Thinking of investing in some equipment and looking for some feedback...


Hi everyone, I have a small little company based in Rwanda.

We started three years ago with a Kyocera 4550ci and more recently added a Konica Minolta 224e (after the Kyocera's cyan developer unit died, with a replacement cost of around $1,000 and a delivery timeframe of "6-8 weeks"; previously, when the transfer belt went out it cost over $800 and took 14 weeks to get the replacement - we didn't replace the cyan developer unit but we still use the Kyocera for black and white printing).

We also have:
A small manual perfect binding machine (used in book production)
A Ricoh Priport 2432c (for printing receipt books on carbon paper)
An Epson R3000 with Cone refillable cartridges (used mostly for printing ID cards on a three ply laminated semi-PVC material)
A 24" Silver Bullet digital cutter (we do some minimal sticker plotting and occasional custom cut wedding invitations - I thought this would be a more successful addition than it is)
A triumph 4305 manual guillotine paper cutter (the blade recently cracked in two and we're still waiting for a replacement - wish I would've doubled up in the first place)
And some assorted odds and ends... laminators, wire/comb binders, ID punch tools...
Bascially, we are VERY small in terms of our in-house production capabilities.

There are some larger printers in the area that we outsource many jobs to (one even had an HP Indigo until it broke and they were unable to repair it and went out of business - I'm not sure what became of their assets). Most have generic large format machines from China (the partner we work with most has a Dilli flatbed machine and a couple DGI machines) and some ancient Heidelberg presses (German engineering!). There are some rumblings of some larger companies entering the market with some new high end equipment but for now...

That brings me to some questions (attn: moderator - should I be posting these somewhere else?).

We are contemplating some capital investment at this point and are seriously considering the following machines (listed in order of priority):

A Heidelberg GTO 46-1 (USED ~ $6,000)
A Challenge 305 MPC from 1988 (used ~ $8,500)
Spiel Associates Digibinder (new ~ $12,500)
A small UV Coater - likely Al's Co UV mini (used ~ $10,500; new ~$15,500)
A Lasco manual corner cutter (USED ~ $1,000) or the Kustom Corner cutter (new ~ $4,000)
A Rollem Auto 4 numbering/creasing/perforating (used ~ $5,500)
Foil X-press digital foiler with auto positioning (new ~ $8,200)

I would also like to explore getting into promotional items but haven't found the right machine yet. Very low quality pens printed with a single color start at $3.50/ea around here. USB drives start at $10/ea. It seems that if we could find a good machine for printing on a variety of promotional items this could be a very good income stream.

I would love to get some feedback from the community here!

What do you guys/gals think about the machines we're looking at; and their prices?

Are there suggested machines that you think we should look at but aren't yet? We need to buy very robust machines that won't break down often as the reliable access to replacement parts and skilled technicians is extremely limited.

Anyone have a machine they love?

Thank you so much for sharing your accumulated knowledge and experience.

Most appreciatively,


Well-known member
A Heidelberg GTO for $ 6000 is very cheap... I'm assuming it is very old (20 years or more)?
Problem could be that replacement parts are very expensive, so make sure the machine is in working order when you buy it.
Other than that they are great machines.


Well-known member
I would say that GTO's are pretty much bullet proof but if your looking and you have a choice get one with the numbering attachment then you will be able to score, perf, and number on it reducing or delaying the need to buy the Rollem.


Hi Fatboysmart,
The one that I am looking at really is pretty old. I haven't been to see it yet but will definitely do so before making any decisions.
Thanks for your input,


Hi Dabob,
That's a great idea! I knew that it was possible to do numbering on a GTO but I didn't know that a numbering attachment would allow me to score and perforate as well. I'll definitely look into finding a machine with the numbering attachment.
Thanks for sharing,


Well-known member
Any GTO should let you score but the numbering is an integral part of the machine . . . its either there or not

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