Considering a Xerox Iridesse for your next printer?

Discussion in 'Xerox Iridesse Digital Presses' started by dlannan701, Oct 4, 2019.

  1. dlannan701

    dlannan701 Member

    Oct 2013
    Indianapolis, IN
    We had a rocky (very) start with our Iridesse. I have a fault code/troubleshooting journal full of problems from when we first got the press. After two months of fake toner reads (empty when it really wasn't) and other glitches our team of technicians along with support from field engineers have worked out most of the bugs. They replaced a couple of boards (I think), reseated connections, and IO am not sure what else - but the one thing that seemed to solve many of the issues was the installation of a RETROFIT in the toner chambers. It was suggested the toner reading problem was static related, so maybe other faults were as well. If you have an Iridesse and are having a lot of issues with lost connections and color cartridges not reading right - you might start by asking your technicians to get the retrofit. The best way to describe it? Grounding wires for each color unit.

    The one thing I hate most about the Iridesse is when you have a fault and you have to restart the machine to clear it. This is especially annoying in the middle of variable data jobs. Some of this may have been addressed with the retro fit also. We had an iGen4 with Freeflow server and 80 percent of the time you could restart the computer and the fault would clear and your job would still be in the queue - picking up right where you left off. I miss the Freeflow with Unix for that reason.

    I am sure there are more advantages with the Fiery but this also means windows-based software. Not a big fan.

    TONER - You will have to pay close attention to your jobs because the toner cartridges are about half the size of the iGEN. I think we get a lot of life out of them but when you have full coverage jobs it doesn't take much to go through 3 or 4 cartridges of specific colors per day. Depending on where you are in the country or where your toner comes from you might wait 3-5 days to get toner. It's been a struggle sometimes to keep enough in here. Make sure you have a good working relationship with your tech teams and the sales contact - they can help you.

    PAPER SIZE LIMITATION - This is pro and con - Unless you want to do larger sheets/long sheets, your max size is 13 x 19. We had to make some adjustments to customer art to fit them multi-up. So instead of 4x6 cards with a bleed going 9-up we end up with 8-up. Not a real huge problem. But going from 14 x 20 to 13 x 19 has required us to make some adjustments. THE LONG SHEET WILL HAVE ADVANTAGES but keep in mind that you have to use the manual feed tray and won't get as much productivity because the number of sheets you can load is limited based on paper weight.


    Once some of our issues were worked out I had a whole new appreciation for the Iridesse. (A lot will depend on your arrangement with the technician group that will service your machine). Right now our operators aren't responsible for changing belts and a couple of the more complicated maintenance issues.

    - REGISTRATION - You have to work at it sometimes, but so far there have been less registration and skewing issues (now that a couple of changes were made).
    - COLOR QUALITY - I have been pretty impressed by the quality of print and the colors. There are a lot of things that can be done with the Fiery to manage color. I advise going through the online training at the Fiery website. I had a couple of months prior to our installation to do this and it helped a lot.
    - MAINTENANCE - No fuser oil. No constantly changing fuser rolls. No PR belt (though there are some belts that may have to be replaced - depending on your service agreement you can do it or the techs will)
    - SPEED - I am not sure how much faster the Iridesse prints than the color press or iGen as far as the technical specs but now that most of our bugs have been worked out, we are getting a lot more productivity. I think one time I calculated it took about 12-15 minutes per thousand postcards (4 up) with the iGEN4 (longer when you had jams and maintenance issues - we had the printer for more than 5 years so I am sure there was a lot of wear on it). It's about 8-9 minutes on the Iridesse when things flow smoothly.
    On a good day I could get roughly 30,000 6x9 postcards in a 10-12 hour day with the iGEN. My best day (yesterday) I started at 8 am and worked until 6 pm and got through roughly 57,000 variable data postcards, and that included a break to deliver checks to the post office and the paper ran out.
    - SPECIALTY INKS - We haven't done a lot with this yet but we opted for gold, silver and white. There's a serious learning curve for these. If files are not set up right you will not get the results you want. I am still struggling with this.
    - LONG SHEET PAPER - Pro and con. The con is you won't be able to feed as much through as you could with the 14 x 26 on the iGEN4 and similar devices. And you might have to send it tghrough once and flip it over for the second side on the longest sheets. PRO. You can do some seriously long pages as long as your width is not any bigger than 13 inches.

    I may edit this later if I discover more pros or cons. THE BIG THING IS A GOOD RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR SERVICE TEAM. Between the remote tech specialists on the phone and the service techs in the field - they can make a world of difference.
    jwheeler likes this.
  2. life_in_a_duplex

    life_in_a_duplex Member

    Oct 2019
    Cool post. If you've started using the gold/silver have you found the iridesse capable of replacing hot/stamp foiling applications? If you haven't started with the specialty inks, how much do you plan on investing to get it running? Seems like specialty colors would be the primary reason you acquired this machine.

    Is Xerox factory your service team, or are you using a third party like imageSource or MRC?

  3. XDigital

    XDigital Member

    Oct 2009
    San Diego, CA
    My company X-Digital will be servicing the Iridesse next year in the southern california marketplace.