Fiery vs KMBS print controller

Shredder

Well-known member
We are not in the printing business. We print our packaging materials and perfect bound books in house. Our volumes are pretty low (100k annually). Although we desire to increase that someday by printing more books. Currently most of our print jobs are 13x19" double sided thickest sheets. We have had a bunch of bizhub machines and bought our first printing press 5 years ago (C6000). Each time I specified fiery print controllers but lately we have been using the KMBS controllers in all bizhub devices due to how annoying fiery drivers can be. Printing on C6000 fiery is a huge chore esp setting up books. I have a C6100 that needs a print controller and can't decide between fiery and kmbs. Both are running same price for me but I am thinking of overall ease of use. We don't have a dedicated prepress manager nor do we like being trained on anything.

Can someone please give some advice? I have been reading marketting materials for both and they don't seem to be clear esp for someone like me who isn't in printing business to sell prints.
 

azehnali

Well-known member
why don't you watch related articles on YouTube
fiery command workstation is extremely easy to use and impose feature makes setting up files even easier
 

Shredder

Well-known member
Thanks I was watching KMBS controller this morning trying to make sense of the interface (similar to bizhub but much more graphical). I didn't realize fiery command workstation videos are on youtube. I thought they would be different for specific print manufacturers.
 

Ynot_UK

Well-known member
@Shredder digressing from your question, just curious regarding the 100k annual volumes you mentioned. Do you mean 100k finished books or 100k clicks? Just the 6100 is a serious piece of kit, monthly duty cycle is 1.8m clicks if I’m not mistaken.
 

azehnali

Well-known member
you guys should not pay so much attention to the duty cycle and concentrate more on reality
Digital Press, no matter what the brand, you can do maximum 200,000 clicks a month and you will be lucky if it lasts more than 4 years
Most people are running 300gsm 12x18 or 13x19 prints these days
there isn't even enough time in the month to do any more than 200,000 impressions
 

Shredder

Well-known member
We need to print on 355gsm. Local KMBS branch would not put a contract on a C2070/C3070 machine with our 18pt cardstock. I managed to find a brand new C6100 at an auction for less than $10k BUT missing paper tray and print controller. I keep looking for a used print controller but NO luck for last 8 months.

100k clicks for the most part. It does go much higher if I print and distribute books I have written for a side not for profit project I have.
 

azehnali

Well-known member
the controller might cost you more than the machine if you get lucky
You are able to run 18 point on the Konica reliably?
 

Shredder

Well-known member
That's been my problem. Trying to find controller for reasonable price on used market. I think there are very few C6100/6085s on the market. Currently leaning to kmbs controller even though its costing slightly more. It looks less cumbersome and simpler to use. We have very few print jobs but run large quantities.

C6100 is spec'd for 400 gsm, I think that's 21 pt.
 
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msaeger

Well-known member
Thanks I was watching KMBS controller this morning trying to make sense of the interface (similar to bizhub but much more graphical). I didn't realize fiery command workstation videos are on youtube. I thought they would be different for specific print manufacturers.

Fiery interface is going to be mostly the same on any brand machine. EFI also has a lot of good stuff on their website. They also have training at learning.efi.com
 

Shredder

Well-known member
So I talked with fiery expert and he claims having a Minolta C6100 and using kmbs controller is like having a Lamborghini and putting a yugo engine in it. He was claiming that kmbs does not have a way to put spectrometer on it to color calibrate. The kmbs manual says differently. I think we have color calibrated 1-2 in last 20 years.
 

msaeger

Well-known member
We are not in the printing business. We print our packaging materials and perfect bound books in house. Our volumes are pretty low (100k annually). Although we desire to increase that someday by printing more books. Currently most of our print jobs are 13x19" double sided thickest sheets. We have had a bunch of bizhub machines and bought our first printing press 5 years ago (C6000). Each time I specified fiery print controllers but lately we have been using the KMBS controllers in all bizhub devices due to how annoying fiery drivers can be. Printing on C6000 fiery is a huge chore esp setting up books. I have a C6100 that needs a print controller and can't decide between fiery and kmbs. Both are running same price for me but I am thinking of overall ease of use. We don't have a dedicated prepress manager nor do we like being trained on anything.

Can someone please give some advice? I have been reading marketting materials for both and they don't seem to be clear esp for someone like me who isn't in printing business to sell prints.

I think it's easier on the Fiery to drag the files into command workstation and then set the options from there vs opening the file and printing it.

What is your original file like? A one up that you are doing the bookletizing in the Fiery? If all the books are setup the same you can do a hot folder with the options and just drag the file to the folder to set everything.
 

msaeger

Well-known member
So I talked with fiery expert and he claims having a Minolta C6100 and using kmbs controller is like having a Lamborghini and putting a yugo engine in it. He was claiming that kmbs does not have a way to put spectrometer on it to color calibrate. The kmbs manual says differently. I think we have color calibrated 1-2 in last 20 years.

I see when the sales people will sell a Fiery over the OEM controller because in the past they sold the OEM on and it didn't do what the customer so they push the Fiery.
 

Shredder

Well-known member
I see when the sales people will sell a Fiery over the OEM controller because in the past they sold the OEM on and it didn't do what the customer so they push the Fiery.
Is there ANY reason to buy KMBS controller over the fiery?
I think it's easier on the Fiery to drag the files into command workstation and then set the options from there vs opening the file and printing it.

What is your original file like? A one up that you are doing the bookletizing in the Fiery? If all the books are setup the same you can do a hot folder with the options and just drag the file to the folder to set everything.
I had that hot desking option 5-10 years ago and it never worked on my bizhub devices. Back then ripping 1+ gb files over the network would crash the gigabit network. We had to go away from that and use the KMBS driver. Also, even my C6000 had an embedded fiery controller and would give problems. TBH Every Fiery I ever had was always sooo cumbersome that is why its leaving such a bad taste in my mouth. If those features worked flawlessly I would have been happy. I can't imagine dropping press ready files 10+ gb and have them ripped timely. For my book jobs 400 pages color art it couldn't handle it. The files would be close to 1 GB but ripping it would be humungous and would literally take 1 hour to rip on C6000 and suck up all my network resources. It got soo annoying that I stopped printing and found an assistant to do all the work for me. I'm not sure how much has changed since C6000 (released in 2010). My C6100 was released in 2018. Not sure what has changed in last 3 years.

For anyone who has Fiery have they improved ripping times?
 

azehnali

Well-known member
1 gig file is huge even in todays standards
but I think a gig should take a few minutes to rip
a fiery is basically what a descent PC equals these days so I don't think it should be an issue
you drag the file in and that's it
 

Shredder

Well-known member
Our files come from illustrator/photoshop and 600+dpi. How can they not be soo huge esp when printing press quality as opposed to 72dpi and less? Usually cover art alone is 1 GB.
 

Shredder

Well-known member
See pg 8 Usability from KMBS C6100 brochure

"APPE 4.2 (Adobe PDF Print Engine 4.2) bypasses
the printer driver to directly process PDF files for
appropriate reproduction of transparency.ˋ

I also noticed similar statement in fieryˋs documentation. We generally print PDFs 99% of the time.

Regarding color calibration:
ˋHigh-precision spectral densitometer Konica Minolta’s high-precision spectral densitometer FD-5BT*1 can be used to perform tasks such as ICC profile creation and calibration. It can also be used as a standalone densitometer with a display in the CTP room. Auto scan spectral densitometer FD-9*1, a higher end product, can also be used with the C6100 Series.ˋ
 

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Shredder

Well-known member
It seems as if the $50k Fiery IC-315 is behind the $8k KMBS controller with 3.0 APPE:

Fiery print server IC-315(optional)​

High-performance printing platform

Standard APPE 3.0​

APPE 3.0 (Adobe PDF Print Engine 3.0), which supports PDF transparency, is provided as a standard feature.
 

Puch

Well-known member
We made the switch from Fiery to Hikari (the internal name for Konica controllers), and I'm happy with that. Yes, there was a learning curve and I still feel that some features in the KM solution is cumbersome, but it does the job well. Calibration is done using a different application called ColorCentro. We often throw huge files onto the RIP (2-3 gigs, 300+ pager full color magazines) and after 3-4 minutes or churning it always come out like it used to come from the Fiery. Face it: Fiery has a very good reputation and it has world-class marketing, but for a printer manufacturer it is a no-brainer to make it's own controller, at the end. As I see, at KM they did a very good job at this department.
 

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