Ink Jet Envelope Printer

KeepSwimming

Active member
Hi!
I need your expertise please if you are using an ink jet envelope printer. I am afraid to get the wrong machine, so I have lots of questions.
What machine are (or have) you used that you like the best or worse?
Can you tell me about anything they claim it can do, but can't, or doesn't do efficiently?
I'm in southwest Florida and it's humid here, how much does that effect the machine performance?
Mostly I need a machine to print window envelopes, and regular envelopes efficiently (we now have to open, print, close a #10 or smaller).
Most of our envelope jobs are 2,500 or shorter runs. I do have a 5,000 run of 9.5x6.5 Peel-n-Seal catalog that prints both sides, one side with bleeds, that I currently send out, but would like to do it in house if possible. My cost on that job is about $3,360.00 and I don't know if it would be cost effective on a an ink jet printer.
Also, I have some customers who are very particular about color. How well does your machine color match? Is it consistent?
What about variable data? We do a lot of VD jobs and when it gets to larger quantities or they need barcodes, I send that out too.
I imagine I would need a separate software to run the barcodes, any thoughts on that?
What other types of jobs besides envelopes do you print on the ink jet?
In a perfect world, with new equipment I would be able to increase my product line by printing on clear envelopes, or printing on the window itself, to give me an edge against the competition. Is this feasible?

Thank you for your time! I appreciate all the help I can get. I have been in the industry over 40 years, but as a graphic designer and front office. I bought this business in 2019 and have a LOT to learn about back of house. We are a 3 man shop right now and we all have to be able to do everything, but we don't have offset as an option any more.
 

Shawnd

Well-known member
Check out the memjets from the major players, they are pretty close in what they do. You can add a RIP that will allow for pretty close color matching for the most part and they have added VDP to the RIPS as well.

Some of the newer ones will print on chipboard or cardboard.

One of the downsides to them is they need to run, they like to be run everyday to keep the ink flowing.

 

KeepSwimming

Active member
Check out the memjets from the major players, they are pretty close in what they do. You can add a RIP that will allow for pretty close color matching for the most part and they have added VDP to the RIPS as well.

Some of the newer ones will print on chipboard or cardboard.

One of the downsides to them is they need to run, they like to be run everyday to keep the ink flowing.

Thanks, I'll check out that link too!
 

crajos

Well-known member
@KeepSwimming - I'll backup what was said. There are laser envelope printing options out there (I have one in my shop), but as you print on windows fairly regularly you'll be better off with an inkjet solution. You have to buy laser-safe window envelopes, and I've found they just aren't available in many sizes (and I'm not paying to have them custom made!). I have memjet samples from iJetColor, and I was pretty impressed. I don't think you'll be able to print on the window though.

Your outsourced envelopes are costing you ~$0.67 each. I definitely think you can do it cheaper in-house. I run 2-sided 9x12s in-house and our cost per piece is much less.

Mail prep itself a whole other bag of worms to deal with. USPS has the font for the IMb codes on their website (you'll have to dig for it), but you will need to have the software to generate the IMb codes themselves, and in order to do that you'll need to know everything about the mailing you're sending. You'll want to be come very familiar with USPS guidelines and mail prep before offering that service. You don't want a mailing to be rejected or have additional processing fees charged to the customer.
 

Dmiller35

Member
We have had a Rena Mach5 since 2013 or 2014 and have had great results with it. Last year we added an iJetColor NXT (equivalent to Rena Mach 6). There are some things that I don't love about it but quality wise it's pretty great.
The only thing with any of the printers that use Memjet heads is that your max print width will always be 8.7". This works for most things but if you're trying to run #10's Long edge first, you won't be able to print from edge to edge. Most of the time this isn't an issue, but sometimes we need to put a permit on there. As far as color goes, we picked the NXT over the Mach 6 because of the software. Printware's software is much easier to use and color matching is integrated better. Like crajos said, if you start getting into mail prep, that's a whole other bag. Printing variable data and barcodes is the easy part. Running and sorting the lists and creating the barcodes is alot more involved.
 

rbi

New member
We have toner and inkjet machines. As for myself, I would stay away from the NXT. Don't know if we got a lemon, but I would take my Ijet Classic back over the NXT any day of the week. Can't get to the printhead to clean as easy as you can the classic. It seems we have to work around a lot of issues on the NXT. On the classic, I can train someone pretty quick and they can stand there all day and run it. Yes, it doesn't run as big or thick as the NXT but for 9 x 12 or smaller envelopes, the classic is the way to go. IMO.
 

Dmiller35

Member
We have toner and inkjet machines. As for myself, I would stay away from the NXT. Don't know if we got a lemon, but I would take my Ijet Classic back over the NXT any day of the week. Can't get to the printhead to clean as easy as you can the classic. It seems we have to work around a lot of issues on the NXT. On the classic, I can train someone pretty quick and they can stand there all day and run it. Yes, it doesn't run as big or thick as the NXT but for 9 x 12 or smaller envelopes, the classic is the way to go. IMO.
I totally agree with this. Also, even though it's supposed to run auto wiping cycles, if it sits too long, the nozzles tend to dry out and you have to wipe it down pretty heavily to get a good image out. And sometimes "too long" could be a few hours. One more thing, some stocks, like Classic Linen take a few more seconds to dry, but the exit feed uses plastic rollers that smear the ink. The Mach 5 (equivalent to regular iJet Color), uses small metal "spike" wheels that don't really push the envelope out, but also don't smear ink.
 

willvp2408

Active member
I have had the NXT for about a year now. A very delicate machine to say the least. You have to print on it everyday or take the head out of the machine and store it in the fridge. At the cost of over $500 for a replacement head, its expensive to run. If they could figure out a way to make the print head last or not clog as easily then they would have something. Not to mention they push a $1200 maintenance agreement on you every year. If you happen to call in for help. They will charge you $185 to talk on the phone if you don't have the agreement. I am looking for another option. But there doesn't seem to be anthing else from what I see.
 

Dmiller35

Member
I have had the NXT for about a year now. A very delicate machine to say the least. You have to print on it everyday or take the head out of the machine and store it in the fridge. At the cost of over $500 for a replacement head, its expensive to run. If they could figure out a way to make the print head last or not clog as easily then they would have something. Not to mention they push a $1200 maintenance agreement on you every year. If you happen to call in for help. They will charge you $185 to talk on the phone if you don't have the agreement. I am looking for another option. But there doesn't seem to be anthing else from what I see.
Not sure how the NXT compares to other similar printers, but our Rena Mach 5 never had the nozzle clog issues that this thing has. Not sure if it just doesn't wipe it as often or what but it definitely isn't as good.
 

willvp2408

Active member
Not sure how the NXT compares to other similar printers, but our Rena Mach 5 never had the nozzle clog issues that this thing has. Not sure if it just doesn't wipe it as often or what but it definitely isn't as good.
I have been told when not printing on it, to take off and put it in the Fridge in its case moist. But yes I find it clogs a lot.
 

methogod

Active member
We have had a Rena Mach5 since 2013 or 2014 and have had great results with it. Last year we added an iJetColor NXT (equivalent to Rena Mach 6). There are some things that I don't love about it but quality wise it's pretty great.
The only thing with any of the printers that use Memjet heads is that your max print width will always be 8.7". This works for most things but if you're trying to run #10's Long edge first, you won't be able to print from edge to edge. Most of the time this isn't an issue, but sometimes we need to put a permit on there. As far as color goes, we picked the NXT over the Mach 6 because of the software. Printware's software is much easier to use and color matching is integrated better. Like crajos said, if you start getting into mail prep, that's a whole other bag. Printing variable data and barcodes is the easy part. Running and sorting the lists and creating the barcodes is alot more involved.
Explain which software... Picked up a used ijetcolor (mach5) and after $500 in parts runs great. Found ink cheap (OEM). BUT I know I cant do any heavy envelopes or 10x13s - so we keep a Xante around.
Would love to find who makes this setup for envelopes with an AIR/Suction feed, that would be the game changer.

I personally found PRINTWARE to be a middle man, and they just mark everything up a 2nd time.
The company was helpful before I bought the machine second hand. Then company just sent emails out they no longer offer FREE tech support, you have to pay for a plan.
Insane. But I do like the Memjet, and think its getting better with each generation. Eye out for a used TASKALFA Pro 15000c, should be a game changer.
 

Dmiller35

Member
I don't disagree with you about Printware. In fact, I buy my supplies from other vendors because they mark everything up. What I meant by software was their RIP/Printserver software. It is much easier to send and control jobs compared to our RENA Mach5 which didn't really have anything like that.
 

Shawnd

Well-known member
I don't disagree with you about Printware. In fact, I buy my supplies from other vendors because they mark everything up. What I meant by software was their RIP/Printserver software. It is much easier to send and control jobs compared to our RENA Mach5 which didn't really have anything like that.

Isn't Mcolor Rena's version of the software?

 

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