Has anyone had any experience with the Xante ILUMINA

JaimeZ

Well-known member
We purchased a Xante ILUMINA and it will be delivered tomorrow.

Has anyone had experience with this machine?
 
Re: Has anyone had any experience with the Xante ILUMINA

I was considering it for my previous job. Comparing Xanté Illumina and OKI C9660n. (later on i got a carte-blanche that allowed me to go for Xerox DC250).

Actually both Illumina and C9660 are the same printer, but Xanté gets the c9660 machine and upgrades it a bit to deal with heavier stock. I´m not confident, however of the quality output of nny of them. From the test i´ve run, with a fresh-installed Illumina, there were several little glitches, mostly with color registration (yeah..indeed. very weird!) if you ran the heavier stock it supposedly allows you to run. also, the consumables cost is quite high (i´ll try to find the spreadsheet with that comparison as i get back home) when put side-by-side with some higher-end printers/copiers such as Xerox DC250 and Canon ImagePRESS C1 (which are way more expensive than Illumina, and thus maybe outside your budget).

Another thing i think i should point is that the machine is not a very robust-one, and started giving all kinds of error messages after a few hours working in the tests i´ve run. The technician that took me to testing did not manage to correct those also (but then, around here not many people is properly trained for that kind of job. he was mostly a almost-tech-savvy vendor)
 

Fatboysmart

Well-known member
Re: Has anyone had any experience with the Xante ILUMINA

We have one here. Mixed feelings. When all goes well, the prints are great, but it is very picky about paper quality (especially humidity of the paper). Regarding the heavy paper... Sometimes it works, sometimes it won't. Not suitable as a real production machine in my opinion.

As far as supplies... Xanté supplies are almost twice the price of the OKI 9600 supplies (At least here in Europe). You can use OKI 9600 drums, transfer belt and toner waste cassette without any problems. The toner cartridges are a problem... They probably have a chip in them, and the Xante will refuse to print with an OKI toner cartridge loaded.

Please keep me informed how yours is performing.

Good luck!
 
Re: Has anyone had any experience with the Xante ILUMINA

hmmm OKI and Xanté´s consumables around here in brazil go pretty much the same cost, and a high one for what matters.
 

JaimeZ

Well-known member
Re: Has anyone had any experience with the Xante ILUMINA

We did not purchase the Ilumina as a production machine. We just needed some machine to compliment our traditional presses. With the Ilumina we'll be able to give the our client one hundred or so of their job quickly while the main portion is printed on the GTO. Currently I send out short run digital jobs, but sometimes those jobs become burdensome. Now we'll have the ability to quickly satisfy our client's needs without inconvenience to ourselves. The added bonuses are, if digital output becomes a profit center we're not stuck with a long time expensive lease and we can get the equipment to better handle greater workloads and if digital color does not take off, the Xante Ilumina will pay for it self with one job a week.
 

bgrubb7

Active member
Re: Has anyone had any experience with the Xante ILUMINA

We are in the exact same situation. We were just wanting to eliminate the need to job out those very short digital runs. Maybe 2-3 jobs a week for us.

We looked into the Illumina, due to it low equipment price. But after talking to an actual Illumina user, we soon realized that the toner cost would be far more expensive than other options.

We ended up going with factory refurbished Doc-12, that was around the same price as the Illumina, only now we get a Xerox maintenence agreement that includes all consumables for 8.9 cents per color sheet. Our average per sheet cost with the Illumina would have been much more than that. Yes, the Doc-12 is much slower than the llumina, but it comes with an actual RIP, it is extremely reliable, and we don't have to worry about supplies or service, as it is all covered with the click charge. The speed of the doc-12 isn't really an issue for us, since we're only doing a few jobs a week on it anyways.
 

JaimeZ

Well-known member
Re: Has anyone had any experience with the Xante ILUMINA

Yes, after the fact I realized that there are alternatives to the Ilumina.

However, when I purchased the machine my thoughts were not just to do the occasional small run that I jobbed out, but rather to offer new products as well. You see bgrubb7, the Ilumina will print on 24 pt stock and I have a couple of clients that design wedding invitations and were looking for a short run color alternative to a printing press that will print on thick stocks so popular for wedding invitations. I also will be advertising it as a "Digital Color Press" with empathize on the Press part; it would had been difficult to advertise a Xerox or Cannon machine as a press--most clients associate Xerox and Canon with lower quality images as compared to offset. Clients that have compared a Xerox output with an Ilumina one seem to like the Ilumima better. I will be able to sell each sheet for more per print than other toner based devices and I intend on doing so.

Finally, if this machine takes off, I will get quicker more efficient machines.

Fatboysmart , I already sold a job last week for over $600, twice the lease price of the Ilumina.
 

beatyjenyns

New member
Re: Has anyone had any experience with the Xante ILUMINA

hi
To print out a good photo you need a good printer and photo paper which it do not come cheap. i recommend you to use either HP1000/1100 printer for best printing, or you can use Epson Printer also. these two printers are best in printing. but then don't go for a cheap or useless photo paper. I also suggest you to go for a quality photo paper. And as far as photo papers are concerned you can opt for samples from freephotopaper .com. I just tried the photo paper *_ [SAMPLES|http://www.freephotopaper.com/sample-offerp.htm] _* I got, And I have to say the prints were beautiful on both the gloss and satin.
A free course on digital photo printing also comes with the samples.
 

backbayray

New member
Re: Has anyone had any experience with the Xante ILUMINA

I would do my homework on this machine before you get it. I have had one for about 1 1/2 years. I have spent over 80 hrs with tech support. They do not like sending out techs. It may be where I am at though. I have shipped my machine to Louisiana that took about 3 weeks with no replacement. WHEN it works it does a nice job. You have to watch the registration on all stocks if you use the bypass it can move 1/4 by just putting the paper in it.
The one thing is if you print a job when your consumables are at 100 to 90 percent, don't expect to get the same color out put when your consumables are at 70 or 60 percent the colors change. Also ask Xante for there Rating caculator. You can go off there cost per sheet sell sheet . But it does not take in consideration the weight of the paper. The heavier the paper you use the less life you will get. Not on what theConfiguration page says that you print out of the machine. Also ask what kind of warrienty you get with your comsuables. You could REALLY be in for a disapointment. Good Luck
 

Caled

Active member
Re: Has anyone had any experience with the Xante ILUMINA

I bought the first version of this which was badged as the Xante CL30 HSE with the HSE bit meaning "heavy stock enabled". Yes it would print on 330gsm card stock but the register was worse than anything I've ever seen. This was a rebadged OKI machine with a new heavier fuser and even OKI engineers I spoke too said that it was operating way past its spec. It was so bad that reversed text say white on a Reflex Blue background was so fuzzy it was unreadable. I was told by Xante that this was within spec!
I'll never ever ever buy another Xante product. They are just rebadging machines from other manufacturers, throwing in their own circuit boards and running them way beyond their recommended specs. The running costs are shocking too.
After all if this printer was designed to print on such heavy stocks, wouldn't OKI have done that to these machines in the first place?
I bought the Konica Minolta which is excellent and the prints look the closest to offset that I've seen without that glossy laser toner finish.
 

dpxcross

New member
dpxcross

dpxcross

I've had an Ilumina now for almost 3 years. I'm very pleased with the results. This is the first digital press in my offset shop. I got it because of the problems I was getting outsourcing small four color jobs. I use it for bus cards, postcards, envelopes, etc and it fills that niche in my business very well. I don't use it for copies because of the cost of supplies. When I first got it, I went thru a learning curve, and the their tech department helped me out in that area. Yes, you do have to control your environement, and I tried to run job lot card stock through it and that didn't work. But these are things that you will encounter with all digital presses. I also had to replace my multi purpose tray. It started to wear out after I had run about 300,000 sheets through it. The tech department sent me a new one, and I installed it myself. They did walk me through it on the phone and it took about an hour. It was not that hard, I just wanted to be careful. Other than that, it keeps running and producing. I really like the fact that I can turn around four color jobs very quickly, and a big reason I got it was the difference in price between the Ilumina and all the others. I personnaly believe that the Cannons, Konica/Minolta's etc. figure in the maintenance costs into the price of their units. Your paying, you just don't know it.
 

OKIGuy

New member
JaimeZ,
I think you will be happy with your choice on the Ilumina. I'm sitting here reading several answers to your questions and some are filled with quite a bit of mis information. So, I will tell you what you purchased and why it is VERY different from the OKI Branded product. As a matter of fact probably the only thing that the printer has in common to the 9000 series OKI branded product is the outside cover is the same as well as core components (LED heads, motors, etc..). First, in order to accommodate 502GSM media, modification in both the transport as well as fusing section had to be accomplished. The standard branded product is only capable of 307 GSM. So as one user commented, doing invitation, envelopes and thick stuff is a real winner for the machine. Unfortunately, just changing the transport does not give good quality print on substrates. Due to the fact that the substrates vary in thickness Xante has engineered different algorithms that allow for enhanced electric bias. Adjusted bias is needed in order to make the printer die-electric process work on thick media. What this means in laymen terms is that the charge difference increased to enable pulling charge off the drum through the paper to be fused. With out this, you might be able to run thick stock, but you would not be happy with the image you received. Lastly, all brands Xerox, Oce, HP, Minolta that are selling their products into the corporate consumer space are concerned with CPC- "Cost Per Copy". The industry has set this number at 5%. You I know that this number is ridiculous in the shops that sell their color out put. So heres the problem. The way you control CPC is be using less toner. Great if you are printing "to-do" list, not so good if your printing invitations, brochures, pictures, etc... Good graphic quality requires more toner not less. I will agree that OKI's branded quality looks better then most but not as good as printer that is designed specifically to make prints that are sellable. Xante engineering has changed most of the firmware to enhance all of the different components (speed, fuser,temps,screen angles, densities, etc..) that allow a toner based printer to output best graphics quality. The problem is it will use more toner compared to a printer that is not designed to print sellable color. and However, if your not in the business in selling the output, the Ilumina is probably not the right product for you. You should probably stick with a branded product.

One last comment on the consumable's. Xante takes the OKI consumables and retests the Drums to 100% acceptance. That may be excessive but it is what they do. That's one reason for the cost difference.

I hope that clarifies some of the differences in the Xante product vs traditional branded printers. On the other note... The Indigo works great too, but I don't have +300K. :)
But I can't still run 502 GSM...
 

Internal_R&D_Analyst

Well-known member
Okidata printers can be purchased as a Okidata, Xerox Phaser 7400, Xitron Prism, Xante Ilumina, Xante 3D, and soon to be MGI 3D printer at Graph Expo in the USA. The Degrava 8500 label press and soon to be released 9500 also use an Oki Data engine.

At times Xante customer service can be difficult to work with and for that reason we have considered that our next Okidata printer should maybe be a Xerox because we know we can get the service and support.

I'd agree that sometimes our Xante acts up for no reason and then will oddly enough fix itself and work great. It's definitely not a $25,000+ digital press but for the right applications can be a good fit. Just remember the price you pay and don't expect it to be something it's not.
 

discountbob

New member
i'm thinking of purchasing an xante to print postcards. i have been sending out orders a few orders a month that total about 5000 to 7000 cards. some of the orders are for as little of 500. do you think this printer is suitable for this purpose?
 

Internal_R&D_Analyst

Well-known member
The Xante won't be able to duplex thicker stocks so it would probably be two passes to get the job done so your 500 minimum is going to become 1000. The front to back registration and consistency may be an issue for you as well. I'd suggest testing it for your application with you paper you may experience some slowdown with thicker stocks which may be a deciding factor for you on how efficient the printer is. For the right applications this printer work for others there are other solutions that preform better.
 

DonBlock

Well-known member
If you are speaking of 500 post cards, presuming you are doing 4 per sheet, this is only 125 sheets. Time is a non issue here when you compare the Illumina to a the press setup time...

Registration should also not an issue. These are post cards. They should have bleed for cutting, and with the postal requirements of .25" margin you are not going to have anything going to the edge anyway.

The speed of the Illumina is the same for the thicker stock, and feeding 125 sheets through the manual feed tray, flipping them and sending them back through for the back side is simple enough.

You can also look at the Xitron Prism. It is the same print engine, but comes with the GPS Workflow (with a Harlequin RIP) that will allow you to view the job on screen and maintain the job in the Workflow for future runs if necessary. Depending on what other output device you have, this may be a great opportunity to update your current RIP to a Workflow that will drive both devices and be current with today's applications.
 

JaimeZ

Well-known member
Update on the Ilumina

Update on the Ilumina

It seems some people just have a beef with Xante. Not that Xante does not deserve it; many years ago they did have a bad reputation for customer service. However, today their support is very good; it is phone support and definitely helps if one is technically capable to follow Xante's tech support people.

We've had the the Ilumina for a year and it has a niche. We run a lot of thick stock and envelopes through it and I have found that more than half of the sheets have been fed through the multipurpose tray.

One wish I would like for the Ilumina would be to have an exterior RIP available like the Fiery or Scitex.

In summary, the Ilumina has been a great purchase for us and our aim is to eventually get into one of the more robust digital machines like an iGen 4 or a Canon 7000. But keep in mind that the Xerox or Canon machines will not be able to print more than 300-350 gsm and definitely not envelopes; so an all digital shop would need to have machine like the Ilumina to compliment there other digital presses.
 

lesnik

Member
Have had an Ilumina for 5 years. Overall, very good machine after initial bugs were worked out. Biggest gripe is that consumables are too expensive, but we use it for quick short-run business cards, letterhead, etc., so it's a time saver ultimately. Must choose paper carefully, however.
 

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