Hardware suggestions - 350gsm full bleed duplex

chrisbyrd

Member
Hello

New here, so be gentle...

I’m looking for a suitable entry-level machine that supports full-bleed duplex printing on 350g A4 stock - mainly to be used for customised greeting-card production. Not really photos - solid/vector images often with full colour backgrounds

Probably ~10,000 per month

Very happy to use a refurbished/used device

Any suggestions of models that might be worth checking out?

Thanks

Chris
 

gazfocus

Well-known member
I could be wrong but I don’t believe any such machine exists. Digital Pressed don’t print full bleed as that’s something more akin to photo printers. You certainly won’t find a printer capable of doing 350gsm auto duplex.
 

wonderings

Well-known member
No digital press prints bleed as far as I know.

I would contact the big guys, Xerox, Canon and Ricoh and let their salespeople work for you. The Versant series is a solid printer from Xerox, not sure what the going rate for a used Versant 80 is, but they are solid machines and I believe can duplex 350 gsm. That would be top range though, I know that it is top range for our Versant 2100.

My experience with the Versant is good colours and more importantly consistent colour. Alignment is good and speed is good. You would want one with a service plan in my opinion, it will keep you up and running and not have to think about prices for service calls.
 

wonderings

Well-known member
I think most major digital presses these days can handle duplexing 350 gsm.
Might be, I do remember though when we bought our J75 300GSM was the max I think. Also when the Versant 80 came out I believe it could not duplex 350 gsm for some reason. I could be wrong on that, just remember that coming up when we were looking for a machine to replace our J75
 

Mulzani

Member
Might be, I do remember though when we bought our J75 300GSM was the max I think. Also when the Versant 80 came out I believe it could not duplex 350 gsm for some reason. I could be wrong on that, just remember that coming up when we were looking for a machine to replace our J75
It's not in the specs of the V80, but Versant 80 is capable to do 350gsm duplex, even with matt cover or conqueror, you just set paper to 300gsm instead 350gsm, but it's recommended to set a profile for this paper, to adjust transfer rate and rear transfer rate, and add some temperature to the fusser, which allows to avoid jams in the duplexing unit.
 

SoggyWinter

Well-known member
You should be able to lease a Xerox V180 for around $1000/m depending on accessories. The Xerox crease module and EFI performance RIP may be of value, but will significantly add to the cost of the press. Ricoh and Canon may have some less expensive machines that are worth looking at. Avoid the Xerox C70.
 

gregbatch

Well-known member
If I was starting out in custom greeting cards and doing 10k a month, I would probably go with an Oki c931. It will duplex 320 gsm. It's not the 350 you are looking for, but personally 320 is plenty heavy for a greeting card. It is rated for a monthly volume of 25k (the duty cycle is much higher). It runs A4 at 50 impressions per minute. It will run up to 360 gsm out of the bypass, but not duplex (though some have done it). Brand new price is $6000 US. Then I would find a good used Duplo 545 slitter, cutter, creaser. Drop your sheets into that and it will give you finished cards at the other end - trimmed to bleed all four sides and creased for folding. You should be able to find a decent one used for 4k-5k US. No contract needed. All user replaceable modules for drums, belts, fuser, etc.
 

chrisbyrd

Member
If I was starting out in custom greeting cards and doing 10k a month, I would probably go with an Oki c931. It will duplex 320 gsm. It's not the 350 you are looking for, but personally 320 is plenty heavy for a greeting card. It is rated for a monthly volume of 25k (the duty cycle is much higher). It runs A4 at 50 impressions per minute. It will run up to 360 gsm out of the bypass, but not duplex (though some have done it). Brand new price is $6000 US. Then I would find a good used Duplo 545 slitter, cutter, creaser. Drop your sheets into that and it will give you finished cards at the other end - trimmed to bleed all four sides and creased for folding. You should be able to find a decent one used for 4k-5k US. No contract needed. All user replaceable modules for drums, belts, fuser, etc.
Thanks Greg - that sounds perfect for me
 

JustinB

Well-known member
If I was starting out in custom greeting cards and doing 10k a month, I would probably go with an Oki c931. It will duplex 320 gsm. It's not the 350 you are looking for, but personally 320 is plenty heavy for a greeting card. It is rated for a monthly volume of 25k (the duty cycle is much higher). It runs A4 at 50 impressions per minute. It will run up to 360 gsm out of the bypass, but not duplex (though some have done it). Brand new price is $6000 US. Then I would find a good used Duplo 545 slitter, cutter, creaser. Drop your sheets into that and it will give you finished cards at the other end - trimmed to bleed all four sides and creased for folding. You should be able to find a decent one used for 4k-5k US. No contract needed. All user replaceable modules for drums, belts, fuser, etc.
... and toner costs on the Oki will probably be upwards of .25 per sheet whereas the bigger production machines will be closer to .03 per sheet. $.22 (the difference) x 10,000 impressions per month = $2200 more per month to run the Oki compared to a production machine.

All of a sudden the decision isn't so black and white...
 

gregbatch

Well-known member
Tell me where to buy a used machine and get .03 a click IF they will even write a contract on it. There isn't much coverage on a greeting card, so I think the toner estimate is a bit excessive.
 

gregbatch

Well-known member
I just pulled up a greeting card and rand it through the toner calculator with Oki toner costs and it says .0925 for the sheet.
 

JustinB

Well-known member
I just pulled up a greeting card and rand it through the toner calculator with Oki toner costs and it says .0925 for the sheet.
He said solid vector images often with full color backgrounds. That's a lot of toner he's talking about. Seeing artwork would be best, but I would estimate a little high.
 

gregbatch

Well-known member
Yes, art would be helpful, but a typical greeting card is heavy front panel only. The rest of the card is very light.

Of course, if a great deal can be found on a production color box, what's not to like. I don't think you will find one for $6k that anyone will put on a contract. I also think you will pay at least .045 a click, and likely more. They often want a base on used machines. Then there is electrical consideration. You can plug an Oki in just about anywhere.

Yes, you have to figure in drums belts and fuser in to the cost, but it is way less than leasing a big machine. We are talking entry level situation here. If things don't work out as expected, it's easy to walk away without a lease over your head. If business is good and growth is promising, then you can start looking at a production box.
 

Printech

New member
Chrysbyrd. Full disclosure. We are an OkiData dealer as well as 17 other graphic product lines. I agree the OkiData 931e is a great printer choice for your application. There are many on the secondary market that would work just fine as your startup machine. The Oki is a self service printer which means the operator can replace the drums, belt, fuser, waste toner and toner. This save on down time and service calls. The engine is very robust and can easily handle your 10,000 per month with room to grow. The 931e also has a near straight through paper path, which definitely helps with heavier stocks. The MP tray can handle up to 360gsm but the duplex unit cannot. This is not a bad thing. By running the first side through the machine first and then running the job back through the MP tray to print on the back gives you total control of front to back registration. If the duplex job file was not created with proper front to back registration, you will have problems fixing the registration. On short runs, speed is not critical, but on longer runs, the two step process is usually faster. The down size of the Oki 931e is supply cost, specifically toner. Heavy coverage can get expensive, but the low initial cost and no click charges can give you an overall lower cost of ownership than an expensive copier under a service contract that is capable of the 360gsm. When you reach a greater volume, then you can explore copier options or maybe multiple Oki 931es. On the subject of full bleed. No. You will need to print on a larger sheet and cut down to the finished, full bleed size. We have ways to cheat in the offset world, and the sides with a digital engine, but not the lead and trailing edges. Not worth the hassle or time. The 931e can print 13 x 47+. Gang up your cards the best you can. As far as cutting. If you have a large number of short run, varied size cards, the 945 Duplo could be an option. But used ones can be very expensive to repair. (rollers and blades) You will need a guillotine cutter, even if you have a Duplo or similar slit, cut crease machine. Buy a used guillotine cutter and grow into a slit, cut creaser once your volume reaches a point where you can save on the labor cost by going to a slit, cut, crease. 10,000 a month is not enough, in my opinion. You will still need a guillotine cutter. Sorry for being so long winded. Good luck.
 

Shawnd

Well-known member
I run the snot out of a 931e, for envelopes it does great, thicker stuff I have had issues with it jamming and wouldn't recommend running 350gsm through it.
 

SoManyPixels

New member
Thought I'd share my experience with the suggested Oki (actually running a c911, which I believe is the same engine).

While there are many good points to it, the print quality on heavy stock isn't perfect. It has a tendency for the colour registration to go off on the trail edge of the page. Sometimes it's barely noticeable, sometimes it's quite bad. Heavy mix of magenta and cyan seem to be the worst.

I run Xerox color impressions 350gsm silk coated. Also had the issue with Mondi 300gsm uncoated. Mainly print short run business cards, so the issue isn't too bad as even when the colours go badly off I can usually save some of the cards from the sheet.

If you are considering the Oki, make sure you demo it with your own paper and artwork. Run at least 10 pages in one hit - the first three always come out perfect, from 4 onwards take a close look at the colour registration.

It is known to Oki as their manual makes reference to it with a setting intended to minimise the effect (heavy media adjust mode).

The latest firmware has improved the quality, and I have seen there is a revised transfer belt so it may no longer be an issue.
 
do you have trimming capabilities? You will need that to print oversize and trim. If your service plan is charges by clicks it pays to print on A3 plus and trim to A4. We have similar requirements to your and we recently installed a new machine. I test drove all the major brands and print quantity is fantastic on all machines these days. We would up installing the Knoia Mnolta Accurio 3070. I like the KM because the entry level print engine can use all the front end and back end accessories that are used on the large machines. To duplex 350gsm wil you need a high quality paper feeding unit and the KM has a vacuums assist paper feed. I didn't see it on the entry models of the other brands and that was a major decision for the KM. With 350gsm duplex I still keep my eye on it inspecting every few sheets for front to back registration. KM does have expensive software that automatically does this but I decided nt to go that route to keep the monthly lease cost down. I would advise against a refurbished machine. If you have work to do done' waste time on a so called bargain. An't worth it. A lease on a new machine isn't much and you'll need the support if you are new at digital printing. I'd consider a refurbished as a back up press only.
 

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