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  • 5000AP Demo

    Went to a demo today organised by Xerox and a local distributer. To put it bluntly, it was massively underwhelming.



    /rant on/

    Some tasty foods and drinks (although I wasn't there for the food - who cares?) set up in a couple of conference rooms of a local hotel. Along with a 700 with all the trimmings, a standard 5000AP and a 260 looking every part the poorer cousin. Salesmen sliming around and techs being asked to run the machines using RIPs and set ups they obviously weren't used to.

    I'd brought a load of jobs, pretty pictures, technical tests and the Altona suite. They assured us they would have lots of different stock - which apparently means 120gsm and 250gsm coated. Pathetic. Just as well I brought along a selection - surprised they let me run the Zeta hammer board, conquereror laid and 350gsm through it, results as underwhelming as expected. Now I know that the techs say that you can boost the toner and charge levels to get better transfer - no-one knew how to do this or even tried to get it happening.

    This is all small potatoes of course compared to the fact that I was nearly blinded by the gloss off the first print. And then had secondary retinal scarring caused by relaxing my guard for the 'lowest-gloss' output profile on the second print. Apparently it has an old fuser oil system, which they haven't bothered to replace. Showing us outdated technology that we won't be buying? Strong move there.

    I mean, really, they call this a demo? I ran a few of my files, but they'd bolted a FreeFlow on, which I'd made clear we weren't interested in - so not much point running Altona technical or trying to colour match anything because it's a different workflow. Oh yeah, the machine wasn't calibrated either because they didn't bother to bring the densitometer.


    All in all a total waste of time. The print coming out of that demo machine was unsaleable, the configuration was nothing like what we were going to buy, and I woulda been there hours trying to get my files run. Someone could turn up outta the blue in my printshop and I'd put on a better demo. I feel no wiser about the machine, and all the questions I want answered haven't been, and all the doubts I had have been confirmed.

    Now I've left a few jobs with instructions to get it as matte as possible, but with the way these sales guys are I wouldn't trust them to actually run the files on a 5000AP at all. It seems the whole thing was an excercise in trying to pressure us into signing paperwork and ordering a machine when all they showed us was a glossy, uncalibrated piece of shit.

    Dammit Xerox, I'm disappointed.

    /rant off/



    The upshot is, with the sales-pressure and pathetic demo I've advised my boss that we should consider manufacturers other than Xerox for a production machine. That doesn't mean we'll not get the 5000AP (At the very least I'm gonna need to test the machine before I'll give it a thumbs up) but I think it's worth seriously considering and pricing other options.

    Over the next while I'll be sending samples out and getting quotes from other manufacturers. So - if anyone has any suggestions that would be equivalent to a 5000AP I'd be very interested. I'm based in the UK.

  • #2
    Check out the Ricoh Pro series; Pro C900, Pro C550EX/C700EX

    Comment


    • #3
      che.c,
      Here is the ONLY way to demo a digital press... in my opinion. Demand to go on site to an installed location where the press is set up and running REAL work. Make sure they have the operator right there with you, and you are able to ask the operator your questions. Let's face it, most sales monkeys can only turn these boxes on at best!

      When you are there, once again take your stash of paper and files. Print until you are satisfied, however long that may be. The last demo I hosted lasted 4 hours, and I, as the operator pointed out the good as well as the bad. No soft balls were thrown.

      Now I have yet to see the 5000AP prints, I can only speak on behalf of my 8000AP. Forget about linen or laid stocks.... it will not work. The output in All Weights mode on gloss coated stock is as close to offset as I have seen with the exception of the bigger boxes (Indigo, iGen...).

      I don't know about the fuser on the 5000AP, but it is different on my 8000AP vs the 8000. How they could have the wrong one installed is beyond me. The first print off will have more gloss then the remaining in All Weights mode, but not to the extent you are describing. Just out of curiosity, what front end did they have running the 5000AP? I was told by a Xerox color specialist that the Creo will produce a glossier print than the Fiery (which is what I have). I did see this at GraphExpo a few years ago when they had a 5000 with a Creo and an 8000 with a Fiery. The 5000 was obnoxious with the gloss.

      Your said it was organized by a distributor, can you deal with Xerox direct in the UK? Some other boxes to consider are the Canon 6000VP, Ricoh C900, maybe the KM6501 but I wouldn't go with that box unless you just run plain paper.

      Comment


      • #4
        che.c,
        I just had a similar experience. I went to a demo of a xerox 700 and konica c6501. I got there and was ready to start playing with the machines and I got a 45 minute speech about the company and a video from the xerox website. Then when we went to actually use the machines both the sales rep and the production color specialist who spent 20 minutes explaining all his training and certification had no idea how to actually use the machines or navigate the drivers. If I wasn't there to figure it out on my own we wouldn't have got anything to print at all. On top of that neither machine was calibrated or serviced since they moved them from their showroom from their other location. Neither machine was able to get front to back registration closer then a quarter inch. I know that can be fixed but they had no idea how. We were there for almost 5 hours and probably printed less then 50 pages between 2 machines.

        I did get a good demo a couple weeks ago on a Ricoh C700EX from Ikon. We printed around 2500 sheets on it. I think we are going to be purchasing that. We have had 2 dealers competing on price and will be getting a very good price. The only thing I'm hesitating on is the fact that its new and I can't find any information from anybody that has used it. Deckm00, why do you recommend these? Do you have experience with the c700ex?

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by jrsc View Post
          Deckm00, why do you recommend these? Do you have experience with the c700ex?
          Maybe cause he works for Ricoh?

          Comment


          • #6
            Thanks for the replies. Yeah, Craig I was thinking a working installation is the only way to see what the machine is gonna be like. The 5000AP had a FreeFlow on it and the profile labelled "lowest gloss" was awful. We've since shown the samples to our customers that have been in and everyone has said "I wouldn't buy that". I had given him some important jobs (quality just has to be there for these clients) and told him to get the machine running properly and print them as matte as possible - he took them to our main competitor to run the prints out! My boss cracked up, and quite rightly, this salesman really ain't doing well so far. Samples were cack anyway and not on the paper I told him to use.

            jrsc - Xerox do seem very arrogant. It's starting to get to me, yes they used to be the only game in town but other manufacturers have picked up their game and I think Xerox needs to realise that and stop taking their 'superiority' for granted. That said, at heavy office-level I couldn't reccomment the DC240-260 series enough. Once you hit production though... there's more choice. I would recommend the 700 to you, the toner tech produces a nice result and if it was a bit more heavy duty I would go for one. Definitely a half-way house between full-on production and heavy-office level.



            The rep was in today again and my boss was out so I talked to him. The guy is starting to get a little pushy, seems like he is focused only on the sale and it's difficult to get through to him - sees things in terms of what is an obstacle to getting us to buy the machine rather than listening to, and addressing, our concerns.
            Anyways I was pretty blunt to him about what I thought of his demo - ie. it wasted half a day's production to disappoint me in the equipment and fill me full of doubts. Gave him a list of things I'd need to see/do to be able to give the machine a thumbs up:

            • Demo in a working installation with the machine we're considering (ie. Fiery RIP and AP model) calibrated and in decent service and the opportunity to run a few jobs and my test files.

            • Sample CED

            • Samples for lamination and Spot UV, as well as the special laminate and pricing if that's required.

            That's reasonable enough, right? I need to know how much effort it is to colour-match, reduce the gloss and see what I can do with heavyweight and textured stock. Most importantly what I can do, not what can be done - I'm running the machine after all. I woulda thought they'd be bending over backwards to impress us with the prospect of a decent sale in an economic climate like this!



            Although I get the impression he thinks I'm just trying to make life difficult for him when I just need to get an idea of what the damn machine can do. I also told him I'm considering a Canon C6000VP, Ricoh C900 and the MGI Meteor DP60 (paper only) and won't be making a decision until I get samples from all three. During my research last night I ruled out the KM6501, it just ain't a production box.

            I want to want a 5000AP but that gloss is a real deal-breaker and this guy is doing nothing to assuage my doubts. When I asked him what the hardware difference between a 5000 and a 5000AP is he said 'nothing'. So I asked him if they had just made it run faster on heavy stocks and sacrificed the quality. Yes. What is point? I mean, really? This dude doesn't even seem to believe in the machine himself..

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by che.c View Post
              Although I get the impression he thinks I'm just trying to make life difficult for him when I just need to get an idea of what the damn machine can do. I also told him I'm considering a Canon C6000VP, Ricoh C900 and the MGI Meteor DP60 (paper only) and won't be making a decision until I get samples from all three. During my research last night I ruled out the KM6501, it just ain't a production box.
              .
              WOW, i would like to know just where you did your research on the KM.

              i have over 200 in the Toronto area running form 5K to almost 750,000 a month.
              ALL running very well, reliable and consistent.

              i have a customer who put through over 500,000 clicks over the XMas holidays (1.5 weeks). He ran it day AND night without a single issue. In fact this was a job they run every year on a press. they priced it the same and made a HUGE profit.

              i have C6501s in high volume CRDs for school boards, hospitals and government offices. Some of the school boards have put over 1.5 million COPIES in 2 years. Copying uses ALL facets of the systems where printing uses imaging. Copying is harder on an MFP than printing. I have a THREE generation back KM8050 that has over 14MILLION copies on it over 4 years. The C500 beside it has almost 6MILLION in 2 years.

              I could go on and on, but hey...

              If someone is NOT happy with their C6501, it is most likely it was "oversold" or they are not running it properly. I support/train customers and that is the most common error... OE (Operator Error)

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Kevin H View Post
                WOW, i would like to know just where you did your research on the KM.

                i have over 200 in the Toronto area running form 5K to almost 750,000 a month.
                ALL running very well, reliable and consistent.

                ....

                If someone is NOT happy with their C6501, it is most likely it was "oversold" or they are not running it properly. I support/train customers and that is the most common error... OE (Operator Error)
                I got nothing against KM, but most of our work is >80% coverage on 300gsm coated stock and the 6501 just don't seem to do that work for long before it stumbles, starts coughing up blood and collapses. Saying that it can handle this type of work is surely over-selling it?

                Research was on the forums, reading up on old threads, looked at KM's website and had a think about the ramifications of the shorter and sharper paper path it sports. Read a couple of articles that I could find but they were mostly press releases or blatant sales pitches.

                I just don't think it's suitable for the work we do but sounds like a decent machine under the right conditions. That said there's no way it's in the same league as Ricoh C900, X5000AP, C6000VP, Meteor DP60. It just isn't.

                If I was considering X700 I'd probably be getting samples from a KM6501. Although I'd still go with the 700


                Lol, OE seems to be the most common cause of complaints! Although I think it stems with shoddy sales over-hyping what they're selling. I'm starting to believe more and more that a close second is environmental conditions though..

                Comment


                • #9
                  Kevin, I have nothing against KM but the 6501 will not make it in a shop that prints 12x18 sheets with 95% coverage, 300gsm duplexed for very long without the tech moving in. I know this is a true since my brother in law runs one in an environment just like that. Thay have nothing but CQ issues and are still dealing with cleaning blade flipping. Lets face it, it's a fast plastic box.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by che.c View Post
                    I got nothing against KM, but most of our work is >80% coverage on 300gsm coated stock and the 6501 just don't seem to do that work for long before it stumbles, starts coughing up blood and collapses. Saying that it can handle this type of work is surely over-selling it?

                    Research was on the forums, reading up on old threads, looked at KM's website and had a think about the ramifications of the shorter and sharper paper path it sports. Read a couple of articles that I could find but they were mostly press releases or blatant sales pitches.

                    I just don't think it's suitable for the work we do but sounds like a decent machine under the right conditions. That said there's no way it's in the same league as Ricoh C900, X5000AP, C6000VP, Meteor DP60. It just isn't.

                    If I was considering X700 I'd probably be getting samples from a KM6501. Although I'd still go with the 700


                    Lol, OE seems to be the most common cause of complaints! Although I think it stems with shoddy sales over-hyping what they're selling. I'm starting to believe more and more that a close second is environmental conditions though..
                    Do yourself a favour, don't get samples off a C6501 don't even look at C6501. You have talked yourself out of the product and making a decision by paper path length (albeit longer than a 700) proves that the most important decision you need to make is that the shade of the plastic suites you.

                    The fact that you think coverage is an issue on a machine tells me you have been running a business with office equipment that routinely runs dry as you try and push 70% coverage prints thru it. Anyone with a 6500 or even a c500 for that matter knows coverage is not an issue for these machines.

                    Anyone that has a clue has KM as a serious option, you have made a decision based on some forum posts and paper path?!? Man, if Xerox makes a machine specifically to take on c6500 then obviously it is a threat.

                    Not the same league as a 5000AP, that’s hilarious.
                    Konica Minolta tech -

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Uber,
                      The Xerox 700 was introduced not to compete with the "quality" of the 6500/6501 but the PRICE POINT. Great box if you run a lot of plain uncoated paper though.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by che.c View Post
                        Over the next while I'll be sending samples out and getting quotes from other manufacturers. So - if anyone has any suggestions that would be equivalent to a 5000AP I'd be very interested. I'm based in the UK.
                        IMO:-

                        KM: if you are running mostly 300gsm coated and you want to duplex it then the 6501 is not going to be a good fit. Otherwise, it's a good box and well worth considering. Overall the print quality is better than a 5000AP and the paper handling is better if you wish to use standard coated litho paper (i.e. it supports litho stocks without any bullshit "hide the paper, the Xerox engineer is coming").

                        HP Indigo: you can pick up a refurb'ed 3050 (or even a 5000) for a very reasonable price and the quality from these is superb. All Xerox machines (up to iGen 4, which we are currently evaluating) and all KM machines struggle with solid areas of colour and this is an area that HP Indigos are clearly better. Unfortunately they also have a very significantly higher TCO and so your business model needs to address this.

                        MGI Meteor DP60. If you've seen samples off of this machine, you'll know that the quality is not up there with the "standard" machines (i.e. KM, Xerox, HP) although it has some appeal for specialised substrates.

                        Xeikon (any). Very high capital cost (iGen4 territory), but the quality of the samples I've had printed was not in the same class as the mid range Xerox/KM. Again, it seems to have a niche for certain types of application, but not general commercial.

                        Canon. We are currently evaluating their 6000VP/7000VP, so I don't really have an opinion yet. The BPIF magazine which is apparently printed on a 7000VP is pretty unimpressive in print quality, but I don't have any other reference points yet. The fact that there are so few of them in the UK would worry me a bit.

                        Ricoh. Very agressive pricing, but I've had samples off of the C900 and they are just not sellable in our environment.

                        That's a summary of a fair bit of research, but as they say your mileage may vary, and you're going to have to do it all again yourself!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by lfelton View Post
                          (i.e. it supports litho stocks without any bullshit "hide the paper, the Xerox engineer is coming")
                          This is not a problem with my tech. He doesn't give a crap what I run. My main sheets are New Page Futura and Hammermill Color Copy. I even run Nekoosa Carbonless through it.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I'll have to chime in with Craig here and say that our techs don't care what stocks we run either, they'll give me advice on what it can do to the machine and how to fix/work around that, but they'll not make a big deal out of it!


                            Thanks for sharing your research lfelton,

                            I suspected that the MGI machine wasn't going to be as good on paper - I checked with my boss and as he wasn't interested in getting into plastics printing there isn't much point getting one as that is the main selling point. However I gotta say I love what they're doing with the technology, IR lamp, offset feeder, ultrasonic multifeed detection - very cool.

                            Haven't looked at Xeikon, and from the sounds of it not worth considering.

                            I had the impression the Ricoh would be for cheap and cheerful volume printing and unfortunately that ain't our business.. plus their videos of the tech involved weren't exactly awe inspiring - uses a stall tray for registration!

                            Indigo, yeah my impression was £££ for the machine and the running costs so it prices itself right outta the running.

                            KM (calm down Uber Tech) seems to have very good colour, and their new HC stuff sounds very impressive. However I just don't get the impression that the 6501 is that sturdy a machine, I can see it getting worn out pretty quick running large volumes on heavy stock, and that's the main reason I discounted it. If they made a slightly bigger machine, more on the scale of a 5000 I'd be getting samples and much more infos. I'm after light production, not heavy office, and something that has some space for growth.

                            - by the way Uber Tech, how do you suggest I start my research if not from the forums, press releases and brochures? In my opinion I'd heard enough from that to rule out the machine, but if you can bring some compelling evidence to the table (without getting hysterical ) I'd still be interested to hear it.


                            Which pretty much leaves me with Xerox and Canon. Xerox I think is going to be a solid, reliable chunk of stuff. I'm having difficulty getting over that fuser oil though.. The Canon rep was meant to be in today but the poor guy had a death in the family so he couldn't make it. I'm none the wiser about quality, service and reliability from the C6000 so there's a lot of legwork to do there talking to people who've already had installs.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              @che.c - we've had our samples in from Canon and a good long chat with them about the machines. We're evaluating a 7000VP, but I understand the "marking engine", i.e. the bit that does the printing is exactly the same whether you have a 6000, 6000VP or a 7000VP. We have a standard 2-sided test sheet that we use and that shows up known limitations in marking engines and the Canon came out pretty good. It's very comparable with a 7000/8000AP. I thought the gradient tests came out slightly nicer, but others here thought not. It's not in the same league as an Indigo, though Canon clearly think it is! Running costs are more expensive than the Xerox, capital costs are about the same. No ACQS type technology. Engineer on site "target" is the same as Xerox at 2hr. At about 50K a week Canon recommend 1x PM per week at approximately 2hrs (that's not a negative, it just has to be understood and planned in).

                              BTW, the scuttlebutt is that the first C900 installed in the UK has been replaced by another manufacturer's kit. That's a real shame, the more top flight manufacturers are in the mix, the better for us poor old printers. I hope Ricoh can step their game up.

                              Comment

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