Xerox 550 vs Versant 180....Post installation regret.

PrintingInLincs

Well-known member
My versant 180 was recently installed & here are my thoughts.

I totally regret purchasing this printer...

Not only is the versant no better image quality than the 550, the alignment is no better despite SIQA.

For such a pricetag you would think that it would be able to manage a 3mm margin around the print but no.

The colours are FAR worse & as windows had to be removed to install the machine I am stuck with it...

I was always told that I would be able to load my pdfs & print them all in 1 go....meaning it would free up huge amounts of time but i will be in exactly the same position as before but having spent shedloads of money.

Yes i am frustrated with the machine...and yes there is probably more that can be done to improve it...but i am really annoyed that basically the whole pitch behind the Versant is " if you spend £20,000 + on this machine, you can have your life back!" & then it turns out totally to not be the case.

The only time the printer has a consistent border is when you print the alignment pages after using SIQA...then you go to using real artwork & it just places it wherever.

Rant over...
 

Ynot_UK

Well-known member
I imagine the machine is not set up correctly. All modern production machines from the big four are comparable in terms of capability. The difference is down to the support in your area. Please tell us you ended up going elsewhere from vendor whom let you down so badly in the past.
 

PrintingInLincs

Well-known member
Yes, i switched away from the previous supplier. Support is much better however I foolishly assumed that the V180 would do great things to my already great PDFS & not make them look much worse than they were on the 550.

I am on fiery...perhaps it needs more updates. I have another engineer visit tomorrow.

I have got it closer to the 550 quality output but there's really very little difference considering the cost & it's not going to save me any time at all. Feel like I've been cheated.

Everyone tells me I'm being too picky expecting to be able to consistently put a 3mm margin around the edge of the artwork to allow people to frame them properly. SIQA hasn't made any difference to this really. I don't like guillotining down but maybe I'll have to start again on everything.

The v180 also does strange things to certain colours...off white will end up looking beige for example.

I'll update again after i've moaned about all of this to the engineer...
 

AP90

Well-known member
Was this a used or brand new machine? Something is not right about what is going on with the machine. Either on Xerox’s end or your end. Did you get sample prints from X and have ran those same samples once it is installed? That should tell you pretty much everything right there. Also, are you sure your doing the alignment correctly? I haven’t heard too many bad things about registration on the versant lines.
 

Ynot_UK

Well-known member
@PrintingInLincs What input configuration have you got? You're not running everything through the bypass tray, are you? On pretty much any machine, the worst tray for alignment and registration is the bypass.

@AP90 makes a very valid point about samples. Before buying our C4080, we spent a day at KM with our dealer/engineer, our regular substrates and our files, running samples of real jobs that we sell. This is very important - as it happens, the output from our machine is better than those produced at the demo, as the demo machine was a C3070L (lower resolution and no relay unit). Hopefully you have similar samples from before you committed to the Versant. If you're unable to produce the same quality and consistency on the machine in your shop, either or both X and your dealer have some circles to square.

The ultimate reference is specific parameters within the CED. If your machine is unable to perform as per the CED, I'm sure a swift resolution will follow.
 

PrintingInLincs

Well-known member
Tray 1 nowadays...brand new machine. It has a random margin around it & if you print 10 sheets the margin will be different each time so what's the point in SIQA....it adds nothing to me.

I'm hoping the fiery updates improve the colour but I was told I'd be able to print everything I need to without having alignment issues & it would take minutes...because of the margins I'm in exactly the same place I was with the 550....except it's cost me a fortune.

It is a brand new machine...

I find that the if you get the alignment test sheets to match up on a xerox they will just print wherever they want on the sheet after that.

I have always chased an even margin...apart from anything buyers expect this, many of the items are gifts & require a small margin for framing so it does have to be even in my opinion as this is the only way to keep both types of buyer happy.

Yes, I'm using the SIQA correctly & was constantly chasing alignment on the 550. I could get a 3mm margin all around in about 4 sheets on the 550 usually....the versant is nowhere near currently.

I didn't get samples because it would have been unlikely that they would match the output of the 550 anyway & I believed that with the ultra HD garbage they put in the sales pitch that it wouldn't just be exactly the same as the 550 but 3 times louder.

I did a lot of research & spoke to engineers...but literally the versant just seems slightly worse image quality to me, but with the added problem it does random things to some colours, is super loud, the alignment if anything is WORSE & apart from that has to be installed/removed via a window...oh and it cost me £20k for no real gain.

The idea was that the margins would be stable enough so I would be able to print without having to check everything & reprint time & time again & then I would be able to escape this 9-5 existence I have just to print a few posters per day. I have been banging on for months to my kids about how this printer would allow me to spend more time doing other things...& now this seems it was all just not true.
 

Ynot_UK

Well-known member
What input configuration have you got? Assuming you also have a high volume air fed paper deck, giving a straight paper path, do you get the same issues?

What paper sizes are you printing onto?

Is the variation you experience greater than that specified in the CED? Sorry to be brutal, but sales pitches and what you believed aren’t going to be relevant here. It’s all about the CED specs you agreed to, versus what your machine is achieving.

Putting into perspective, other than where I’ve been dumb and set one job up wrong, during our first three months with the KM C4080, wastage has been less than a dozen sheets on circa 25k SRA3 clicks, across a variety of substrates, including film, which can be more challenging.
 

pippip

Well-known member
From your description of all your problems it all sounds like user error or faulty machine. Machine should be more than capable of what you're asking.

The next move is to tackle each issue one by one with your tech to see if user or machine is causing it.

PS yes they are louder but that's production machines.
 

Ynot_UK

Well-known member
@PrintingInLincs one other observation... you mention you only print a few posters per day and your customers typically frame the prints you sell, hence the critical margin accuracy.

We print lots of training materials and instructional posters, which a good dry toner production machine does well. However, I wouldn’t attempt printing photographs for framing using this process, as the colour vibrancy will never come close to that of even a low budget inkjet on the appropriate substrate. Even with a gloss laminate top, dry toner photos will still look flat, versus an inkjet.
 

tngcas

Well-known member
We have two Versant 2100s and the alignments are always off.
It does a good job matching the prints so that the front to back prints match but after that it doesn't seem to care where exactly on the sheet it puts it as long as it's on the sheet. It's definitely not centered to the sheet itself. It's quite annoying as it causes down the line issues since if you're running it through a Duplo or Aerocut machine it always has to be tweaked to exactly where the top edge actually ended up getting put down vs. where it is set on the finishing equipment.

We don't even attempt anything less than a 5mm margin on items that are intended to have white margins all the way around, even when ganging up prints onto larger sheets. Customers do expect a certain level of evenness on the margins and honestly, I would too as a customer. Doing a larger margin make it less obvious when it's not quite even.
 

PrintingInLincs

Well-known member
Various points:

@tngcas It is good to read that someone agrees on the margins. I don't feel I can send print internationally with uneven borders & many items are gifts so it matters. The 550 could manage a 3mm border though it would average 4 prints to get 3mm all around. My wife thinks i'm being far too fussy & that nobody cares about margins like I do & it's just because i look at print all day.

@Ynot_UK I tend to agree that large inkjets are better for posters, but solvent fumes can be an issue in smaller spaces. I outsource large format & print smaller myself. I find that large format suppliers will provide fantastic print quality & fantastic stock...which has dints all over it or banding. Every large format supplier I've tried has provided wildly inconsistent quality even though they know I'm a print reseller & I point out my previous experiences & say what I can't accept on the posters I'm buying (I know I sound like a nightmare, but I think if they're asking me to proof my artwork & then send me posters with huge dints in which have clearly been sent out like that then they should know better) just recently I placed a £300 order with a new supplier & all of the print they provided had grooves across the prints so badly that they looked like Venetian blinds, they had to re-send twice to get them done properly. It's all totally avoidable, I find that people just don't care about what they send to people nowadays.

I have the basic version without the spectrophotometer & I have the normal CMYK set up. No fishing equipment as I don't need it. I only use Mondi colour copy 200gsm A3/A4 though i'm switching to SRA3 as the corners are bent when you open the paper 50% of the time (I import it from Germany & I'm unlucky)

@pippip It may be me to an extent...but I'm used to manual alignment & this thing is worse than the 550 despite SIQA. It can line the alignment test prints up fine but apart from that it just does what it wants to. The Versant 180 video about SIQA says it "eliminates the need for time-consuming & frustrating manual guesswork involved in transfer challenges".....well I'm in exactly the same position I was with the 550 except now there are colour issues too. The versant definitely wasn't worth upgrading for.

I only print posters due to experiences with the registration on the 550, i stopped doing flyers/leaflets very early on. I was hoping that the better alignment etc would allow me to offer more products but we'll see.

I appreciate the ability to vent on here though & will update again later today after the engineer has been.

Trying to think positively but I can't find any pros at the moment with the new machine...not any. I may find the magic settings today though.

Cheers
 
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AP90

Well-known member
Well we have a V3100. A lot more machine than you, but similar. We do have the full width array for alignment and calibration. But our 3100 holds registration really well. I just did a perfect bound book run (8000 sheets of guys) and every block of books cut split the trim marks. This is a machine with over 5 million clicks. So they can do great registration.

At the risk of sounding like a jerk, I think this could be user error somewhere. You’ve been negative about everything you’ve posted. Bad printer, bad outsourcing, bad paper supplier. It sounds like you’ve been doing this awhile. Your relationship with suppliers should be better or you should be finding new suppliers. Our paper guy bends over backwards for us and I’ve told him not to sometimes. Never had a problem with outsourced materials. And communication with X is great through our local rep.
 
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pippip

Well-known member
@tngcas Something isn't right. I use our SIQA (V80) all the time and it always places the image bang on centre of the sheet with perfect front to back registrations. The artwork files are also bang on centre. I do sometimes get a bit of front to back drift as the machine gets going, usually if high coverage on one side and I may need to just correct it slightly but the V80 has limited sensors to correct this compared to V180 & v280 and doesn't have the extended paper path like the 2100 to allow the sheets to cool while duplexing.
 

Ynot_UK

Well-known member
I have the basic version without the spectrophotometer & I have the normal CMYK set up. No fishing equipment as I don't need it. I only use Mondi colour copy 200gsm A3/A4 though i'm switching to SRA3 as the corners are bent when you open the paper 50% of the time (I import it from Germany & I'm unlucky)

By "basic version", does that mean you have no paper deck at all, i.e. your input is limited to the trays under the engine with a 180degree turn and the bypass?

You have indicated colour accuracy/quality to be important. How are you going to calibrate to maintain this without a spectrophotometer?

Regarding finishing equipment, perhaps for so few copies you just need a rotary trimmer. Print on SRA3 and trim manually your desired 3.0mm white margins. Then your only wastage is those you cut badly.

Why are you importing paper from Germany? What's wrong with the UK merchants? Try the same weight and flavour in Condat/Essential from Premier - you'll be pleasantly surprised and it will save you lots of money. I'm aware Mondi papers do tend to appear on OEMs' approved substrates lists. Just bear in mind these lists are typically driven by the marketing departments and influenced by 'advertising allowance' income generated. Read into that as you wish.
 

pippip

Well-known member
You have indicated colour accuracy/quality to be important. How are you going to calibrate to maintain this without a spectrophotometer?

Obviously not as good as a spectrometer but you can still use Colorcal to calibrate using colour strip and scanning in the photocopying scanner. Old fashion style.
 

PrintingInLincs

Well-known member
Ok so the engineer has been...

I'm told that the machine is more honest & shows more detail & so this is why the colours are different. I'm now trying to increase the vibrancy in photoshop & testing the effect but it does mean i'll have to redo all of my artwork & then if i end up sending it to a large format printer it will likely be too colourful. It is getting closer to what the 550 output was but not there yet.

The colour variation issue on specific colours was solved to an extent by lowing the yellow in the images section. (i'll explain this better later)

It has been suggested that I either 1) use fiery to manually shift the image placement 2)make the artwork slightly smaller than A3 & print at 100% rather than scale to fit 3) use SRA3 and cut down so borderless....my point of view is that surely I should be able to put a sheet of A3 in and get a 3mm margin around both edges. I'm told I can by manually changing the magnification in the alignment section on the admin panel but that that's teaching the machine to do "wrong" things. I can see the point but the alignment was the biggest issue & the ONLY reason I got another machine.

I could have done 1,2 & 3 on the 550 but I wouldn't have had to make huge artwork changes then & would be richer.

I'll revisit this thread later & look at posts, this is a stream of consciousness tbh as i'm flapping around trying to get orders prepped while assessing the problems...
 
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AP90

Well-known member
Ok so the engineer has been...

I'm told that the machine is more honest & shows more detail & so this is why the colours are different. I'm now trying to increase the vibrancy in photoshop & testing the effect but it does mean i'll have to redo all of my artwork & then if i end up sending it to a large format printer it will likely be too colourful. It is getting closer to what the 550 output was but not there yet.

The colour variation issue on specific colours was solved to an extent by lowing the yellow in the images section. (i'll explain this better later)

It has been suggested that I either 1) use fiery to manually shift the image placement 2)make the artwork slightly smaller than A3 & print at 100% rather than scale to fit 3) use SRA3 and cut down so borderless....my point of view is that surely I should be able to put a sheet of A3 in and get a 3mm margin around both edges. I'm told I can by manually changing the magnification in the alignment section on the admin panel but that that's teaching the machine to do "wrong" things. I can see the point but the alignment was the biggest issue & the ONLY reason I got another machine.

I could have done 1,2 & 3 on the 550 but I wouldn't have had to make huge artwork changes then & would be richer.

I'll revisit this thread later & look at posts, this is a stream of consciousness tbh as i'm flapping around trying to get orders prepped while assessing the problems...
If you look at your CED it should give you what is considered within specs for the registration. I believe the 180 is +/- 1mm. So if you if you are wanting a perfect 3mm border all the way around, your best best is going to be manually trimming it yourself from SRA3. It doesn't cost much more paper wise. A print with a boarder of 4mm and 2 mm would be within spec.

Im not sure exactly what your business model is, but I feel you went with the wrong printer for your jobs. You sound like you do 1 off prints. A Epson SureColor would run you 4-6k USD and would have been perfectly registered on the paper and would give you much more detail on your prints. And you most likely wouldn't have had to outsourced your larger files. Check CraigsList and FB marketplace. See if you can pick up a decent used Wide Format machine and see if it works for your jobs. $1000 bucks isn't much to test out a business model.
 

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