Novice - buying a versant 80

Dan2122

Active member
Hi. New member here. Based in the uk.

I currently run a graphic design team and we’re thinking about buying a used versant 80 with a plockmatic book maker to make booklets.

im quite handy with computers and we currently do our large format print in house. Is running the versant pretty straight forward after some training / print profiles set up?

anything I should watch out for with these machines?
Does anyone recommend any xerox technicians in the north of the uk?

I’m sure I’ll have a million questions, and I’ll do a lot of swearing while trying to get it all right! But I’m quite excited about our potential new machine.
 

Ynot_UK

Well-known member
Hi Dan, welcome.
At this juncture I’ll give you just one piece of advice.
Don’t buy any digital press and then look for support retrospectively. Let your chosen dealer source you a refurbished machine, on a ‘cost per click’ contract. Whether it’s Xerox, KM, Ricoh or Canon doesn’t really matter.
This topic comes up regularly on the forum, please search out the content and read up. I can virtually guarantee if you don’t take this advice, yours will add to the list of those that end in tears.
 

Dan2122

Active member
Thanks for the heads up. The thought was to buy a refurbished machine and buy toner/parts as needed. Just doing our own prints - 30,000 a month or so.

was thinking we could keep away from a contract and just buy out right.

I’ll read through the forum. Thanks for the reply.
 

Ynot_UK

Well-known member
Buy the machine outright, as opposed to leasing, if that works for you (we have always done that)
But a CPC contract with response times that work for your business, are essential.
One other thing, I guess if you’re currently doing just large format, you may have a rotary trimmer but not a guillotine (stack cutter). You will likely need one, as clicks are typically charged the same for all sizes up to SRA3.
If for example, you’re printing A5 leaflets, you’ll want to print them 4-up on A3 (or SRA3 if full bleed or coated) then trim on the guillotine.
 
  • Like
Reactions: bcr

Dan2122

Active member
Thanks why not. Stupid question here… clicks = cost of toner and service right? Seams daft to pay clicks on a used machine?

Suppose this is the big difference between consumer and commercial print.
 

Ynot_UK

Well-known member
With a CPC contract, you know exactly what your costs per copy are, as all consumables and service is included.

Without a CPC contract, you’ll be looking to source cheap toners which may not be genuine OEM product, often drill & fills, you’ll not want to replace parts when they ought to be, compromising quality and resulting in wastage and downtime. Then you’ll hit a big problem that needs expertise, which is very expensive if not on a CPC contract and you’ll end up hating the press as it will have become an expensive boat anchor.

CPC will save you money and make you more money.
 

tngcas

Well-known member
Thanks for the heads up. The thought was to buy a refurbished machine and buy toner/parts as needed. Just doing our own prints - 30,000 a month or so.

was thinking we could keep away from a contract and just buy out right.

I’ll read through the forum. Thanks for the reply.
No.... no no no.

Definitely avoid a lease if you can but get a service contract if you can and make sure whatever machine you buy is pre-approved for a service contract before you buy it.

The parts are a fortune and require replacement regularly. Drums alone are expensive and require replacing often. When you get a bad drum you still spent $$$ on it and have to respend that money for a good drum.

Having a CPC contract means they stock all the parts you might need and have trained people who will repair/fix it for you.
If you're trying to do it on your own then every time something goes wrong you have to try to figure out what is wrong, buy the part, wait for it to come in, figure out how to fix it and then... when you guessed wrong, try the next thing. With a CPC your assigned repair tech does all that for you (and pays for when they guess wrong) and you don't have any surprise bills about it. You just have the knowledge/guarantee that your prints will cost a specific amount.

If you are determined to repair on your own, there are machines (not Xerox or Canon) that are much easier for you to repair on your own (according to people that know, aka not me). There's youtube channels that you can follow to figure out which machines are easier to do maintenance yourself on but it's still a hurdle and not going to work for any sort of reliable workload.
 

chrisio

Member
Hi dan.

I am based in the UK and I bought my v80 from Printer & Photocopier Leasing | Document Solutions | Managed Print Services and they were excellent. I run my machine without cpc and do most of my repairs myself with the help of a very good tech in London (I am based in Penrith) I have always ran scared of of cpc however looking back if my machine was eligible for it I would / should have taken a cpc. It just makes things easier and as already said it's makes budgeting so much easier also it makes you less likely to put up with niggling problems that you otherwise work round.

Cheers chris
 

pippip

Well-known member
Not sure of your intended job dimensions but be aware a UK based V80 will normally only do up to 488mm in length. V80s in other regions could do banner length 600mm+. So if landscape A4 booklets or 6 page portrait A4s are needed you'll need a banner machine.

The next model V180 would do banners.
 

Ynot_UK

Well-known member
Thanks for the feedback guys. Does anyone recommend a used sales company in the uk?
Our two KM production machines and an office MFP (KM C4080 colour press, KM Pro951 B/W and KM C454e MFP) were supplied and are maintained on CPC by IBS, whom we highly recommend.
If you PM me your details, I'll pass them on for you. In fact, they're onsite tomorrow making our C4080 a few feet longer!

Our Pro951 is the best example of how things should work for you, as we bought this B/W production printer as a refurb from IBS.
The really important bit - IBS sourced the machine for us (it took about 6 weeks for them to find us a low mileage, cosmetically clean machine they were happy to take on and put on CPC), then they had it in the workshop for a week or so, replacing many parts and bringing it up to spec. Finally they delivered and installed it in our print room. The machine has been great. At six years old, it only had 1.1m on the counter when we took it on in September last year, now it's around 1.75m.

Could we have found a cheaper Pro951 ourselves on the internet? Yes.
Would it have closer to 5m on the counter instead of 1m? Most likely.
Would we have found a dealer to put it on a competitive CPC rate, without spending thousands on it first? Absolutely not.
Would/could we maintain it ourselves? Hell No!
This is why I can't emphasise enough why you must buy the machine from the dealer supplying the CPC contract.
It will be the best money you spend. No dealer will sell you a rogue refurb on CPC, as it will be a thorn in their side for the next five years.
HTH
 

Dan2122

Active member
Thanks for info guys. The main bulk of the work with be edge to edge printed a4 books. We currently outsource all of our book printing, and we’re keen to bring partially in-house for the smaller runs. I’ll do some maths.

my initial thought was to find a local technician and just fix parts as they fail and source toner online as needed. As the prices seam really reasonable.

But I guess it’s all the other parts that end up costing the money. We’re not going to be printing all day everyday, so if it was to be offline for a day or two while we waited for support/parts.

is the running of the machine pretty straight forward after a bit of training?
Thanks again everyone.
 

Ynot_UK

Well-known member
It's not just toners - there's drums, dev, BTR, etc
Some of the consumables run into hundreds of pounds each, that's before labour.
Without CPC, the one-off invoices you'd quickly start to notch up would run into the thousands. That buys a lot of clicks!
is the running of the machine pretty straight forward after a bit of training?
The running of any modern digital press is straightforward. Fault finding, fixing and maintenance is absolutely not.
Nor is the availability to source some uncommon parts, as they are not made available outside the OEM and approved dealer channels.
Take KM for example - a dealer that supplies and supports only MFPs may not be supplied parts for Production presses.

There's lots of people that have learned this the hard way.
There's also a VERY small handful (such as 'JustaPrinter' Dan) who can make the DIY thing work. BUT Dan's an outstanding mechanical & electronic engineer in his own right AND has four similar machines in his shop to give redundancy and direct comparison/parts swap-out opportunity)

Some people make tight rope walking and fire eating look easy & fun. If you or I tried either, I think we know what the outcome would be.
 

chrisio

Member
You really need to check out the price of actual parts and not just drums and toners. You can bet your life on it that when you need a 2nd btr there will be non cheap on ebay and it's £500 for the part plus the fitting. Dev units are £300 plus the dev powder. The same goes for toner and drums as it happens. I am constantly trawling ebay for toner and drums and will buy them up as they are available.

Since January this year I have spent £2k on service not including toners or drums. I wonder what it would be if I were on a cpc with it but that boat has sailed now and I make the best of it.

As an example one of my regular print jobs is 500 a4 documents which is dead easy however it's about 95% pure black on both sides and this document absolutely destroys toner IF I were on a cpc it would be the same cost regardless however because I am not it costs me a pigging fortune in toner that all has to be priced into the job and the only reason I keep the job is because I will turn them round fast.

Get a Cpc!
 

Dan2122

Active member
Ok going to look at cpc! See what the costs come in at. 99% of the work will be printing sra3 sheets double sided. Less than 5% coverage. So the clicks will be the highest part of the cost I guess.
 

Dan2122

Active member
so we tend to print 64 page books. 80gsm paper i work out to be 22p ish per book. But the the click each print working on an average 2.5p per click works out at… 80p.

so over £1.00 to print a book?
We currently outsource this work and get the books in for around that price…. Seams like there is no benefit to bring it in house… unless I’m being thick and missing something….
 

Canon Research

Canon
Navigating the New Customer Landscape
Enhancing the Print Customer Connection (Part 3)

Read All About It

   
Top