Supplies availability to put Illumina in production environment?

Discussion in 'Xante Color Laser Printers' started by Jeff, Feb 24, 2007.

  1. Jeff

    Jeff Senior Member

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    The heavy stock handling of the Illumina is an interesting feature (12pt with ease) -- but the retail supplies costs make this printer a non-starter for me. Has anyone come up with a way to use a Xante Illumina in a higher volume printing sitiation with more economical consumables contract/supplies or non OEM toners to reduce print costs to be more inline with Canon/Xerox print costs?
     
  2. discountprintingservice

    discountprintingservice Senior Member

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    The xante line of printers are manufactured by okidata corporation. When they first came out with it I researched the net, found it was oki's machine with their name & started shopping oki printers too. I bought the Oki C9200 with has now been replaced with a newer model. I have looked at oki's and xantes newest printers and other than a little speed difference my model is still the same (1200x600 dpi). I bought mine on closeout as they were bring in new models and paid $1595.00 including freight from a company out of state (Discount Imaging in Little Rock AR) At that time the retail price was more than $3000.00 and Xante's version I believe was six or seven thousand.

    I have overall been happy with the machine, and regularly run #20 bond to #80 lynx & hammermill cover on it. I mostly use it for 11x17 color cover for book jobs with black text inside pages run on our offset presses. As for the consumables cost, if I had known the cost I might not have made the purchase. However, you can and I have, bought toner refill bottles and refilled the toner cartridges myself. Search google for oki c9200 toner refill bottles, or xante illumina toner refill bottles. The cost of 4 bottles (CMY&K) is less than one toner cartridge. The only issue I have had, I have had with both OEM cartridges, OEM compatible cartridges and toner refilling is that the toner seems out from between the toner cartridges and the drums. This causes unwanted toner to end up on the printed sheet which looks like ink splotches on the sheet. I have discovered that when this happens, I remove all four units from the printer, vacuum out the excess toner from inside the printer and underneath the transfer belt, separate each toner from the drum and throughly vacuum the eccess off, especially around the drum where the toner units sits, just don't vacuum out all the toner down inside the drum itself. Reinstall them all and it works fine. My machine doesn't get heavy use, but is rated at 150,000 impressions per month. I have less than 100K on mine in 2 years, but like I said I don't use it much. I still have the original transfer belt and fuser unit, but I have replaced drums several times since new. The drums would last me more impression I am sure if I ran it regularly. I just don't have that much color copy work, mostly press work in my shop.

    You can also buy image drum rollers, disassemble the drum and replace them making them as good as knew, the companies selling the toner also sell the rollers. Replacing toner or imaging rollers can be messy, it took me a couple of times of doing it to get the hang of it, so use lots of newspaper & keep a vac handy.

    There is one company in Atlanta that sell brand new (not remanufactured) OEM replacement cartridges that I have tried and I have been very happy with them & will probably re-order from them. I will probably refill those too at least once each to cut costs. They are a fraction of Oki's & Xante's OEM cost. The name of the company is Color Imaging in Norcross GA, 4 toner cartridges was less than $400.00.

    Anyway I hope this helps.
    John
    Discount Printing
     
  3. Jeff

    Jeff Senior Member

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    Thank you very much John!

    I guess I need a dunce hat now because the only refill I found searching for illumina refills was http://www.tonertopup.co.uk/product...a+Digital+Color+Press&Engine=Oki+C9000+Colour site (though it's in the uk) but when they listed the kits as "Oki C9000" I moved on thinking it was a spam site or error... well, I'm glad I asked, as I very much appreciate the wealth of information you provided.

    It can't come close to our canon / IKON contracted machines for our volume printing in terms of operating costs just for consumables not to mention the maintenance and support network, but on heavy stock (which we just can't run on the canons) it really could come into its own for covers, posters, and cards where customers love heavy stock.

    I would love to be able to run orders of 100 or 150 cards for example on 100# cover instead of having to inkjet them to get a nice heavy card which is making me grow old while I'm still young waiting for them (too short a run to ever run on a press, can't make much profit on those jobs, but for long-term customers I can't say no either! So an oki might be a perfect addition, especially if I can snag one being closed out in the spring.)

    Now that I know it's an oki I'm seeing many more refills (in the us) and also ebay toners and parts. Many thanks for your help - very much appreciated!

    (before going with Ikon so we could run all OEM supplies, we also ran refill toner in our old canons and also encountered the toner seep especially with magenta and yellow which for those seemed to be just a bit thinner and really get around, but it just took some extra effort to clean -- we ran about 350,000 11x17's using toner from george at tonerrefillkits.com. Other than a few spills and finding your nostrils black now and again when refilling, it wasn't so difficult once we got the hand of it, and I could do it again for heavy stock)
     
  4. Mark's Printing

    Mark's Printing New Member

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    I appreciate all of the valuable information but I went to that company's website and saw that they only sell to people that resell their products. Are you reselling?

    I think I might try it anyways, sounds like a great way to save a little dough!

    Mark
     
  5. discountprintingservice

    discountprintingservice Senior Member

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    Clarification on my post

    Color Imaging called me today, apparently alot of people have read this thread and have started calling them for toner cartridges. I want to clarify that I bought the C9200 oki printer, after learning from Oki that they made the Illumina machine for Xante. I bought it at a fraction of Xante's price tag. I used OEM cartridges then started refilling the with toner bottles from another company. Then I found Color Imaging in Norcross. I tried their brand of cartridges and they work great. I have not tried their cartridges in an actual Xante machine, but I have been told by Oki & Oki dealers they use the same cartridge for the same model machine. Since I bought mine it has been replace by the c9300 and c9500 and possibly another model as upgrades came out. So please be aware if you have the c9300 c9500 or the comparable Xante versions I can't tell you if it will work because I have not tried them, I can only tell u that oki makes them for Xante, so based on what the oki told me, their cartridges work in xantes machines (they told me this 2 years aog) for example a oki c9300 cartride would fit the same Xante version, and the c9500 oki would fit the same Xante version. I believe but I am not 100% sure, that the c9200 and c9300 cartridges are the same. Best advise is if you want to try it buy 1 & see if it will work, & make sure u can return it if it doesn't. As far as the refill bottles go, any of these cartridges are refillable with after market refill toner. Here is one site for that: http://federaltoner.com/printerpage_Okidata C9200 Digital LED Color Printer.htm

    Hope this helps clear up any confusion. I don't want to give any bad information.
     
  6. discountprintingservice

    discountprintingservice Senior Member

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    If you buy toner and sell it to a retail customer (even in the form of a printed job) then you are a reseller. Just like buying paper & ink & plates to print on. You just have to provide a resellers tax exempt certificate. Hope that helps Mark!
     
  7. Youngs

    Youngs New Member

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    :)Refilling Xante and Oki Toners
    TonerTopUp supply refill toner for the Xante Illumina and the Oki 9000 series models to quite a few professional printers worldwide. The older Oki models have no chip on the cartridges but the 9600 onwards and the Illumina cartridges are chipped. Much of the refill toner available on the market for the older models is not qualified for the newer ones.

    TonerTopUp expect replacement chips to be available soon but for the moment there are two ways of dealing with refilling these cartridges.

    The first is to refill on a regular basis before the carts ever become empty. A regular changeover of the carts with full ones can achieve this.

    The second way is to use the engineer code sequences supplied with the TonerTopUp toner to turn off the monitoring of the toner level. Some users are using this happily, but other users report that using this option means that full out solid coverage of A3 is no longer any good as toner starvation soon sets in. However one user has tested this thoroughly using both OEM and refilled toners (even getting his Illumina replaced as there appeared to be a fault that could not be corrected.) and he advises that with a new printer with OEM cartridges he could still only get about 15 full out solid A3 sheets before toner starvation set in and he believes this is inherent in the printer design and not to do with refilling or turning of the toner level monitoring. TonerTopUp therefore have conflicting information about this method and suggest trying it out for yourself.

    Martin Young
    www.TonerTopUp.co.uk
     
  8. mrmunroe

    mrmunroe Member

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    Price Difference

    This is an informative thread.
    I received a 5"x8" postcard/advertisement for the Ilumina Digital Color Press by snail mail. The stock appears to be 16 pt., dull-coated 2 sides. The quality of the printing was impressive. I had no idea a laser color copy could look so good.
    I've been looking for a method of putting color on 1 side of 200 lb. white tag stock, 12.5"x25.5". The postcard, and 200 lb. tag, read as the same thickness on a micrometer. Needless to say, I'm not particularly interested in the quality of the color. I just want the finished item to be readable and colorful.
    One of the posts above seems to say that an Okidata 9200 was the same machine as the Ilumina, and that it was purchased for $1595 when the Ilumina cost several thousand dollars.
    Being a skeptic at heart, I started investigating the huge price difference. So far, what I've learned is that the Ilumina comes with an Adobe Postscript 3 Rip. I don't know for sure if a Postscript Rip is something I need to accomplish my task, but it's probably an expensive add-on. Another thing I noticed is that the Ilumina ad says that their unit has a "Heavy paper capability of 427 gsm". The Okidata site says that their various models in their current 9600/9800 line can handle "up to 270 gsm". To me that seems like a big difference in the thickness of the stock that the two machines can handle.
    Now I'm thinking, maybe Okidata does make the Ilumina, but maybe it makes the Ilumina to different specifications, and with parts that make it better able to deal with really thick card stock. It would be really helpful it the two companies would publish the parts lists for their respective machines online, but so far I haven't found them.
    I continue to investigate. Any input would be appreciated.
     
  9. alejovel

    alejovel New Member

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    Another company that offers the same type of new compatibles for the okidata c9200 is Image Toner, http://www.imagetoner.com they also have the set for less than $400
     
  10. axl

    axl New Member

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    hello guys.does anybody can help and said to us the exact cost per page A3full color for the illumina digital color press?
     
  11. Jeff

    Jeff Senior Member

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    Call Xante and ask them to send you the sample kit that lists the cost per page of each sample print (compared to a printing press, though I find those latter figures doubious.) Then take the example cost of the sample which best matches the average % coverage you'll be printing real-world, decide whether you want to use non-OEM toner, etc. and you can calculate how you might reduce your own cost per print. Finally there is the issue of how far you can push durables and maintenance items depending on the difficulty of your prints (patterns vs. solids, solid color makeup, etc.).
     
  12. axl

    axl New Member

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    thank you very much jeff.
    a fellow told me that a cost at about 0.20cents/page A4 one side is ok.
    the cmyk ink costs in greece 1000euro.
    I am planning to find another supplier from outside greece.But i want the original cartridges.If someone knows sthing that it would very helpful.
     
  13. Jeff

    Jeff Senior Member

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    That's in the ballpark from the samples I was looking at if the coverage is medium-light to medium.
     
  14. axl

    axl New Member

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    THANKS AGAIN JEFF.AS IT CONSERNS THE COST SAMPLE,THEY TOLD ME IF THEY HAVE IT THEY ARE GONNA SEND IT TO ME.IS IT DIFFICULT FOR YOU TO MAIL IT TO ME?
    IS IT TRUE THAT IN PORTUGAL THE ILLUMINA ORIGINAL CMYK TONERS COST AT ABOUT 600euro?
     
  15. mrmunroe

    mrmunroe Member

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    Update to my first post

    After investigating the Xante Illumina and Oki 9000 series printers, I jumped half way into the water and bought 2 brand new Oki 9300dxn machines on EBay for a great price. Since the Illumina lists for about $8000, and I bought two of these for $3000, I figured I was off to a good start. I was right . . . for once. The 9300 model is discontinued, but it has the advantage of not having a chip on the toner cartridge. Evidently Oki added a chip to their toner cartridges to make it more difficult for people to refill cartridges with aftermarket toner.

    I regularly use the printers to print on 15 pt tag stock and the output is fine for my purposes. The 9000 series printers use a glossy toner that really kicks the output up a notch. I also use the machines for lots of other small run jobs with great results. I routinely run 12 up business cards on all types of 80 lb cover stock. Yesterday I ran a short run (600 copies) of 2 part Digital Carbonless Paper without a problem. Since the cost of original Oki toner cartridges is so outrageous, I was forced to experiment with compatible aftermarket toner and reuse the Oki cartridges. It was a great success.

    My goal was to find out if aftermarket toner gave the same results as OEM toner without destroying the Image drums and/or the machine. I got really confused after reading various posts about aftermarket toner. Some says it's fine, and others say it's the Devil hisself.

    The experiment:
    I printed 3500 tabloid size brochures printed on both sides, mostly in reflex blue (Cyan and Magenta) at about 25% coverage. 3500 tabloid size printed both sides equals 14000 letter size copies printed on 1 side.

    I started with everything in the machine OEM. Then, when the Oki Cyan cartridge said it was empty, I refilled it with Dubber's toner that I bought on EBay. I then ran the job until the Dubber toner ran out and replaced the Cyan cartridge with another genuine Oki cartridge with Oki toner.

    The Dubber toner looked and worked fine, and so far I haven't seen any problems with the Cyan image drum. The only difference I noticed between the Dubber toner and the Oki toner is that the Dubber toner isn't quite as glossy. For the amount of money saved, I can live with that.

    Refilling the cartridges:
    I took a Cyan starter cartridge from a 9300 and emptied out the toner that was left in it after the machine said it was empty. There was 62 grams of toner left.

    Since a full cartridge holds about 450 grams, I figure they put half that (225 grams) in the starter cartridge. If I'm right, that means that about 13% of the toner was left in the cartridge when the machine said it was empty.

    I pulled the non-handle end off of the cartridge and dumped the waste toner from the compartment, in the back half of the cartridge, in a trash barrel. That end of the cartridge has four little tabs that you just spread apart and then pull the end off. It just snaps back into place. You have to be careful to put the stirring rod that is in the new toner compartment, in the front half of the cartridge, into the center of the white plastic gear in the end piece before snapping it back together.

    I bought a set of CMYK compatible toners from Dubber Toner on Ebay for $250.00 including shipping. The toner arrived fast! The labels on the bottles said that the toner was for Oki 9000, 9200, 9400 series printers. I called Dubber and told them I had ordered toner for a 9300. The girl said it's no problem. "That toner will work in your printer". Naturally, I asked why 9300 wasn't listed on the label. She put me on hold for a couple of minutes, came back on and said that some people won't buy toner unless their specific model is named on the label. I guess that means that they use the same toner, and put different labels on it to satisfy the marketplace!

    I took my 500 gram bottle of Cyan toner and squirted as much as I could into the bottom of the cartridge. There was still a little left in the bottle, so I figure I got about 450 grams into the starter cartridge. It's easy to fill these cartridges. Just turn them upside down, press in a white plastic button on the blue handle, then move the handle until it opens the blue plastic door on the bottom of the cartridge and pour in the toner.

    The last thing I did was to reset all the consumables back to "0" with instructions I found in the "fix your own printer" forum.

    Waste Toner Note:
    It's very important to empty the waste toner compartment when refilling. The waste toner compartment is actually the back half of the cartridge. If it doesn't get emptied, it will eventually clog up and stop various plastic gears from turning and cause error messages concerning the transfer belt. I'm not totally sure where waste toner comes from, but I think it's toner that's left on the image drum after the paper gets its toner. It seems to travel back to the cartridge via an auger (screw) device inside the stud that you push the cartridge onto when you insert the cartridge into the image drum. So far, I'm aware of 3 methods for emptying the waste toner. The simplest, and least effective is to stick something like a pencil into the hole on the non-bluehandle end to open the hole a little bit and then bang the cartridge against a trash barrel to knock the waste toner out. The second method I read about was to cut or melt a hole in the back of the cartridge, shake out the waste toner, then cover up the hole with duct tape. The method I used was to take the whole end of the toner cartridge off. This works fine if the new toner compartment is totally empty, but if it's not, you'll probably lose some good toner. I'm working on that.


    Bulk toner - my next adventure:
    I really like these machines and intend to keep using them, and it follows that I want to pay as little for toner as possible. So far, I've learned that you can buy 10 kg (22 lb) bags of toner from various suppliers, and cut the cost of toner to about $35 per pound vs. about $60 per pound on Ebay, and probably more than $100 per pound buying it in Oki cartridges.

    The obvious questions that arise are - will the stuff kill the image drums, will it print well, is it glossy? (I've gotten addicted to the glossy look on the finished piece).
    So far, I don't have many answers, except that it seems the non-glossy toner is more readily available than the glossy. Since it means an outlay of several thousand dollars for four 22 pound bags of CMYK toner, I need to know I'm buying from the right supplier.
    I continue to Google. Any input would be appreciated.

    I realize this post is ridiculously long, but I think it may be useful to newbees.
     
  16. Color Printing Forum Admin

    Color Printing Forum Admin Administrator

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    Thank you very much for your post mrmunroe -- posts like this are extremely helpful.
     
  17. makeinit

    makeinit New Member

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    xante vs oki 9200 are they interchangeable

    :eek:
     
  18. makeinit

    makeinit New Member

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    Hi:
    Your post is very helpful but I wanted to know if I could use oki 9200 toner and drums in place of xante illumina I have a xante illumina and I bought it used and it has been nothing but problems but the drums and toner are so expensive I am trying to find cheaper products and then I saw your ad so if u could respond I really would appreciate it.

    Makeinit
     
  19. amishcrackdealer

    amishcrackdealer New Member

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    Hello everyone.
    I'm new here - and new to the entire printing industry. This topic caught my attention because I work for Xante Corporation. The Ilumina can do 502 gsm, an upgrade from the 427. I asked our Engineering department if we did a refillable toner for the Ilumina and was told we do not. We also don't do refurbished units since we are an OEM.
    As far as the Ilumina being identical to the Oki C9200 - thats not correct, I'm sorry. Oki is the base engine platform we use, but the coding and internals are far more advanced. Sort of like your Chevy truck having an Isuzu motor. :) Still cant compare the Isuzu to the Chevy because of the other differences like body panels, suspension changes, performance upgrades, etc.

    However - this would be a good place to ask - what kinds of things are important to you? I know it seems like an odd question, but I was hired because of my creativity. So tell me what YOU say is important in YOUR industry. Is the heavier stock a big thing to you, or would a higher quantity output be higher on your list? Imagine you are talking to the guy who can build anything you want - what would you ask for?

    Dave
     

  20. Jeff

    Jeff Senior Member

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    I think Xante has a great machine with the Illumina, but I think they need to get a volume supply chain in place so the cost to operate can be in the same league as Xerox and Canon. Right now it's a specialty machine in that it can do what the others cannot - very nice heavy stock.

    But what I'd like to see xante do would be to take it to the next level and give small to medium printers a machine that we can print hundreds of thousands of prints with at a price competitive level with xerox/canon/konika.