First Demo for 80ppm Konica - What questions do you ask?

Discussion in 'Konica Minolta Color Laser Printers & Copiers' started by life_in_a_duplex, Oct 21, 2019.

  1. life_in_a_duplex

    life_in_a_duplex Member

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    Looking into acquiring either a C3070, C3080, C6085, or C6100 and have a demo.

    1. What questions would you normally ask?

    2. How many pages would you ask to print during a demo? Saw another post where the guy was having problems on copy number 5000 (11x17s) but that's like $500 of paper for just a demo.

    3. Is IQ-501 really that important if the printer already prints test spots onto the ITM? That would take care of density checks, while registration shouldn't really be shifting around ever right?

    4. If getting just a paper feeder, print engine and a staple finisher, should I get a relay/buffer unit necessary? Something to help decurl the paper I suppose. Worth the money? I assume relay units are the least expensive item possible

    5. Is a TCRU program (trained customer replaceable unit) worth it? They'll train me to replace some of my own parts for convenience purposes, but they will also charge me for the training

    6. I don't do anything fancy with my print documents. Just print the pdf and that's it - no pantone matching or impositions. Konica Minolta controller is good enough right, or do I need a efi fiery?

    I appreciate your time!
    Thank you
     
  2. jwheeler

    jwheeler Member

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    Hi @life_in_a_duplex , I used to work for KM, but I now run an in-plant print shop within a school and teach students printing and desktop publishing. So I feel I can answer in an unbiased way. I just wanted you to know ahead of time why I know so much about the questions you're asking:

    1A. I would ask about service response time. Most machines these days from the big 4 manufacturers (Xerox, Canon, Ricoh and Konica Minolta) are all good units and have excellent quality and the same finishing, and even the same Fiery Front ends. The most important thing is how quickly service responds. I know in my area they respond same day, and try to average being on site in 4 hours. If you are really far away from the KM office, it might be next day response for you.

    1B. If you have any unique applications...could be a special type of media, a file that usually gives you trouble, etc, make sure to test it during the demo.

    2. I used to be the guy doing the demo's for KM, and this was all over the board. Some customers brought in a few color-critical jobs, or unique stock jobs and they would run 250-500 of each. Others would just ask for 5-10 prints. If you do alot of booklets at your business, run a few dozen to see how consistent they come out for you, and try it on their different types of booklet makers. They have the budget version (SD-510) which sits inside of the staple finisher, and they have much more robust units like the SD-506 and SD-513. The SD-510 really is a budget unit and shouldn't be relied on for heavy booklet making. To directly answer your point about 5,000...that is a bit excessive for a demo in my opinion, but that's entirely up to you.

    3. I have mixed feelings about the IQ-501. If I were a smaller print shop, I wouldn't get it. The C-1060/70 and C1085/C1100 series didn't have it, and thousands of prints shops ran just fine without it. Besides controlling color, the unit also monitors sheet-to-sheet and front-to-back registration and adjusts on the fly. It also registers the color and alignment of a new sheet quickly. However, without it, the process doesn't take that long to calibrate manually with a spectrophotometer, and get the positioning in alignment manually is quick and easy as well, especially if you have the document scanner. When KM introduced the C1070 series, they installed a new 'swing-roller' which moves the sheets to the same position every time. This made the positioning alignment very consistent and reliable. So short answer, on a budget, don't bother with it.

    4. The RU is not the least expensive item by far, but it is quite helpful to reduce the curling. I always recommended it whenever possible. Aside from page curl, it also helps to quickly cool down the media, and it offers an additional output tray. Plus, and this is the big bonus, it has an array of densitometers built in to check the color on your actual paper every so many sheets (you define how often such as every 100 sheets, every 500 sheets, etc.). This is helpful if you're not getting the IQ. You do get anti-static regardless of buying the relay unit. In regards to the paper deck, I would highly recommend the vacuum feed drawers if you can afford it. You wont ever have to worry about rollers wearing out.

    5. I always hated the way KM structured this. You mean, we're going to make the customers do more of the repairs to the machines, and we're going to charge them for it!?! I'd pass on it, and just treat your tech nicely (maybe bribe him with pizza!) and ask for a spare fuser, and spare corona wires to keep on hand.

    6. If no impositions, then the KM controller is just fine. It offers all of the same color control features, and it's actually easier to reprint documents because it interfaces with the machine screen seamlessly. The Fiery is a must if you do alot of unique impositions.

    Additional notes:
    In regards to the models you mentioned, the C3070/C3080 are the same unit, just different speeds (70 and 80ppm respectively). The C6085/C6100 are the higher volume series, just in 85 or 100ppm. The 3070/80 can do up to 350gsm duplexed, and the C6085/C6100 can do up to 400gsm duplexed. One advantage to the C3070/80 series is you get 2 extra drawers which are under the print engine. The C6085/100 series only have the vacuum drawers so you get 3 standard. Outside of what I mentioned, they both offer the same finishing features, they both can print on long banner sheets, they both can print on envelopes (but it's much more trouble on the C6085/C6100 series to setup envelopes). I'd only go for the C6085/100 series if you are consistently doing over 75,000 impressions per month. Otherwise, the C3070/80 can handle a good load for a much lower investment cost.
     
  3. life_in_a_duplex

    life_in_a_duplex Member

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    Thanks jwheeler, you hit all the points I was looking for. Yes, going for the vacuum drawers for sure.

    Yeah I would say I'm a smaller shop (10,000 12x18's / month) so 3070/3080 will be the way to go. Any idea how much a relay unit costs monthly? Seems worth it after seeing laser007's issue fixed by the densitometers.
     
  4. jwheeler

    jwheeler Member

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    @life_in_a_duplex , I wouldn't feel right posting pricing on a forum like this and the pricing very well could have changed since I worked there. It could also be different in your area depending on if you are working with direct or a dealer. If you're concerned about it, just ask your sales rep to break it out and show the price as an option. It really is a worthwhile option, I wouldn't get a machine without it unless I just simply couldn't fit it or afford it. If it were a matter of budget, I'd opt for the C3070 in order to get the RU instead of getting the C3080 for only 10ppm more in speed. Heads up that if you are getting certain advanced finishers, the RU is actually required. It's not required for a basic finisher like the FS-532 or FS-612.

    And the C3070/80 are just fine for 10,000/mo.
     
  5. life_in_a_duplex

    life_in_a_duplex Member

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    Oh good point, perhaps I should have asked for a proportion. For me, the relay would multiply the monthly lease for printer/vacuum tray/simple finisher by 1.3x and that seemed a bit high.
     
  6. jwheeler

    jwheeler Member

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    One way to offset the cost so you can include the RU is to get the FS-531 instead of the FS-532 (or the FS-612 if you need a booklet maker). The 531 staples 50 sheets instead of 100. Be aware that it will not feed 13x19 out of the stacker, only the top static catch tray. If you don't even need stapling, they now offer the OT-510 which has the elevating stacking, but no stapling.
     
  7. life_in_a_duplex

    life_in_a_duplex Member

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    That's a great idea on the OT-510.

    I also read your writeup on web-to-print solutions and looks like a great way to increase the usage of the machine. Looking to increase my monthly volumes (I currently just run business cards for local businesses) so web-to-print combined with some google ads could be a great combination.
     

  8. jwheeler

    jwheeler Member

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    Google adds are definitely a big help. It's also important to get on the top of the natural search results as some people don't trust clicking on adds. To do this, you need to do lots of SEO to your site. You also need to ask your clients to leave reviews on sites like Google maps reviews and Yelp. You also need to setup your business profile on as many free sites as possible like Yellow Pages, Manta, Insider Pages, etc.
     
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