Justifying Equipment Purchase... Recession... Financing Options - HELP!

I have posted before about equipment and here I am again. We need to make a decision sooner than later on what to do with our current equipment and my mind is going in a number of different directions. We have a KM 1250 B/W with 15 million impressions on it, low click charge (around .005) but quality is not the best anymore and reliability is going downhill, a KM 1070 which has an insanely high click charge but is great in emergencies when our other press is down or on a long run and also does great with envelopes (we don't have a dedicated envelope press since we used to run offset equipment and would outsource the rest), and then we have our main color press which is a KM 1100. The click charge is not the best compared to the rates I'm seeing nowadays (4.5 cents color), the quality is totally inconsistent, registration sucks, codes out all the time and service is there at least once or twice a week working on it. It also has a decent booklet maker on it (no square bind but does face trim) and we use it for most of the booklets we print.

Here's what our thoughts WERE: Replace the 1070 because it has the highest click charges (.07 color and .02 b/w!!!) and that'll buy us time in replacing the other 2. Our volume has been going up pretty steadily since last summer (thankfully since we were hit hard from covid like everyone else) and with the amount of time our 1100 is down - which is probably over a week or more each month) we are realizing that we need to replace that machine sooner than later as well. The problem is... what do we get? Do we purchase outright (which we have done with all our other equipment) or lease? Should we be bracing ourselves for a recession and therefore try to be conservative? Do we invest in a machine that'll allow us to grow and expand into more high value printing (go big or go home)? Do we purchase 1 "big" high volume press and then a much smaller overflow machine like a Versant 280 with hardly any finishing on it? Or two medium volume machines?

- We have seen the Ricoh 7210x in a demo and weren't entirely impressed. It didn't seem much faster (maybe even slower) than our 1100 though quality and registration were better. Pretty sure it goes up to 350 gsm which is the same as our 1100 which limits us. The idea of the 5th color does interest us because I could see a number of clients being interested but I've heard its a pain to use on the 7210.

- Our KM rep pitched us on the 7200 I think it was but I have the worst taste in my mouth from our lemon of an 1100 and the quality of service we're getting lately that we aren't even considering it.

- I've heard Canon toner can look "glossy" and that won't work for us so we aren't considering Canon either.

- Xerox pitched us on the 4100 which seemed like an upgrade from our 1100 for sure, but they got us way more excited about the Iridesse... until we heard the price. Had a meeting today with Xerox and the lease payment would be roughly $5k per month (including Fiery, booklet maker, GBC punch, XLS feeder, 2 metallic colors, Freeflow Core) but click charges were much better than what we are getting now (around 3 cents for color). But coming from having ZERO lease payments that was a tough pill to swallow.

I'm concerned because we have a wish list of other equipment as well - Duplo 618, envelope press, new engineering copier to replace our KIP, possibly offline booklet maker with squareback/ability to handle landscape books - so this is starting to sound like a lot of money to be shelling out, especially with the way the economy seems to be heading.

I know this was a lot, but I've gotten really helpful advice in the past from this forum so I'm just looking for any opinions you may have. We really don't want to make a bad decision. TIA!
 

SoggyWinter

Well-known member
I'm at a similar decision point and I'm underwhelmed by Xerox and their supply chain incompetence. Ricoh 9200 is current my top candidate and has similar specs to the Iridesse at a substantially lower price, but without specialty colors that I don't need. The specialty colors require a cumbersome developer unit change and file setup and Xerox charges for the specialty toner and developer independently of CMYK clicks. The GBC punch unit for the versant 3100 disabled XLS feeding- you should double check that the Iridesse doesn't have that handicap since the feeding and finishing accessories are the same.
 

cqb1988

Active member
5k USD a month for xerox 4100 sounds not right to me. I pay about the same amount for Ricoh c9210 and km c12000 combined, I did not get any finishing units tho. these machines are usually allowed up to 50~60% off MSRP. so there is a lot of room for negotiation. how much did they offer for the iridesse? I thought iridesse can be leased for under 6k a month
 
5k USD a month for xerox 4100 sounds not right to me. I pay about the same amount for Ricoh c9210 and km c12000 combined, I did not get any finishing units tho. these machines are usually allowed up to 50~60% off MSRP. so there is a lot of room for negotiation. how much did they offer for the iridesse? I thought iridesse can be leased for under 6k a month
Sorry if I confused you - 5k per month was for the Iridesse! What type of volume are you running on your 9210 and 12000? The 9210 is another machine that we've considered but with the finishing the costs really start to add up.
 
I'm at a similar decision point and I'm underwhelmed by Xerox and their supply chain incompetence. Ricoh 9200 is current my top candidate and has similar specs to the Iridesse at a substantially lower price, but without specialty colors that I don't need. The specialty colors require a cumbersome developer unit change and file setup and Xerox charges for the specialty toner and developer independently of CMYK clicks. The GBC punch unit for the versant 3100 disabled XLS feeding- you should double check that the Iridesse doesn't have that handicap since the feeding and finishing accessories are the same.
Oh interesting I didn't think to ask that about the GBC unit - I'll definitely check. I agree I've heard many nightmares about Xerox and supply issues. I also don't love what I'm hearing about Ricoh charging $10 for each service call and toner supply order. The sales rep we spoke to said it was "hopefully very short-lived" but I doubt that very much. I did also consider the Iridesse without the specialty color option so that we'd have room to grow. I think we received a proposal on the 9210 which was almost 200k but it could have been some finishing equipment throwing it off. Purchase price of the Iridesse with booklet maker / square bind and GBC was 240k-ish.
 

azehnali

Well-known member
everybody has supplies and parts issue and that will continue for another year
with your volume iridesse is the only way long term unless you get two machines
I have gbc units on versant 180 and 3100's and XLS works just fine
 

chriscozi

Well-known member
The Ricoh 7210c fifth color unit HAS TO HAVE TONER in it all the time so that it can perform a color adjust.
This means you use a small amount of your 5th color toner for every single impression.
Our first $500 toner lasted a month. Hmmm, I said. We started weighing the toner.
They FINALLY admitted what was happening.
We got them to train us to turn OFF the 5th color unit in the software which then meant it would color adjust correctly.
Grrrr. And we never use it anyway even after sales went after the work strongly.
 

cqb1988

Active member
Sorry if I confused you - 5k per month was for the Iridesse! What type of volume are you running on your 9210 and 12000? The 9210 is another machine that we've considered but with the finishing the costs really start to add up.
oh ok, I misunderstood, My volume isn't that high, only 150k for each machine. The reason I bought 2 machines from different companies is just for redundancy, Ricoh was fine for the majority time of the last 3 years until I had one week without any toner, which made me get a Konica.

Ricoh 9210 is a solid choice if you don't need specialty colors. runs faster and prints heavier stock than xerox. the only thing I don't like about Ricoh is the tiny side loading banner tray,

the inline finishing never worked well for us, we still have to do a lot of jobs offline if it is half letter or other smaller finishing size.

yes, Ricoh started charging toner shipment many years ago, not sure how much is now.
 
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cqb1988

Active member
cqb1988 = Canada incase you are scratching your head. Different fees for USA.
yes, sorry for the confusion, I am paying 6.6k cad for my machines, so that's a little over 5k USD. All my machines were shipped from USA, so I guess the cost of the machine should be similar.
 

kslight

Well-known member
We got a 7210x at the end of March, it’s been a real trooper so far, runs everything I throw at it and plenty fast for our us, registration / color is excellent, easy to use, and most importantly it just runs. Local service team is awesome. Have more supplies than I was able to keep on the shelf with our KM. We had a KM 6085 before and it was awful…machine and the local team.

5th color is kind of a chicken / egg thing, we don’t have anybody that asks for it and I haven’t really had time to start laying out a lot of samples.

We got an offline booklet maker instead of inline.

keep in mind that it may take a long time to get your new machine, it took us over 6 months.

yes can confirm fuel surcharges are a little aggravating but i guarantee that’s written into any competitor’s contract as an “if they want to at any time” thing, so don’t think you are safe with any other company. And it’s not like you are seeing service every day, or even every week.
 
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richsweeney

Well-known member
We have a xerox versant 180, and the machine is ok, but the big problem is XEROX's supply chain. I had to spend $1,000 on toner, that they will not reimburse. It was back ordered for 3 months. Then the drums are failing after 10% use. And now I only have 2 cyan toners, and they are back ordered again. Is any one having similar issues with KM? Also this last 30 days we were down about 15 days due to equipment failure. Every day is a work day here. Shoot, even the waste toner cartriges are back ordered and we have to empty and reuse them. uggg.
 
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We have a xerox versant 180, and the machine is ok, but the big problem is XEROX's supply chain. I had to spend $1,000 on toner, that they will not reimburse. It was back ordered for 3 months. Then the drums are failing after 10% use. And now I only have 2 cyan toners, and they are back ordered again. Is any one having similar issues with KM? Also this last 30 days we were down about 15 days due to equipment failure. Every day is a work day here. Shoot, even the waste toner cartriges are back ordered and we have to empty and reuse them. uggg.
That's terrible! What part of the country are you located? The Xerox reps we've spoken to say the supply issues are easing up and that the Iridesse uses different toner etc.. but I don't trust much I hear from a sales rep!
 
We got a 7210x at the end of March, it’s been a real trooper so far, runs everything I throw at it and plenty fast for our us, registration / color is excellent, easy to use, and most importantly it just runs. Local service team is awesome. Have more supplies than I was able to keep on the shelf with our KM. We had a KM 6085 before and it was awful…machine and the local team.

5th color is kind of a chicken / egg thing, we don’t have anybody that asks for it and I haven’t really had time to start laying out a lot of samples.

We got an offline booklet maker instead of inline.

keep in mind that it may take a long time to get your new machine, it took us over 6 months.

yes can confirm fuel surcharges are a little aggravating but i guarantee that’s written into any competitor’s contract as an “if they want to at any time” thing, so don’t think you are safe with any other company. And it’s not like you are seeing service every day, or even every week.
Sounds like you're able to pump a lot of work out of that machine - I saw your volume is pretty high. I think my opinion is skewed because of how much our 1100 is down it seems like we are always behind but if we had a machine functional 95% of the time I think we'd be able to print a heck of a lot more with just one machine rather than needing two or something faster. 6 months would be really tricky for us since fall is our busiest season of the year (Oct-Dec) and the thought of relying on this 1100 and no dedicated envelope press makes my anxiety level increase!!! Xerox has basically said "What do you want to pay" for the Iridesse so we are really considering it but maybe with just the 4 color option for now. We are going to an open house on Wednesday to see it in person so hopefully that gives us more insight!
 

kslight

Well-known member
Sounds like you're able to pump a lot of work out of that machine - I saw your volume is pretty high. I think my opinion is skewed because of how much our 1100 is down it seems like we are always behind but if we had a machine functional 95% of the time I think we'd be able to print a heck of a lot more with just one machine rather than needing two or something faster. 6 months would be really tricky for us since fall is our busiest season of the year (Oct-Dec) and the thought of relying on this 1100 and no dedicated envelope press makes my anxiety level increase!!! Xerox has basically said "What do you want to pay" for the Iridesse so we are really considering it but maybe with just the 4 color option for now. We are going to an open house on Wednesday to see it in person so hopefully that gives us more insight!
Same, you don’t realize how much downtime is affecting you until you can actually get caught up with a working machine.

Since end of March install we have put 80K+ color (mostly 19x13) and 200k+ BW (mostly 8.5x11) on it, in that time one minor image quality related service call (thin lines). This was a peak period so that is above average volume for us especially BW. Some jams but nothing I couldn’t resolve (by adjusting paper settings). We have ran several thousand envelopes through it with only minor issues (again trial and error with paper settings).
 
Same, you don’t realize how much downtime is affecting you until you can actually get caught up with a working machine.

Since end of March install we have put 80K+ color (mostly 19x13) and 200k+ BW (mostly 8.5x11) on it, in that time one minor image quality related service call (thin lines). This was a peak period so that is above average volume for us especially BW. Some jams but nothing I couldn’t resolve (by adjusting paper settings). We have ran several thousand envelopes through it with only minor issues (again trial and error with paper settings).
Oh wow - do you have to open the flaps of #10's? What sizes have you attempted?
 

TJPrinter

Well-known member
My thoughts about Xerox and I’m not bashing them, just very concerned about their direction or lack of it. I have a Versant 280 and it’s the perfect machine for my needs. I’m just a small shop and don't do the volume that you’re doing.

Every vendor is having supply chain issues and these issues aren’t going to just resolve themselves in a few months. The problem with Xerox is that they had major manufacturing problems with toner back in late 2019 and early 2021 that caused a chain reaction that prematurely destroyed drums and all Versants were effected. Xerox has tried to pass this issue off as being an isolated incident that affected only a small portion of users. If you look through the threads here on Print Planet and other searches you’ll see that the issue is far from isolated. Xerox refuses to admit any problems or even attempt to put users at ease with a statement of their plan to rectify the situation. They have a rock solid contract that will protect the corporation and leave you with a potentially useless press with no recourse. The only plan that Xerox has is to call this mess a supply chain issue.

I still believe that the Versant 280 is the best choice for my business but the daily uncertainty that Xerox has created leads to unnecessary stress. It’s not like I’m trying to keep an older piece of equipment running, I’ve been dealing with this problem since about the second month of installation about a year ago. If I had the room or the volume I would never have just one press from one vendor EVER. Think very hard before signing with a company that is eager to take your hard earned money and then have little or no contact with you when a serious problem arises. Why would they refuse to credit you for supplies they couldn’t provide under contract but you were able to buy from a third party like @richseeney had to do.

I understand that you may not be looking at the Versant 4100 but if Xerox is confident that they can treat Versant users this way why would they think differently about Iridesse users.
 

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