Roland vs Mimaki

jwheeler

Well-known member
Specifically looking for anyone who either currently has both brands, or had one and switched to the other. These are the 2 we've narrowed down to for Eco-solvent and we're looking for feedback. They are both similarly priced, produce a good image, and software seems similar enough. Just wondering if you've found one has worked out better than the other, and why. Thanks in advance!
 

Correct Color

Well-known member
If I might ask...

Why these two? What exactly are you going to be doing with them, and do you have any previous large format experience?

I don't own one of either machine, but I've seen and worked with and set-up and profiled plenty of both of them; just about every model and size and inkset as well.

And I can tell you that if I were to be buying an Eco-Solvent machine, I wouldn't be considering either.


Mike Adams
Correct Color
 

jwheeler

Well-known member
If I might ask...

Why these two? What exactly are you going to be doing with them, and do you have any previous large format experience?

I don't own one of either machine, but I've seen and worked with and set-up and profiled plenty of both of them; just about every model and size and inkset as well.

And I can tell you that if I were to be buying an Eco-Solvent machine, I wouldn't be considering either.


Mike Adams
Correct Color
Hi Mike,

Thanks for jumping in here. I've seen your advice on other WF posts, so I appreciate your input.

Yes, I do have quite a bit of wide format experience. I used to work at LAX airport and made all of the construction related signs, barricade wraps, stanchion signs, and some of the way finding signs in the terminals, etc. We had an eco-solvent Roland with built-in cutter and it was an awesome unit. We made a large volume of signs each month without issue, so a Roland is what I'm leaning towards. I now work at a government inplant and we have an HP DesignJet Z series which is only good for indoor signs. We produce quite a bit on it and it's been a good unit. However, we are getting more requests for outdoor signs and banners. We would also like to produce short runs of contour cut labels. Additionally, we have heat presses for doing garment printing with die-sub. Since that only works on light colored fabrics, we like that we can do heat transfers to dark fabrics using eco-solvent prints as shown in this video. The Mimaki is in the running because it's the only other brand on the market that has the built-in cutter. We don't have a ton of extra space, so we'd prefer to keep it all in one unit, rather than getting an off-line cutter, and we don't think we'll be laminating contour-cut jobs. We are not super critical on color, and we don't have to hit pantone colors.
 

Correct Color

Well-known member
Hi Mike,

Thanks for jumping in here. I've seen your advice on other WF posts, so I appreciate your input.

Yes, I do have quite a bit of wide format experience. I used to work at LAX airport and made all of the construction related signs, barricade wraps, stanchion signs, and some of the way finding signs in the terminals, etc. We had an eco-solvent Roland with built-in cutter and it was an awesome unit. We made a large volume of signs each month without issue, so a Roland is what I'm leaning towards. I now work at a government inplant and we have an HP DesignJet Z series which is only good for indoor signs. We produce quite a bit on it and it's been a good unit. However, we are getting more requests for outdoor signs and banners. We would also like to produce short runs of contour cut labels. Additionally, we have heat presses for doing garment printing with die-sub. Since that only works on light colored fabrics, we like that we can do heat transfers to dark fabrics using eco-solvent prints as shown in this video. The Mimaki is in the running because it's the only other brand on the market that has the built-in cutter. We don't have a ton of extra space, so we'd prefer to keep it all in one unit, rather than getting an off-line cutter, and we don't think we'll be laminating contour-cut jobs. We are not super critical on color, and we don't have to hit pantone colors.
Man, that's well thought out.

Get the Roland.

For Versaworks. You asked about the two RIP softwares, and between Versaworks and Rasterlink there just isn't a comparison.

Of course they're both give-away RIP's, so they're not real robust, but Versaworks is surprisingly well designed and user-friendly. So user-friendly in fact that a lot of people who start on Rolands hate the transition to any of the name-brand RIP's at some point later on. Rasterlink, on the other hand, feels about twenty years old.



Mike
 

jwheeler

Well-known member
Man, that's well thought out.

Get the Roland.

For Versaworks. You asked about the two RIP softwares, and between Versaworks and Rasterlink there just isn't a comparison.

Of course they're both give-away RIP's, so they're not real robust, but Versaworks is surprisingly well designed and user-friendly. So user-friendly in fact that a lot of people who start on Rolands hate the transition to any of the name-brand RIP's at some point later on. Rasterlink, on the other hand, feels about twenty years old.



Mike
Thanks Mike!
 

jwheeler

Well-known member
@Correct Color , we met with a Roland rep today and found out some good news. Their units can re-register a print after it's been laminated and run as a cut-only job. This was great news in case we ever did have the need to laminate before cutting!
 

Correct Color

Well-known member
Understood. Actually, I'd always assumed they could do that. Still, in most cases -- there are exceptions to every rule -- I just don't think print and cut pays off.


Mike
 
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Nightdesign

New member
I have both Roland VS-640 and Mimaki CJV 150-160

But after the testing the Mimaki its better,

if you have specific question let me now
 

Bly

Member
I've had Rolands. We now have an Epson 60600 with a separate Summa cutter and would recommend this setup.
 

jwheeler

Well-known member
Thanks for the feedback @Bly . I suppose I should update this post that we ended up going with a Roland VG2-640 and a Royal Sovereign laminator. A few reasons we chose the Roland over the Mimaki:
  1. We are an inplant at a county jail with inmates as employees, so simplicity and safety are a big priority. The Mimaki didn't have a front cover, so theoretically someone could stick their hand in as the print head was working. The loading and unloading of the rolls also seemed easier.
  2. Another department within our county purchased a Mimaki a while back and they said the inks expire rather quickly and the machine won't let you use them past expiration. The main issue was that the Mimaki dealer in this area delivers them halfway into their shelf life because they've been sitting in their warehouse. Roland inks have a much longer shelf life in general. At this point, we don't have massive volume, so we didn't want to be throwing away inks if we didn't use them up quick enough.
  3. The Roland Versaworks software seemed more intuitive during the demos.
 

synjosh

Member
Thanks for the feedback @Bly . I suppose I should update this post that we ended up going with a Roland VG2-640 and a Royal Sovereign laminator. A few reasons we chose the Roland over the Mimaki:
  1. We are an inplant at a county jail with inmates as employees, so simplicity and safety are a big priority. The Mimaki didn't have a front cover, so theoretically someone could stick their hand in as the print head was working. The loading and unloading of the rolls also seemed easier.
  2. Another department within our county purchased a Mimaki a while back and they said the inks expire rather quickly and the machine won't let you use them past expiration. The main issue was that the Mimaki dealer in this area delivers them halfway into their shelf life because they've been sitting in their warehouse. Roland inks have a much longer shelf life in general. At this point, we don't have massive volume, so we didn't want to be throwing away inks if we didn't use them up quick enough.
  3. The Roland Versaworks software seemed more intuitive during the demos.
Cost of running a Roland vs Mimaki? A case of inks where Mimaki introduced Bulk CISS that holds 2 Litre and 1 Litre of inks and Rolands 440ml. Does this make Mimaki Cheaper to run?
 

jwheeler

Well-known member
The supposed cost per sq ft was similar enough between the two. However, the operation cost goes up significantly on the Mimaki if you have to throw away a partially used ink bottle.
 

synjosh

Member
@jwheeler. In our country, the cost of 1 cartridge (440ml) of Roland is USD141.45. For Mimaki ink in a bottle of 1L (1000ml) is USD 180.02. This to me seem cheaper.
On the other hand, you're right about the expiry. Throwing away partially used ink is a loss. You have to make sure you can get work to finish 1Ltr before expiry.
 

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