Upgrading from the Xerox V180.

lantz_xvx

Well-known member
Hey all,

My shop is about halfway through a lease of a Xerox V180. We originally upgraded from a C75 and at that time had been entertaining an offer from Canon but decided to stay with Xerox because we knew and trusted the line of machines and the deal they gave us was good. All that said, we have reached a breaking point with Xerox. The defective drums they allowed into the pipeline caused us horrible disruptions at a really bad time (and it's not like they refund us for all the clicks and paper wasted from throwing jobs away due to quality issues caused by the drums). Their unwillingness to communicate well or take care of us has us thinking about other options. I'm not naive enough to think that another company will be a bouquet of roses but at the very least we are taking our business elsewhere.

We are now thinking about switching to a machine that can auto-duplex 300+gsm stock and also trying to get more finishing inline. We are both a commercial print shop and small press publisher that prints our own titles, so efficiency is important. There have been just too many steps for jobs that frankly aren't very high stakes and don't require these extra steps to maintain great quality. We do a fair amount of full color saddle-stitched booklets, 5x8, 8x10, and custom sizes as well. We also do a lot of business cards, postcards, invitations, etc where people want the thickest paper possible without shelling out the money for letterpress (which we also do).

What are some reasonable competitors to the Versant line of presses that people like? Canon? Ricoh? We started off with a Bizhubpro and it scarred me for life so we are probably not interested in returning to a Konica Minolta. Inline folding, bookletmaking, scoring, and trimming will be key for us so that we can get jobs done quicker and focus more attention on our publishing work, which is generally offset printed.

Thanks!

- Lantz
 

Ynot_UK

Well-known member
We started off with a Bizhubpro and it scarred me for life so we are probably not interested in returning to a Konica Minolta.
A C8000 by any chance? Things have changed a lot in the past 10 or so years, so worth giving the Accuriopress line serious consideration along with Ricoh and Canon's offerings.

Inline folding, bookletmaking, scoring, and trimming will be key for us so that we can get jobs done quicker and focus more attention on our publishing work, which is generally offset printed.
This is also the most expensive way of doing things, especially the small size books you mentioned. Both in terms of not maximising the click and the significant investment in expensive finishing modules tied to an engine, which five years later have little residual value. The very opposite is the case with well maintained, professional offline finishing equipment.
 

tngcas

Well-known member
We just got a Canon c810 and a c910 after being with Xerox versant 2100s. We still have the versant 2100s and can compare the quality directly.
We’ve been pretty impressed with the canon quality. The canon is a smidge slower but the quality tradeoff is worth not throwing away jobs or stressing over the drums drums drums.
 

SoggyWinter

Well-known member
You should look into a Ricoh 7200 or 9200. Ricoh gave me really good looking price estimates for switching from Xerox. I have not reached out to Canon yet. I'm not quoting Konica Minolta because like Xerox, they can't be bothered to maintain a robust supply chain for consumables.
 

chriscozi

Well-known member
We might be outliers but we have consistent image issues with our 7200 to the point we are researching different engines.
Within jobs the color changes to unacceptable.
Yes service has tried and tried but they say it's commercially acceptable.
Maybe we are just too quality conscious as we have an iGen5 in the same room.
 

TJPrinter

Well-known member
I have a V280 and I too am frustrated with the lack of communication from anyone at Xerox about the drum issues. What I do know is that the problem reportedly started with batches of bad toner (back in early 2021 or late 2020) that would cause arcing at the drum causing the defect. Then of course we see these spots all over from the defective drums. So initially the techs would replace the bad drums only to have the problem come back because it was being caused by the toner. Now there's a shortage of drums because Xerox failed miserably at getting the bad toner off shelves and communicating this with the techs. It's now a full blown supply issue for drums and we are all paying the price.

I did have a Canon C810 here for a few months and had to have it removed. As far as color quality and consistency, the C810 and V280 are both outstanding. If the majority of my work was done on uncoated stock and I didn't print a lot of envelopes the C810 would still be here. The C710, C810 and C910 are the same engine and box. There is nothing different about them. You pay for a license to increase the speed from 70 ppm up to 90 ppm. The increase in speed is marginal when running coated stock. 350gsm 12x18 c2s duplex will run at 15 ppm on the V280 but only at 10 ppm on the C810 and not much better on the C910. Envelope printing on the V280 is a breeze, fill trays 6 & 7 and it will run continuously without any delays. Canon did okay on envelopes after the techs were here placing tape in various places to keep it from jamming but there was no quick auto switching between trays, always a delay. Front to back registration on coated stock is better on the V280. The C810 was in par with my old V80 for front to back registration. Simplex was excellent on the C810, same as the V280.

I would love to have both the C810 and V280 here at the same time but there's that cost and space issue. I liked the ability that the Canon line has to increase gloss level but that also slows the engine down more. Some customers like to see more gloss, I don't but it's what some customers like and Canon could do this, Xerox cannot.

Knowing what I do today about the Xerox supply issues for drums, I would not sign a lease and service contract that didn't address the issue and give me an out. I would also tell Xerox when they deliver the new V280 to make sure I have a years supply of drums on the shelf. But then who knows, maybe it will be Canon that has issues next.

Best of luck on your upgrade!
 

dzahnke

Member
Hey all,

My shop is about halfway through a lease of a Xerox V180. We originally upgraded from a C75 and at that time had been entertaining an offer from Canon but decided to stay with Xerox because we knew and trusted the line of machines and the deal they gave us was good. All that said, we have reached a breaking point with Xerox. The defective drums they allowed into the pipeline caused us horrible disruptions at a really bad time (and it's not like they refund us for all the clicks and paper wasted from throwing jobs away due to quality issues caused by the drums). Their unwillingness to communicate well or take care of us has us thinking about other options. I'm not naive enough to think that another company will be a bouquet of roses but at the very least we are taking our business elsewhere.

We are now thinking about switching to a machine that can auto-duplex 300+gsm stock and also trying to get more finishing inline. We are both a commercial print shop and small press publisher that prints our own titles, so efficiency is important. There have been just too many steps for jobs that frankly aren't very high stakes and don't require these extra steps to maintain great quality. We do a fair amount of full color saddle-stitched booklets, 5x8, 8x10, and custom sizes as well. We also do a lot of business cards, postcards, invitations, etc where people want the thickest paper possible without shelling out the money for letterpress (which we also do).

What are some reasonable competitors to the Versant line of presses that people like? Canon? Ricoh? We started off with a Bizhubpro and it scarred me for life so we are probably not interested in returning to a Konica Minolta. Inline folding, bookletmaking, scoring, and trimming will be key for us so that we can get jobs done quicker and focus more attention on our publishing work, which is generally offset printed.

Thanks!

- Lantz
Hi Lanz!
I feel your pain with regards to the V180 drum situation. The drum situation while frustrating, I understand how it snowballed and I know Xerox will work it out and get back on track. That said I would not let a current situation caused by current supply problems deter you from riding it out. I have worked with a lot of machines out there at every level and Xerox has always been my go to. I would not touch a Ricoh as I had NOTHING but problems with the machine, their service and sales. Not to mention the uptime was always an issue. Konica is just not there for my likings. Cannon on the other had are nice machines but I had a lot of issues with consistent color throughout a run, the heat it pumps out and the cycle times. The uptime just isn't there and calibrations were always painful, maybe better in the last 5 years since I touched one, but its my experience.

We currently have 3 Xerox Versants and looking into a 4th. Lets keep the drum issues aside for now as that problem will pass. Keep in mind also that the 180 is the entry level... We currently have a 180, 2100 and 3100 Versant. I will tell you from experience hands down the uptime and production level and the consistency levels are the best at least I have every dealt with. The front to back registration is a 2 minute procedure, the variety of stocks you can run is incredible. We run everything from Specialty stocks, Envelopes to 160# Cover stocks with next to NO issues. We have an inline Bookletmaker with he square bind that just cranks the booklets out and the alignment is so easy and quick. As I mentioned the 180 is entry level. Get to the 3100 or the 4100 and you will just run consistently and you uptime will blow the other machines away. Just my take on it.

My experience had been all the companies out there go though bad support, back supplies, delays and bad machines. But, consistently Xerox stands by their machines. Only now with the current structure of the company it takes time to get to the XEROX level from their resellers.

Again. Don't let a temporary bad drum situation on an entry level production machine deter you. All the companies have Skeltons in their closest. My go to is UP time, Quality and Consistency. The full with array is amazing with all of these.

DZ
 

tngcas

Well-known member
Again. Don't let a temporary bad drum situation on an entry level production machine deter you. All the companies have Skeltons in their closest. My go to is UP time, Quality and Consistency. The full with array is amazing with all of these.
I understand the concept of riding out the drum problem but we've been dealing with bad drums since June and it's now almost February. That's more than a temporary problem and the lack of drums took our print shop down completely for weeks. They've made no attempts to communicate a resolution or compensate us for nearly killing our business. If Canon hadn't been able to install a machine really quickly at our location we would have lost even more business. The goodwill factor of suddenly having our customers question whether or not we could fulfill orders on time is incredibly damaging to any print shop, not to mention the cost of now having an additional lease payment that we would not have if it weren't for Xerox. Two months later, I still only have enough drums to run one of our Versants and we have no communication on when that might not be the case. We are still obligated to pay our Versant lease regardless of whether or not Xerox is able to keep them running.

The lost trust that Xerox has to make up for is going to be insurmountable for many shops. I understand having issues but this goes way beyond mere issues.
 

Shawnd

Well-known member
We might be outliers but we have consistent image issues with our 7200 to the point we are researching different engines.
Within jobs the color changes to unacceptable.
Yes service has tried and tried but they say it's commercially acceptable.
Maybe we are just too quality conscious as we have an iGen5 in the same room.

First I have heard of this, I would push Ricoh to give you a new engine since they can not fix the issue. We have had quite the opposite experience where the color has been spot on and we love the improved registration especially on duplex jobs from our previous 7100's.

I have also been very happy to have toner on hand and not have the drum issues that other manufactures are having!
 

chriscozi

Well-known member
First I have heard of this, I would push Ricoh to give you a new engine since they can not fix the issue. We have had quite the opposite experience where the color has been spot on and we love the improved registration especially on duplex jobs from our previous 7100's.

I have also been very happy to have toner on hand and not have the drum issues that other manufactures are having!
Do you have the 5th color option?
 

Shawnd

Well-known member
I have the 7200E which allows me to install 5th color, but at this time I do not have it installed on the 7200. I have 5th color on my other 7110.
 

TJPrinter

Well-known member
Only now with the current structure of the company it takes time to get to the XEROX level from their resellers.
This seems to be what Lantz is really talking about and is concerned about for the future of Xerox. No one is giving anyone answers as to when we can get back to using our Versants the way we should. I've been dealing with the same problem since May, and still no end in sight. Xerox couldn't roll in a V2100 or V3100 to resolve the problem for him because these "entry level" V180 and V280 use the same toner, drums, 2nd btr units, feeders and finishers as the V2100 and V3100s.

I bet if you tell Xerox you'll invoke their Total Customer Satisfaction guarantee and want a replacement for your V180 they will find some drums very quickly for you.

Sorry for my rant...the Canon C910 could be a nice replacement since I remember reading that they now have a new sensing unit for color and registration.
Canon Announces Sensing Unit for imagePRESS C910
 

DYP

Well-known member
This Versant drum issue started in early 2020 or 2019. By the end of the 2nd quarter of 2020 I could not see how they could continue to operate this way and not fix the problem with the drums. Other image quality and maintenance issues made me start looking at other options. I was not impressed with KM or Ricoh. Ricoh pushed me to a third party and the sample that came back with were no better than the V3100. Since Xerox knew about all this they pushed hard to offer me a Iridesse. Given the color gamut of the Iridesse and the ability to get the Fiery with FS400 I went the Iridesse route. What a difference in image quality, and drums can last half a million clicks, except for some reason the drum in black doesn't last a long. We are now seeing some toner supply issues with the Iridesse but so far I have not been totally out. The supply cabinet is well stocked with parts and I have not seem any parts supply issues so far.

My advice for all you guys stuck with the Versants would be to really very hard push Xerox to offer you the Iridesse as a replacement based on the fact that they have been unwilling to fix the Versants problems.
 

Stickman42

Well-known member
I bet if you tell Xerox you'll invoke their Total Customer Satisfaction guarantee and want a replacement for your V180 they will find some drums very quickly for you.
This is an interesting idea. I've got a Versant 80 with no drums and a 3 week old Iridesse with no toner. My V80 contract has the Total Customer Satisfaction guarantee wording, but it's not in the Iridesse contract. Maybe I'll give it a try. Anything more than the usual no response from my sales rep would be incredible.
 

kslight

Well-known member
It’s probably down to your local service feelings - everyone has their favorites, I’ve been let down by Xerox and KM, I have a Ricoh on the way, we will see how that goes. Grass is always greener….

IMHO, inline finishing is not usually the way to go in a commercial print shop (it might be a decent solution for a church / school / hospital). My experience is often the inline finishing is the weakest part of the machine: inconsistent quality, slow, frustrating limitations, unreliable / prone to jamming, and the technicians never have enough training. It goes without saying that it also can easily be a more expensive path. We decided to buy our new machine with minimal finishing (the inline finishing on our KM is horrendous), and opted to add a small offline booklet maker (duplo dbm 150) to our workflow. We also have a dc 646 and of course the usual suspects of guillotine cutter, drill press, folder, etc…
 

kdw75

Well-known member
The only thing I don't like about the Ricoh 7200 series is the speed. Everything else is pretty good and we have never had bad supplies or trouble getting them.
 

Shawnd

Well-known member
The only thing I don't like about the Ricoh 7200 series is the speed. Everything else is pretty good and we have never had bad supplies or trouble getting them.
My tech is starting to have issues getting rebuild parts for my TCRU parts, I have quite the parts stockpile sitting waiting for a rebuild. I have parts coming up to 98% that will need to be swapped out soon with no parts to swap back in.
 

kdw75

Well-known member
We had all of our rebuilt last week and are in good shape except both machines needed a PTU replaced today. The tech said both were out of stock.
 

lantz_xvx

Well-known member
Hey folks, thanks for all your responses. I didn't get any notifications and came here looking for something else, so I just now noticed them.

I totally hear what folks are saying, re: the temporary drum situation. I actually have not been having that issue lately so my sense is that it's clearing up. My issue is not really the drums per se, because you can always hit a bad batch. That's just life. It's their communication. They offer no solutions to get their shops up and running. If we can't print we don't make money. In fact, we lose money. I don't need to tell anyone here that, but Xerox doesn't seem to care. Maybe if we were a much bigger shop with multiple machines, they would find a way. We're small fish. I know that in some ways their hands are tied but I just want them to communicate and take it seriously. Can they borrow a drum from another shop nearby to get us running? Is there another provider the next state or two over that they can get some from? etc. Maybe they think of all that, but they don't say it! So how am I to know?

With regard to the inline finishing, I hear that too. You're absolutely right that it is more expensive and it is tied to an engine. My thing is that we are very small and do a lot of different jobs, which we have to do in order to survive. Right now when a half-size booklet comes in, we print the covers 2up and then they get scored on a Heidelberg Windmill, meanwhile we print the interiors 2up and slipsheet them. Then we hand-collate the covers in and bring the books to an offline Plockmatic bookletmaker which has its own quirks and issues. If it's running well, a run of 500-1,000 booklets is no big thing. It trims inline as well. But for 100-200 booklets, the job has involved four machines and two people, taking several days. Wouldn't it make more sense from a labor perspective (and we are worker-owned, so this is not an "employee" situation I'm talking about, this is our own time and labor) to proof the job, and then have a finished booklet come out of the delivery? Then our time is freed up for other things. This is especially compelling in a pandemic when life gets disrupted and we are having to work fewer days and put out other supply chain fires, etc.

I would love to hear anyone's thoughts on how they make things more efficient at a small shop. Just seems like a lot of our time gets sucked up and we could manage it better.

I'll look into the machines that people have noted. I do like the V180. Maybe I can find a different service provider than the one we use, although I think they might be the only one in our geographic area.

- Lantz
 

AP90

Well-known member
The V180 has some very capable finishing available for it that are Xerox "branded". We have a 3100 with the inline 2 sided trimming and square folding and ill tell you we love it. The 2 sided trimmer isn't great on heavy cover with heavy coverage at the trim lines. Tends to chew more than trimming. But self cover is never a problem. Ill tell you we have the space for an offline booklet maker and we don't have a big urge to get one. If we have a half size book we do it 1 of 2 ways. If its b&w we just print it 1 up and finish inline. If its color we print it 2 up then cut in half and "reprint" and use the machine as a booklet maker. Basically it will cost you $.01/sheet to do this. Generally doesn't add up to a whole lot and you save a fortune and can be competitive with your pricing. Generally works flawless for us. But its nice on full size booklets to just grab them directly from the tray and box them. We'll routinely get 90+ page booklets with runs of 100-250 and knock them out easily by just letting the printer do its thing and keeping it fed with paper and emptying discard trays for the trimmers.
 

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