Upgrading from the Xerox V180.

joshlindsay

Well-known member
We have the inline booklet maker on the Iridesse for full bleed booklets. For the additional that we pay for it I would have rather put that money towards a new (reliable) little booklet maker where your top/bottom trims are on guillotine.

The biggest reason is the slitting wheels cracking the toner on heavier covers. We end up trimming offline which takes ages.
As mentioned above a self cover on 150gsm or so is good enough.

In saying that being able to run a thousand 8pp A4 booklets unattended is pretty cool.
As is square spine. That has been a big bit with our customers.

What I would probably do if I was in your situation is get a offline creaser and take those jobs off the platen. Then short run books are easy offline as well as every other creasing job. We have a multigraf creaser and it's a champ. Runs really fast.
 

kslight

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
I came from a Xerox shop with 6 machines, Xerox didn’t care about us either, not sure what the sweet spot is to get on their radar…my employer had the attitude that we should have tons of (worn out) equipment for “redundancy” while Xerox service had the attitude of “we don’t have to fix this machine today because your other machine is working.”

I am now with a small print dept…only have the KM6085 and inline slitter / creaser / booklet maker, and a handful of usual essentials. The inline slitter - great idea, would love to be able to have fully finished books come off the machine productively. However the quality of the slits is unacceptable, and service has been unable to correct it. It also is prone to jamming. And it has a cool feature where when the slitter malfunctions your entire printer is useless, it will slit pages unintentionally. It also will not handle mixed sized sheets for the same reason (the slitter has a homing position it constantly has to move to). We have to trim offline.

The creaser is inadequate, limited, and usually creates skewed books. We also have a Duplo 646 so we crease on that instead.

The inline booklet maker itself…is finicky, imprecise and creates an overly complicated paper path, and is limited in the amount of sheets it can handle…so while I do use the booklet maker for a few jobs, it is rare. Until we got our offline booklet maker a few months ago, most books had to be produced completely by hand and with a floor stitcher….

over the course of almost 5 years with the printer, they (I have only been here two years) have certainly not gotten good value out of the inline finishers because of the quality, reliability, and limitations…probably under 10000 booklets through that machine all for a sickingly huge added cost of that equipment (and all of that money flushed down the toilet as it gets replaced with the printer). The KM sales reps couldn’t believe me when I told them I wanted a simple offline booklet maker and not some giant expensive quirky thing attached to the printer….they assured me all the issues were worked out (I asked the technicians…they had a different story).

At the Xerox shop I was at previously, we had some inline booklet makers and stuff also…and it was much the same…if you could find the perfect cheesy little job for the device it would work well enough…not perfect, but when the thing had problems nobody could fix it and it was not quite good enough for many jobs where the quality mattered.

Obviously, you know your shop’s needs and can balance whether certain inline devices make sense, but that’s my own experience. For what we do the offline booklet maker is great, I’m rarely doing more than a few hundred at a time, it’s easy enough for me to print and trim and throw books through the machine. It’s a lot better than doing them on the floor stitcher…and having only one printer, I don’t want to tie it up all day for booklets, etc.
 
Last edited:

lantz_xvx

Well-known member
Thanks for your insight, this is actually really helpful and enough to make me pause and reconsider. Perhaps what we should do is just get a faster machine that will auto-duplex 300gsm+ stock and run envelopes well. I have just started running envelopes on our V180 but only through the bypass tray as that was recommended by a rep. Has anyone had different experiences through maybe the high capacity tray? Looking for mostly #10 envelopes but the occasional A7 or A2 is also helpful.

Maybe we should just bring another person in to help with production instead of spending that money leasing a machine that has so many quirks. Lots to think about. Appreciate it!

- Lantz


I came from a Xerox shop with 6 machines, Xerox didn’t care about us either, not sure what the sweet spot is to get on their radar…my employer had the attitude that we should have tons of (worn out) equipment for “redundancy” while Xerox service had the attitude of “we don’t have to fix this machine today because your other machine is working.”

I am now with a small print dept…only have the KM6085 and inline slitter / creaser / booklet maker, and a handful of usual essentials. The inline slitter - great idea, would love to be able to have fully finished books come off the machine productively. However the quality of the slits is unacceptable, and service has been unable to correct it. It also is prone to jamming. And it has a cool feature where when the slitter malfunctions your entire printer is useless, it will slit pages unintentionally. It also will not handle mixed sized sheets for the same reason (the slitter has a homing position it constantly has to move to). We have to trim offline.

The creaser is inadequate, limited, and usually creates skewed books. We also have a Duplo 646 so we crease on that instead.

The inline booklet maker itself…is finicky, imprecise and creates an overly complicated paper path, and is limited in the amount of sheets it can handle…so while I do use the booklet maker for a few jobs, it is rare. Until we got our offline booklet maker a few months ago, most books had to be produced completely by hand and with a floor stitcher….

over the course of almost 5 years with the printer, they (I have only been here two years) have certainly not gotten good value out of the inline finishers because of the quality, reliability, and limitations…probably under 10000 booklets through that machine all for a sickingly huge added cost of that equipment (and all of that money flushed down the toilet as it gets replaced with the printer). The KM sales reps couldn’t believe me when I told them I wanted a simple offline booklet maker and not some giant expensive quirky thing attached to the printer….they assured me all the issues were worked out (I asked the technicians…they had a different story).

At the Xerox shop I was at previously, we had some inline booklet makers and stuff also…and it was much the same…if you could find the perfect cheesy little job for the device it would work well enough…not perfect, but when the thing had problems nobody could fix it and it was not quite good enough for many jobs where the quality mattered.

Obviously, you know your shop’s needs and can balance whether certain inline devices make sense, but that’s my own experience. For what we do the offline booklet maker is great, I’m rarely doing more than a few hundred at a time, it’s easy enough for me to print and trim and throw books through the machine. It’s a lot better than doing them on the floor stitcher…and having only one printer, I don’t want to tie it up all day for booklets, etc.
 

TJPrinter

Well-known member
I have just started running envelopes on our V180 but only through the bypass tray as that was recommended by a rep. Has anyone had different experiences through maybe the high capacity tray? Looking for mostly #10 envelopes but the occasional A7 or A2 is also helpful.
Don't run the #10's from the bypass use your high capacity drawer(s). You must use the envelope/card bracket that came with the V180. If you haven't used it, it's stored in the left hand side, lower side of drawer 6 or 7. Using the bracket will allow you to run envelopes continuously from trays 6 and 7. I load both draws up with #10 envelopes and just watch for a tray light to go off and then refill while it's pulling from the other drawer. Make sure you use "auto tray select" for the paper source.

A7 envelopes can be hit or miss with flaps closed but I've had a few brands that ran fine with flaps closed. Sometime I do run them with flaps open. The A2 will always be flap open (flap last) and from bypass.

This is a great press for running envelopes once you get the feeling for how many you can load at once in each tray. I no longer use my inkjet machine for addressing envelopes, I just print and VDP the addresses at the same time.
 

kslight

Well-known member
Thanks for your insight, this is actually really helpful and enough to make me pause and reconsider. Perhaps what we should do is just get a faster machine that will auto-duplex 300gsm+ stock and run envelopes well. I have just started running envelopes on our V180 but only through the bypass tray as that was recommended by a rep. Has anyone had different experiences through maybe the high capacity tray? Looking for mostly #10 envelopes but the occasional A7 or A2 is also helpful.

Maybe we should just bring another person in to help with production instead of spending that money leasing a machine that has so many quirks. Lots to think about. Appreciate it!

- Lantz
Everyone has different needs, I think it’s worth doing the calculations and really scrutinize the quality / capabilities on your own.

My Xerox shop had J75s…envelopes were not supported. However, being the resourceful individual I am…I made a series of chipboard shims for different sizes and I would feed through the bypass…open or closed flap…whatever would work. Not very productive but we weren’t an envelope shop…we would run a few hundred at a time, bigger runs are more cost effective elsewhere (click charges).

We have the envelope fuser on our KM6085. It works okay, it is quirky, and you can feed common size envelopes through the high capacity trays…however still only really no more than 50 at a time is most reliable. It is a pain because to switch over and takes about 30 minutes to reset the whole printer and fiery and fuser…all for smoke and mirrors (the machine has no problems printing on envelopes with the standard fuser in low quantities…the primary problem with this is it will create wear lines). This is also a costly accessory, and IMHO I would rather have a spare fuser on the shelf than a fuser I can only use for envelopes. And the same scenario applies, the click charge and operator intensity (you have to babysit the input and output constantly) means that it’s not attractive to use for long runs. The 6085 has a convoluted paper path so envelopes aren’t really ideal for it.

If you want to print more than 1000 envelopes at a time, IMHO you’re better off with a dedicated envelope machine (not that expensive) or a trade printer.

However being able to duplex 300gsm is amazing, I’m surprised your versant doesn’t support that since to my knowledge all of the competitors do…but I have been out of touch on Xerox for a few years.
 

lantz_xvx

Well-known member
That's so funny because someone from Xerox said the exact opposite to me. She said that the little metal brackets were unreliable and that we should use the bypass tray. Maybe I should give the high cap tray another whirl. FYI the #10s actually ran great through the bypass, but you just have to stand there and reload often. It was only two lots of 250, so not that many. I did it towards the end of the day when the other work was done, so I had time to stand there and reload. I think 500 envelopes is the max I'd want to do on this. For anything more than that I send out. VDP is something I have not figured out yet with this machine but it's on my list. We do a lot of letterpress invitations and we used to do inkjet addressing but right before the beginning of the pandemic, the machine died and then we were closed for a few months. We're only just now starting to get wedding work again. So being able to print the return address and VDP addressees would be really helpful.

Don't run the #10's from the bypass use your high capacity drawer(s). You must use the envelope/card bracket that came with the V180. If you haven't used it, it's stored in the left hand side, lower side of drawer 6 or 7. Using the bracket will allow you to run envelopes continuously from trays 6 and 7. I load both draws up with #10 envelopes and just watch for a tray light to go off and then refill while it's pulling from the other drawer. Make sure you use "auto tray select" for the paper source.

A7 envelopes can be hit or miss with flaps closed but I've had a few brands that ran fine with flaps closed. Sometime I do run them with flaps open. The A2 will always be flap open (flap last) and from bypass.

This is a great press for running envelopes once you get the feeling for how many you can load at once in each tray. I no longer use my inkjet machine for addressing envelopes, I just print and VDP the addresses at the same time.
 

lantz_xvx

Well-known member
Well, it will auto-duplex 257-300gsm. Our 100# cover is 270gsm and that's totally fine. But it will not auto-duplex 301-350gsm, so we have to run one side and then flip it. Actually the 130# stock we use is 352gsm, so just slightly out of spec. But being able to auto-duplex that heavy stock, especially without slowing down, would make life a lot easier.

Everyone has different needs, I think it’s worth doing the calculations and really scrutinize the quality / capabilities on your own.

My Xerox shop had J75s…envelopes were not supported. However, being the resourceful individual I am…I made a series of chipboard shims for different sizes and I would feed through the bypass…open or closed flap…whatever would work. Not very productive but we weren’t an envelope shop…we would run a few hundred at a time, bigger runs are more cost effective elsewhere (click charges).

We have the envelope fuser on our KM6085. It works okay, it is quirky, and you can feed common size envelopes through the high capacity trays…however still only really no more than 50 at a time is most reliable. It is a pain because to switch over and takes about 30 minutes to reset the whole printer and fiery and fuser…all for smoke and mirrors (the machine has no problems printing on envelopes with the standard fuser in low quantities…the primary problem with this is it will create wear lines). This is also a costly accessory, and IMHO I would rather have a spare fuser on the shelf than a fuser I can only use for envelopes. And the same scenario applies, the click charge and operator intensity (you have to babysit the input and output constantly) means that it’s not attractive to use for long runs. The 6085 has a convoluted paper path so envelopes aren’t really ideal for it.

If you want to print more than 1000 envelopes at a time, IMHO you’re better off with a dedicated envelope machine (not that expensive) or a trade printer.

However being able to duplex 300gsm is amazing, I’m surprised your versant doesn’t support that since to my knowledge all of the competitors do…but I have been out of touch on Xerox for a few years.
 

kslight

Well-known member
Well, it will auto-duplex 257-300gsm. Our 100# cover is 270gsm and that's totally fine. But it will not auto-duplex 301-350gsm, so we have to run one side and then flip it. Actually the 130# stock we use is 352gsm, so just slightly out of spec. But being able to auto-duplex that heavy stock, especially without slowing down, would make life a lot easier.
Gotcha. Yeah we run 130# cover a lot, so it’s nice not to manually duplex.
 

AP90

Well-known member
I wouldn't ever buy a Xerox printer again after using the Versant 180 for a year. I can barely operate nowadays.
Did you ever figure have someone come in and help you out with your machine to get it into specs? Many of us on here, myself included, have shown you that Versants are capable of tight registration and high quality images. I also offered to come over as a consultant (along with a few others) to show you how we operate for a job like you do. I remember you uploading files. I was able to print and trim one of your posters with even margins in about 5 minutes time and only 1 sheet used.

The offer still stands. If you need help producing your movie/art posters with an even margin then ill gladly get you going. Or at least be there to direct the Xerox techs and tell them what they need to be doing to get the machine to do what it should.
 

Ynot_UK

Well-known member
I wouldn't ever buy a Xerox printer again after using the Versant 180 for a year. I can barely operate nowadays.
I thought you were selling it last summer?

Likewise as @AP90 did, you'll recall I also printed and trimmed one of your posters with even margins in about 5 minutes on our KM C4080 and an old, used & abused Dahle trimmer and posted the results on this forum.

If you want to come online and bash a manufacturer for something, then keep it real... KM can have some for the toner debacle and Xerox for the drum issues... but - and I've said it before - don't slag off the machine when you don't know how to use it properly and refuse to accept all the offers of help. FWIW, I expect you'd have similar issues about any production machine from any manufacturer.
 

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