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

AP90

Well-known member
So we have had a Versant 3100 since it was put into the field with the upgraded finishing from Xerox. We replaced a 1000i with it. We have loved the machine since we got it. Which If I remember correctly We got it in December of 2017 and have about 7 million clicks on it currently. It has chugged along. But I'm going to say that I attribute us loving the machine mainly because we have some great techs in our area and our sales rep bends over backwards for his production accounts. We haven't actually ran out of supplies during this supply chain fiasco, but we have been close. Each time the sales rep has came through big and got us what we needed. One time I called him and said listen, im going to have to turn down a $4,000 job if I don't have toner for this. He got on the phone and had it coming in from all over. And I know he's done it for other shops because we have lent out spare toner if we have had it for him.

We actually had our biggest down time a few weeks ago. Down for about 4-5 business days because they cannot find a part anywhere to replace some rollers in our de-curling unit. After that amount of time one of the techs came up here and was like "im spending as much time as I need here today to get this thing going". Sure enough after a few trips to the hardware store and his parts van he got us up and going. Its still running on his MacGyver fix. Hopefully that part arrives soon lol.

Im not so sure any of the printers out there really blow any other companies out of the water except maybe an Indigo or Landa's. But lets face it, most of us aren't ever going to even consider one of those. The best machine you can run is one that is actually going to be running. Customers aren't going to care too much about prints being more glossy or matte unless your doing high end marketing work. They're going to care if you can't deliver their products on time though. So find out which company has some techs in your area that I have like mine and go with that company. Your techs are the most crucial and important aspect of your business relationship with your vendor. Second would be the sales rep.
 

bcr

Well-known member
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!
so the 1070 has high click charges but works reliably and you depend on it when the others frequently break down. you want to replace that and keep the machines which keep breaking down?

doesn't it make more sense to replace the unreliable equipment, and then once you're all sorted and settled, then look to replace the reliable but expensive machine?

I'm not understanding the priority here.
 

PrintingGirl1013

Active member
so the 1070 has high click charges but works reliably and you depend on it when the others frequently break down. you want to replace that and keep the machines which keep breaking down?

doesn't it make more sense to replace the unreliable equipment, and then once you're all sorted and settled, then look to replace the reliable but expensive machine?

I'm not understanding the priority here.
I totally understand your point. The issues with the 1070 unfortunately are the high click, but also its much slower, has a crappy saddle stitch unit, and can't run anything thicker than 80lb cover duplexed so it does serve a purpose in emergencies, but also isn't the best substitute. I do understand what you mean though, reliability is what's most needed for us at this moment. The 1100 coded out this morning at about 10am and the 1070 is running for about 30 minutes at a time and then needs to be turned off and restarted after 30 mins (needs a motherboard on back order)... happy Monday!!!!!!!!!!
 

jwheeler

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.
We were running into this same issue with the Oki C942 envelope press we purchased. We mostly got the white toner feature in case the opportunity to use it came up and it wasn't much more than the 4C unit, but we noticed the level was going down even though we never used white. Luckily, the Oki also has a setting to turn white off in case anyone else here has the same issue.
 

halmac

Well-known member
If you decide to go with a B/W machine, I would highly recommend the Canon Varioprint DP 140. The toner is beautiful, just like offset. I did a quality test with all the major printers and nothing came close to the Canon DP 140.
The only drawback is if you use friction-fed finishing equipment. The toner can smudge if it is rubbed with great pressure.
 

gregbatch

Well-known member
I will have to finish a B/W job I'm currently running on my D125 on our Konica color machine because Xerox won't ship me more toner. I've presented my job requirements based on THEIR toner count of 65k impressions several times. I'll probably be 5k to 8k short on toner. Now I need to replace the waste toner container, which has been delayed, so I don't have one. Have to dump in a trash bag. After a long relationship with Xerox, I'm done.
 

kdw75

Well-known member
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!
What part of the country are you in?
 

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