradation adjust on the copier.
                              Try this before doing the Fiery Calibration. I am told its changed to a one
                              step process on the 242 series. On the 240 series you should select printer
                              screen for output as a printer and copy screen for copy output otherwise the
                              Fiery output is about 10% too dark.

                              On the Fiery Calibration there is the option of calibrating for different
                              card stocks as well as paper - if Fiery has a corrupted install this won't
                              print off anything other than a paper calibration sheet, try also selecting
                              a Card calibration and see if it will print. If not demand a re-install of
                              software.

                              2nd is the default color output on the Fiery is presentation and ISO and
                              Fiery RGB2 - this tends toward a dark setting as well.
                              From my Doc 12 days I've used SWOP for CMYK color and the older FieryRGB in
                              expert settings. I discussed this recently with a Xerox specialist and he
                              suggested NONE for CMYK Color, he says this is different than the old
                              Fiery's such as Doc12 which had the setting Uncalibrated which was different
                              than None and which again oversaturate. In the case of NONE you get even
                              less saturation than SWOP, supposedly it will use the full gamut of the Ink
                              whereas setting to SWOP would restrict it.

                              Also in printers Advanced settings I set the calibration to Image Color
                              Management Handled by Printer using Printer Calibration.

                              Lastly for screen type select 200 cluster dot.

                              If output is still bad submit a sample to the rest of us and Xerox. If
                              others have no problem it is probably a faulty unit - again demand a
                              replacement. Their is a google group you could attach a sample to
                              http://groups.google.com/group/ColorCopier if not here.

                              Sorry the difference I find is Xerox does fix issues when they arise but you
                              may have to email or call and ask for the president, sometimes they seem to
                              work better from the top down. You won't get the president but I guarantee
                              you will get action.

                              Whereas in Ikons case I ended up with a lawsuit which is still awaiting
                              small claims court because they simply say the copier is fine when it is
                              obviously printing junk and isn't even set up with Patch required to use the
                              Glossy toner which meant it was set as a 8050 for the previous toner
                              http://groups.google.com/group/Color...fd0e95d062d546 .

                              Ken Graham ken@communityprinters.com
                              CommunityPrinters.com
                              Dawson Creek BC Canada
                              V1G 2G5
                              Tel 250-782-7108

                              Comment

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