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Presstek 52DI

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  • Presstek 52DI

    Hello everyone,
    I have been reading the PrintPlanet group for a while now, but this is my first post. Our company is considering a Presstek 52DI. I have read lots of posts about the 34DI that concern me. I am not the decision maker by any means, but I will be forwarding the information to my boss. It's obviously a huge investment and we would like to hear all opinions.

    Is anyone using the 52DI. Thoughts, impressions? What should we be aware of going into this purchase? All opinions are welcome and appreciated.


  • #2
    Re: Presstek 52DI

    Very Good question! The 52DI is basically a Ryobi DI press with a stream feeder that ABDick used to use on their Century series machines and the 4995A 4 color offset press.
    Ptek is really not an equipment manufacture but a supply driven business. They produce the laser heads to image the plate and the plates themselves. Once locked into a deal you will have to use their supplies and service. They operate on the razor and blade theory. Buy the razor cheap but the blades will cost you. So consider those ramifications.

    Next consider service. What will the response time be? What is the per hour rate once the warranty expires? I would ask your salesman to supply you with the following:

    The retail cost for a complete roller replacement because over time you will need that.
    The cost of a yearly service contract with parts and without parts. Including lasers and rollers.
    How much maintence will this machine require every week by my operator?
    The projected cost of plates in a few years and availability factors. Like how much inventory is kept in case the production factory goes down.
    How are rip upgrades handled? Like if you move to a new MAC op system etc.
    I would also ask for a performance guarantee in writing! If the machine falls below your expectations in 6 months they will remove it.

    The operator is important also. He will be required to do maintence and have a good knowledge of printing and using computers. The machine will put out a lot of heat also so many places have to add special cooling parameters. I have found most owners say they love the machine but if you talk to the operator they have told me there are issues and problems.
    After an owner pays $400,000 it is hard to say I made the wrong choice you know what I mean?

    There is no VDP support on that machine presently coating must be done offline also. Coating is important to add gloss to a dull waterless copy and protect from offline processing.

    There is so much hype presently about migrating to waterless printing and I hear people say if you do not get on board you will be left behind. It is like using Windows95 or Windows Vista. They both have their place. If you truly need a $400,000 machine to print post cards and mailing brochures than buy a DI or broker out the job to a nearby DI owner. If your customer base requires high quality PMS color matches and standard printing like letter heads, Envelopes etc go with a normal press and a good CTP system.

    Did you ever wonder why Heidelberg got out of the DI biz?


    • #3
      Re: Presstek 52DI

      Offset Guy,
      I've noticed you recommend the Screen 344 True Press in other threads. Can you tell me how you think it compares to the Pteks and why it would be better?


      • #4
        Re: Presstek 52DI

        I like the fact that is a true DI printing press. No special waterless ink or PMS color matching problems. I know the plate cost is way lower than Ptek also. There are features on the press the 34DI and 52DI can only dream of. Ptek is not the only game in town any longer when it comes to Digital Printing and the more people realize the better for all.

        I would suggest you view the TP344 video and ask for a Screen sales rep to contact you.
        If you are a former ABDick customer I must honestly tell you Ptek is not the same company to deal with.

        Any way best of luck


        • #5
          Re: Presstek 52DI

          Alright Lads new boy joining

          I have to correct Offset Guy r.e. Feeder on the 52DI The Feeder is the Ryobi Rotary Stream Feeder which has been running on all convential Ryobi Presses for almost 10 Years and in my opinion is probably the best in the business.
          As for thinking on purchase of such a Press all I can say is go have a look what have you got to lose . Good luck


          • #6
            Re: Presstek 52DI

            Hey Ryobi Guy welcome to the discussion.
            ABDick had a stream feeder available on the C3000/C3500 and PowerPro. Also the Ryobi 3304H which they called the 4995AICS. IMHO it is the same feeder. I did not know ryobi made feeders for the ABDick presses also.
            If you recall ryobi dealers could only sell the 3304HA/ICS with push guide, the 4995A/ICS was exclusive to ABDick because of the stream feeder. I hate being right all the time, but it's my nature to speak the truth.

            Are you a Tech? If so thats cool I am open to discussion. I love talking offset presses and sharing my experience.
            I am an expert in the smaller ryobi products up to the 3304H/4995A/ICS. Ryobi makes a fine press as does Hamada and Sakurai.
            All afordable solutions to a Ptek DI without many of the hassles. Any way cheers I am off to move a 4 color press in a few days to a new location. I will check back


            • #7
              Re: Presstek 52DI

              Hey Offset Guy

              I have been working exclusively on Ryobi Kit for nearly 20 Years now and have seen a lot of changes . Gone are the days at Print shows when the Salesman from a certain German Press Manufacturer would sneak up behind a 3200 or a 500nnp and Tap the panels while shaking their head . Typical Japanese ingenuity has resulted in a multitued of quality Highly Engineered Fully automated Presses .
              This leads me on to the DI Range The technology for Imaging on press has been around for a while , the Germans had a go with the QMDI but unfourtunately the Host press which was based on a Quick Master could not cope with the Imaging speeds required resultig on major mechanical downtime.
              This may of been the reason why the Grey manufacturer decided to announce to an eager audience that they were leaving DI and that there was no future in it.
              The likes of Screen [ Hamada ] and Presstek [ Ryobi ] in my opinion have proved by their Worldwide sales that DI is here and can only get better .
              Just to go back on the Feeder subject having not much experience on the Dick Feeder on the 4995A/ICS The suction sidelay was I am told a revelation.
              Good luck with the move .
              Ryobi Man


              • #8
                Re: Presstek 52DI

                Ryobi Guy,
                Good post but I see a few misconceptions. The Grey guys and the laser boys were involved in a law suit also which may have had an effect on the situation. Just do a Google search on the subject. If you think the Grey guys could not build a machine to house the lasers and produce a superior DI press than you are drinking too much Saki.LOL. The grey guys are legends and produce the ultimate printing machines in the world. The others can only drool and try to measure up.
                I think Digital Printing is geared more to Copiers and cheap fast production like mail houses etc.
                The resale value of a DI because of all the electronics and front end needs are very low also. They become obsolete quick but a conventional press holds value well. A 3304HA/ICS with a dampener change will print anything a 3404 will and it looks better IMHO. With a good CTP system and a work flow it will make some good copy at a good profit. I see it done every day. That’s why I like S344 concept it is an all around machine. Not proprietary like you know who. That’s a smarter way to print, never depend on one source of the supplies you need and or parts and service.
                I see the future in Ink Jet and conventional offset printing and in the future a home appliance for people to print from. Instead of wasting the earth’s resources on junk mail production we should look for an electronic way to do our business and advertising. Stand next to a copier or a DI and feel the heat…that’s global warming at its best. The heat and power consumption of these machines amaze me.

                So many things to discuss on this subject and so little time.


                • #9
                  Re: Presstek 52DI

                  Hi OG,

                  We will have to agree to dissagree on the " Best Press Manufacturers "
                  Can you enlighten me on the dampner change ?
                  And how did the move go was it a big job?
                  Gotta go Saki ' s calling LOL


                  • #10
                    Re: Presstek 52DI

                    Ryobi Guy,
                    I knew you would disagree with me, I mean look at your name,LOL. That is what a discussion is all about. Just remember one thing that the grey boys are innovators not copy cats like you know who. Any company can take a machine and copy it and produce it, like the ABD360 and the Multi 1250 were all copied by you know who and others.
                    But the grey boys stand alone.
                    The move was easy. It was just a 3304. There is still a gripper transfer problem on one set of grippers between units 2 and 3 so I will return in a few weeks to solve that. The old every third sheet syndrome. Just off half a dot on a 175 line screen but on a color build with small text it shows a bit.
                    Oh the Dampener that is stock on this machine the drip-o-matic or the tone-o-matic is a royal pain for the operator and me the tech. If you yank them off and install a Kompac or Crestline water unit I will guarantee you will be up to color in 4 sheets. That stock water system has to be the worst thing I ever worked on. Plus the cost of rollers for that unit is unreal. Do you know what the cost is for all the soft rollers for a 52DI and a 34DI? I heard the 34 was like $12,000.00 for a set is that true?
                    Explain to me why a cooling agent must be pumped thru the oscillators on a DI and what exactly is it made of. I mean the chemical makeup. That and the roller friction and ink tack must create humidity?
                    Thanks man,


                    • #11
                      Re: Presstek 52DI

                      Thanks for the discussion so far guys. I also wanted to state for the record I received some emails with positive things to say about the press, and we are taking everything into consideration.


                      • #12
                        Re: Presstek 52DI

                        GO FOR RYOBI 3404E DI WITH PDS PRO-E

                        As for the Grey Mfr First DIs were proprietary to (Grey Mfr) lots of imaging trouble, plate blanket cleaner troubles, I understand that Newest models now have PressTek imaging which in MHO put them back on the DI map.

                        Plate cleaning on a DI press needs to be flawless and automatic.

                        ANY complaints of Hickies is due to lack of cleaning / maintenance on the operators part,... period.
                        When the lasers burn the image they vaporize the silicone when the cleaners do their job these (digital dots) build up and if not removed can work their way into the ink train, thus causing hickies.

                        Chiller ::: Got to have cool ink for waterless ink to work. sealed system,.. no excess humidity...

                        COPY CATS yup,..... I call it "The Best Of" Look at a 3302H You will find, AB DICK / MULTI / CHIEF/ DAVIDSON / HARRIS / DAHLGREN technologies in it. AB DICK / RYOBI 4995A ICS this was a good partnership, here again they took the best of AB DICK and paired it up to what was already the best 4 color duplicator and improved on it.

                        BLUE, GREY, TAN, TAN & RED BLACK, its only the best if it has a common thread on the name plate "RYOBI LIMITED"

                        I am a former Western Paper Company / ResorceNet / xpedx trained service tech, Now independent continuing service and support for an awesome Press Line, There are many Independent techs around the US, most are independent not by choice but by attrition, Many branches chose to focus on paper sales and phase out equipment sales thus closing service department, We have developed strong relationships with PressTek thru 3404DI installations and Service, and continue to work with xpedx import group with feedback on problems in the field.

                        Little known fact,.... RYOBI was producing OFFSET Presses years before the Grey Mfr converted its first letterpress to offset...

                        Buy RYOBI DI



                        • #13
                          Re: Presstek 52DI

                          There are major differences between the Presstek box and the True Press box. I had asked the following questions to both when I was at demo's.

                          1) Imaging technology.

                          Both companies are using different laser configurations. The Ptek leaves the lasers over the plate cylinder. The True Press 344 has a head that goes outside the frame and sits in a cup to protect the lens. There is no reaching into the press blindly to clean the plate. The TP344 is able to be cleaned by opening a cover and then using a Q-tip and some IPA. The Ptek only measures the power going into the lasers, the TP344 measures the power to the laser and the power comming out of the laser before it images each plate. The Ptek rep showed me a test job you are to print out. The Ptek rep said that they could do a 16 micorn dot and a 300lpi FM screening. The Rep for the TP344 showed me a sample AM/FM hybrid at 350lpi and 650lpi. They said that they can burn a 10 micron dot. The Ptek 34 when imaging, spins the cylinders at 15,000 to 18,000 the plate, blaket and impression cylinder. The fastest printing speed is 7,000. On the TP344 everything disengaged from the plate cylinders. There is a motor that turns the plate cylinders at 800 and the max printing speed is 7,000. If you got to the demo's put your hand on the cover when it is imaging. When the imaging is done the Ptek will make like a loud humming sound and then a click. The TP344 has a air actuator that engages the cyclinders and if you are not paying attention, you will miss it. When aligning the lasers the TP344 has user friendly adjustments, I did not get to see this on the Ptek.

                          I will continue later with what I found out about the plates, scanning printed sheets, automatic presets and set-up and the GUI. I have to get back to work.


                          • #14
                            Re: Presstek 52DI

                            Hi OG,

                            The coolant used in the Re-Circ unit is a glycrol based Antifreeze approx 5 Litres this acts as an anti corrosive additive to the chilled water.
                            This method is used in all roller cooled systems not just DI.
                            Cost of rollers vary but recently installed rollers ( Not Ryobi ) seem to be working ok so best bet is to shop around.
                            Is the 3304 a new model as the tips have changed? Have actually attached my own Rubber to the base which solves a lot of grief.
                            As for the Dripomatic damping have found that trimming back the squeegees reduces water movement also making sure the Metering Roller is in line with the pan roller with no sideplay helps.
                            Have seen a 3302H converted to Varns and am impressed any chance of some pics of your Accel convert ? Have customers who are interested.
                            Regards RM


                            • #15
                              Re: Presstek 52DI


                              The 3304 is fine now. Just a few tweaks to the grippers. The operator had moved the little screws that regulate the gripper opening to cure a nicking problem. I re did back to factory spec and boom all sheets are on the money now. Both tower to tower and sheet to sheet.

                              Some times the fingers get dirty also. So I de glaze the pads and clean the fingers with a stiff brush as they are grooved.

                              Varns are OK but I perfer Accels on my units. They just take the machine to a new level of performance.
                              Paper waste - since color is achieved in only a few sheets, paper waste is decreased significantly
                              "Double-nip" oscillation - the oscillator is located between the form and intermediate rollers for improved milling of ink & water
                              Removable form roller - Altra uses the existing water form position for easier maintenance
                              Installs without changing the ink train configuration
                              Adaptable to any circulator

                              Crestline also uses the existing features of the Ryobi original dampener, the bridge roller, rider roller and the recirculator so there’s no need to pay extra as with some other aftermarket dampeners. Inking and cleaning is easy and operation is just a matter of controlling the ink. Maintenance of the Crestlines require nothing more then de-glazing the rollers periodically along with the ink train, removing the hassle of extra care as in seals used on other dampeners, avoiding the potential corrosive fountain solution leaks that damage the press or it’s components. Simply put, all the benefits you’ve come to expect from continuous dampening, none of the trouble.

                              As far of the stock water unit on the 3302H I am an expert and I know all about roller end play and trimming the sponges and setting the squeeze and on and on. The pivot pins get rusty and the bearings fail. The operator has to clean and gum all the rollers it is a nasty thing to put out as a water system. Not to mention the electrical side of this water unit.

                              What type of pictures do you require? I posted all the contact info for Accel.


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