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Anyone use a Xante Laser Platemaker 5?

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  • Anyone use a Xante Laser Platemaker 5?

    We're expecting delivery tomorrow on a Xante Platemaker 5 laser polyester plate maker.

    Does anyone have any experience with it?

    JaimeZ

  • #2
    Re: Anyone use a Xante Laser Platemaker 5?

    Sorry I can't help but let me know what you think. I am looking into one myself. The shop I purchased still uses an old Argyle Camera to shoot metals so I am looking for a cost effective way to upgrade and get some cheaper plate material. Thanks, your feed back will be greatly appreciated. Dustin

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    • #3
      Re: Anyone use a Xante Laser Platemaker 5?

      Dustin,

      I'm not familiar with the Argyle Camera so I can't give you a comparison to your situation. I can, however, compare them to plate and negs because we have an ECRM Mako imagesetter for film then strip and burn to metal plate. We have also been using laser plates for years with a HP5000N that finally could not image laser plates anymore.

      For line art (black and white, no grayscales) the Platemaker 5 is great; we've run about forty plates since we installed it and every plate has worked very well. Only two plates were unusable for line art and both were operator error and not the plates causing the problems.

      We've run the Myriad plates sold by Xante and the Hurst plates as well and both work without any issues. As for the plate price the Myriad plates for the Xante are cheaper but you can only image one side. The Hurst cost more but you can image both sides of the plate. Not that you'll be able to image and run both sides of the plate, the second side ALWAYS gets ruined on press. The advantage of the second side imaging is more in the prepress, where if you make a bad image (typo, position, etc.) you can still image the second side and use the plate. With the Myriad plates a mistake at prepress makes the plate trash, period. I have not decided which plate to use; my final decision will based on how much we screw up in prepress, but I'm leaning towards the Myriad plates.

      Now as for grayscales, that's another story. Grayscales print OK, not great, but not bad either. photos on uncoated stocks at 133 lpi do great, but not as great on coated stocks, even at 150 lpi; they aren't bad though just a little darker than plate and neg. Where I see the biggest draw back with any toner based imaging device is in screens and the Xante so far has been no exception. Screens really suffer with these machines: they start to deteriorate over the press run and and at some spots quicker than other spots; another issue is text within the screens where the screens of the inside of the bowls of letters like the "O" disappear even on uncoated stocks.

      To be fair I just installed the Platemaker 5 less then two weeks ago and I plan to talk to Xante's support to see if they have any suggestions. I have found Xante's phone install to be helpful and every person I've talked to has been very courteous and helpful beyond what I expected from Xante and I was very pleased. I did however purchase the 3 year warranty. The reason is that thick stocks beat up laser printers like I experienced with my HP5000N; the Xante is made to image plate material first but I still felt better with 3 years total support on the Platemaker 5 and this would hold Xante more accountable for its product as well.

      I purchased the Xante to do the lower quality, less critical jobs cheaply without having to deal with chemicals. For great looking screens we have the imagesetter, so we're able to use the best imaging plate for the type of job required. Should you not have an imagesetter you'll need a source for negs to provide the better and more consistent quality of the neg to metal plates. We also buy out metal plates from a service bureau that has an Agfa CTP metal device for jobs requiring the best 4 color process reproduction available. We hope to replace the ECRM with a metal CTP device sometime next year.

      Finally, depending on the client and job we will use the appropriate plate.

      Hope that helps,
      JaimeZ

      Edited by: Jaime Zuniga on Oct 1, 2007 9:02 PM

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      • #4
        Re: Anyone use a Xante Laser Platemaker 5?

        I had some experience with it at my last job. It was a pretty solid machine.
        The plates worked well for small runs and single color. I wouldn't use it for multiple color jobs.

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        • #5
          Re: Anyone use a Xante Laser Platemaker 5?

          OK, we ran the Myraid plate with screens all over the place on an 11x17 matte coated text sheet again (we print a weekly bulletin for a local church I attend) and this time we used an Universal (pink) fountain solution at 30:1 ratio and this help greatly, reducing the degradation of the screens and it looks like this will be acceptable for some clients but not to others. We still have problems with the text in the screens when we're printing on an uncoated text sheet with the bowels of letters loosing the screen to white. We have an open ticket with Xante and they are being very helpful. I have to fill out a press spec form and they'll give us recommendations; they claim that we should not be having such problems and when using their recommended chemicals we shouldn't have theses issues. We'll see.

          Now, we did not purchase the Platemaker 5 to run screens. I knew of the limitations that laser printers have with screens when poly plates are used. We are ecstatic that we now of a low cost no chemical solution for the less critical line work and the Platemaker 5 fits the bill--although it's a bit pricey, there is no better or equal solution that is cheaper. At least that I have seen.

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          • #6
            Re: Anyone use a Xante Laser Platemaker 5?

            OK, we ran the Myraid plate with screens all over the place on an 11x17 matte coated text sheet again (we print a weekly bulletin for a local church I attend) and this time we used an Universal (pink) fountain solution at 30:1 ratio and this helped greatly, reducing the degradation of the screens and it looks like this will be acceptable for some clients but not to others; but for the church it will be fine since price is always an issue. We still have problems with the text in the screens when we're printing on an uncoated text sheet with the bowels of letters loosing the screen to white. We have an open ticket with Xante and they are being very helpful. I have to fill out a press spec form and they'll give us recommendations; they claim that we should not be having such problems and when using their recommended chemicals we shouldn't have theses issues. We'll see.

            Now, we did not purchase the Platemaker 5 to run screens. I knew of the limitations that laser printers have with screens when poly plates are used. We are ecstatic that we now of a low cost no chemical solution for the less critical line work and the Platemaker 5 fits the bill--although it's a bit pricey, there is no better or equal solution that is cheaper. At least that I have seen.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Anyone use a Xante Laser Platemaker 5?

              We had bad experiences w/ the Xante product. Was surprised, as I'd had decent luck w/ their printers in the past. Press performance wasn't what they claimed, though to a certain degree I think that was operator based. Run length wasn't very good at all, either (tried all different fountain solutions and even they imaged some test plates.
              What was the worst part of the experience however, was trying to return the product.
              I had approached Xante through my local consumables dealer/reseller, however we had a dedicated sales-rep @ Xante. Got from them IN WRITING, that if our company wasn't satisfied w/ the performance of the machine after 30-days, we could return it for a full refund (minus some shipping charges, and I think $150 re-stocking fee?).

              To make a really long story short, after threatening them w/ tossing it in the parkinlot for the crack-heads to pick over for scrap mettal, they gave me an RMA number.

              Will never, ever, buy another Xante product again. Your milage may vary.

              - Mac

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