Help! Upgrading Versant and no clue

schesin

Member
Hello all! Thank you for reading this post

I am a graphic designer for my work and took over the print shop a year ago. We have a versant 80 and all our techs do is press Print. (Very basic, we are starting from the ground up)

My goal is to make us a legit print shop. We have invested in a cutter and can now print full bleed YAY!

Our Versant80 is our work horse. It’s 6 years old and has Fiery. We mainly print flyers, postcards, double sided flyers and some small posters. Mostly some glossy text weight and then some heavier cover stock for postcards.


I have 60k for an upgraded printer.

canon is about 60k for a c810 but after reading some posts on this website it seems like people aren’t crazy about the Canon for front snd back printer. My pet peeve is when the front and back DONT line up.

should I go with the Canon? Should I look at the Versant180? I have no clue about Ricohs but they seem to be a popular pick. We have a KM black and white biz hub which is 7 years old. We barely use it.
.
I have no clue what would be the smartest buy.

thank you so much for your help!

- Stephanie
 
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bcr

Well-known member
Hello all! Thank you for reading this post

I am a graphic designer for my work and took over the print shop a year ago. We have a versant 80 and all our techs do is press Print. (Very basic, we are starting from the ground up)

My goal is to make us a legit print shop. We have invested in a cutter and can now print full bleed YAY!

Our Versant80 is our work horse. It’s 6 years old and has Fiery. We mainly print flyers, postcards, double sided flyers and some small posters. Mostly some glossy text weight and then some heavier cover stock for postcards.


I have 60k for an upgraded printer.

canon is about 60k for a c810 but after reading some posts on this website it seems like people aren’t crazy about the Canon for front snd back printer. My pet peeve is when the front and back DONT line up.

should I go with the Canon? Should I look at the Versant180? I have no clue about Ricohs but they seem to be a popular pick. We have a KM black and white biz hub which is 7 years old. We barely use it.
.
I have no clue what would be the smartest buy.

thank you so much for your help!

- Stephanie
My advice would be to think long and hard about what you want to produce and what finishing you'll need. Do you want to produce things you aren't doing at the moment? Is the current printer the weak link? Think about whether you want inline or offline finishing etc.

I demoed the canon c910 and wasn't blown away - ended up with Ricoh c5310. Your existing pritning tasks though are very simple and don't need a complicated printer to do them.
 

schesin

Member
My advice would be to think long and hard about what you want to produce and what finishing you'll need. Do you want to produce things you aren't doing at the moment? Is the current printer the weak link? Think about whether you want inline or offline finishing etc.

I demoed the canon c910 and wasn't blown away - ended up with Ricoh c5310. Your existing pritning tasks though are very simple and don't need a complicated printer to do them.
Thanks so much for the reply! Unfortunately I work in government so I have a hard line of cost and what we can purchase. Even if I give a 5 year plan I don’t get more money lol.

In the future id love to grow the shop but right now we just need something that can print decent looking flyers and double sided postcards, booklets, trifolds. the versant 80 is great but getting old, has a hard time with heavier card stock and a tad slow
 
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bcr

Well-known member
Thanks so much for the reply! Unfortunately I work in government so I have a hard line of cost and what we can purchase. Even if I give a 5 year plan I don’t get more money lol.

In the future id love to grow the shop but right now we just need something that can print decent looking flyers and double sided postcards, booklets, trifolds. the versant 80 is great but getting old, has a hard time with heavier card stock and a tad slow
Yeah I get it - but there are various different options and configurations for a press that you could fit into your 60k budget and would just be considered as part of the printer as far as the bureaucracy is concerned. You could potentially spec it with nice inline finishing options which open up more possible product lines and to them they'll just see it as the printer.

I just started up my own repro dept in an intergovernmental org so I have an idea of what it's like..
 
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schesin

Member
Yeah I get it - but there are various different options and configurations for a press that you could fit into your 60k budget and would just be considered as part of the printer as far as the bureaucracy is concerned. You could potentially spec it with nice inline finishing options which open up more possible product lines and to them they'll just see it as the printer.

I just started up my own repro dept in an intergovernmental org so I have an idea of what it's like..
Do you recommend a brand? Should I stick with xerox?
 

bcr

Well-known member
Do you recommend a brand? Should I stick with xerox?
All of the four big brands (Xerox, Canon, Ricoh, Konica Minolta) make very high quality machines which will do what you need. The biggest difference will be on their standard of service which often varies from place to place. You'll need to speak to other printers in your area to ask for feedback on who they recommend etc.

You should get all four companies pitching for your business and competing with each other. Visit them all and test their machines with your own files and paper/card to see how your documents look printed. Don't accept printed samples - go and visit and do it yourself so you see how the machine and the workflow works.

Also think about what software you want to use. They all have fiery but Konica also have an option to use their own controller instead of fiery and their accuriopro flux software which is nice. Make sure you're including the necessary add on modules for either flux or fiery depending on which option you go for (e.g. impose/compose modules etc).

Think it would be good for you to go and network with other people in similar roles - if you're in central government then seek out other print shops in other ministries, if you're in local government, then other districts/cities etc

There's a lot you'll need to take in and consider before signing up to a new deal. Posting on here though is an excellent start - there's loads of patient people on here that will share the benefit of their experience - just have an open mind and listen to them!!
 

pippip

Well-known member
Is your V80 the performance version? Unless you need to produce banner jobs I can't see the point in upgrading from V80 to V180 (is the V280 not available in your location?)

Assuming performance models then speed and print quality you mention as issues should be identical. I know the V180 is rated to 350gsm but I run 350gsm duplex and 400gsm simplex all the time on my V80 without bother.

As bcr mentioned service is key, you need to find out how quick techs can get to you when you have a problem.
 

schesin

Member
All of the four big brands (Xerox, Canon, Ricoh, Konica Minolta) make very high quality machines which will do what you need. The biggest difference will be on their standard of service which often varies from place to place. You'll need to speak to other printers in your area to ask for feedback on who they recommend etc.

You should get all four companies pitching for your business and competing with each other. Visit them all and test their machines with your own files and paper/card to see how your documents look printed. Don't accept printed samples - go and visit and do it yourself so you see how the machine and the workflow works.

Also think about what software you want to use. They all have fiery but Konica also have an option to use their own controller instead of fiery and their accuriopro flux software which is nice. Make sure you're including the necessary add on modules for either flux or fiery depending on which option you go for (e.g. impose/compose modules etc).

Think it would be good for you to go and network with other people in similar roles - if you're in central government then seek out other print shops in other ministries, if you're in local government, then other districts/cities etc

There's a lot you'll need to take in and consider before signing up to a new deal. Posting on here though is an excellent start - there's loads of patient people on here that will share the benefit of their experience - just have an open mind and listen to them!!
Thank you!!!
 

schesin

Member
Is your V80 the performance version? Unless you need to produce banner jobs I can't see the point in upgrading from V80 to V180 (is the V280 not available in your location?)

Assuming performance models then speed and print quality you mention as issues should be identical. I know the V180 is rated to 350gsm but I run 350gsm duplex and 400gsm simplex all the time on my V80 without bother.

As bcr mentioned service is key, you need to find out how quick techs can get to you when you have a problem.
I didn’t even know about the v280 thank you! I’ll look into it. We have a great xerox tech who always fixes quickly when we have issues.

what usually is the lifespan? It’s 6 years old so I wasn’t sure how long they last. The canon guy told me 3 years which I thought was very short lifespan.
 

bcr

Well-known member
I didn’t even know about the v280 thank you! I’ll look into it. We have a great xerox tech who always fixes quickly when we have issues.

what usually is the lifespan? It’s 6 years old so I wasn’t sure how long they last. The canon guy told me 3 years which I thought was very short lifespan.
You'll get it on a service contract and they'll keep it running for the duration of that contract, unless in an extreme/rare scenario where it becomes uneconomical for them to do so and they may wish to end the contract early. Issues around how long they last are for consideration only when you're looking to renew or extend an expired service contract, or pickup a second hand machine..

Three years life expectancy for a production printer is laughable, unless it's being abused by being run beyond its specification or consistently beyond its duty cycle and without adequate maintenance.

For the uses you describe with a full service contract in place you shouldn't have too many problems running a machine for 5 or 6 years provided they aren't skimping on maintenance
 

Ynot_UK

Well-known member
@schesin Hi Stephanie, I guess being in Govt and having an available budget changes the thought process somewhat from that of a private company, where it's all about sweating the assets. From my few years in the public sector (albeit many years ago) and from people we deal with in the public sector, you want to and "have to" spend your annual budget, as not doing so is detrimental to next year's budget.

You do have a decent budget which will give you a good choice of modern digital press. I'd start by looking at what offline finishing equipment you currently have and what jobs you want to do but can't currently can't do in-house and what equipment/functionality you need to acquire to make this happen. Also, you may decide you are better off cutting the cake differently and spending say £35k on the press and £25k on offline finishing equipment.

We were in a very similar position to you (albeit as a private company) this time last year with a similar budget. Our investment consisted of a KM C4080 AccurioPress with vacuum fed paper deck and extra long deck, Morgana Autocreaser Pro33, Matrix 370DP laminator & OmniFlow, and a Vivid VeloBlade digital cutting table. Obviously the colour press represented the largest chunk of the money spent.
 
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azehnali

Well-known member
you cab also consider a fully rebuild 3100 at a lower price than the 180 or 280
if you need pricing I would be more than happy to provide along with service rates
 

Ynot_UK

Well-known member
you cab also consider a fully rebuild 3100 at a lower price than the 180 or 280
if you need pricing I would be more than happy to provide along with service rates
Government agencies don't tend to buy rebuilds/refurbished printing equipment.

They also have a strict asset acquisition framework, with purchase orders only being issued within the approved supplier network.
 

schesin

Member
@schesin Hi Stephanie, I guess being in Govt and having an available budget changes the thought process somewhat from that of a private company, where it's all about sweating the assets. From my few years in the public sector (albeit many years ago) and from people we deal with in the public sector, you want to and "have to" spend your annual budget, as not doing so is detrimental to next year's budget.

You do have a decent budget which will give you a good choice of modern digital press. I'd start by looking at what offline finishing equipment you currently have and what jobs you want to do but can't currently can't do in-house and what equipment/functionality you need to acquire to make this happen. Also, you may decide you are better off cutting the cake differently and spending say £35k on the press and £25k on offline finishing equipment.

We were in a very similar position to you (albeit as a private company) this time last year with a similar budget. Our investment consisted of a KM C4080 AccurioPress with vacuum fed paper deck and extra long deck, Morgana Autocreaser Pro33, Matrix 370DP laminator & OmniFlow, and a Vivid VeloBlade digital cutting table. Obviously the colour press represented the largest chunk of the money spent.
Thank you! I think i will also go to the shops and check out the machines. Our basic needs are folding, stapling, 3 hole punch. We don't have any fancy finishing needs right now. The fact that we can print flyers and postcards in house instead of sending everything to a vendor is going to be change enough for our staff! Right now everything gets outsourced
 

Ynot_UK

Well-known member
If you go for inline punching, you want a module that can punch 2-up, to maximise value on your click charges.
For KM, that would be the GBC G2 punch. I'm sure something similar exists for Ricoh, Xerox and Canon.
The punch modules have interchangeable die sets, so if for example you needed to do wire, you could swap out a 3-5-7 die for a 3:1 die
 
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bcr

Well-known member
If you go for inline punching, you want a module that can punch 2-up, to maximise value on your click charges.
For KM, that would be the GBC G2 punch. I'm sure something similar exists for Ricoh, Xerox and Canon.
The punch modules have interchangeable die sets, so if for example you needed to do wire, you could swap out a 3-5-7 die for a 3:1 die
Stream punch pro on the Ricoh's. I've got two. They're good. Suggest getting the cover interposer too to allow punching of pre printed or blank covers
 

Sertech

Member
I didn’t even know about the v280 thank you! I’ll look into it. We have a great xerox tech who always fixes quickly when we have issues.

what usually is the lifespan? It’s 6 years old so I wasn’t sure how long they last. The canon guy told me 3 years which I thought was very short lifespan.
I'm a service tech who works on canon imagepresses. I work on other brands as well. You should go and run samples on the machines and see what you like. The little imagepress can run for quite a while. I service one with over 17 million, they are rated for 10 million. It's still going. I'd recommend the prismaSync over the fiery, better engine control with it. There is a lower cost prismaSync light. The Canon guy is yanking your chain with a 3 year life span though. Most companies will keep manufacturing unique parts for around 12 years. I would say 5-10 years is probably a good life depending on how hard you run. Go and check to see what you like though. We sell Ricohs as well, and they have some really nice features. Print is different between the two. Canon is more glossy, ricoh more flat. I don't work on the Ricoh, yet, but I have been impressed by its print quality and some things about the build I do love
 

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