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Discussion Starter #1
so we are in need to increase our production.

so far we run the following:
> 2x tjet 2s
> 1x tjet blazer express

basically the blazer express is way too slow for us and we are facing issues here and there - the tjet 2s have been great so far (all bought used). they are running 24/7 (almost) and every issue we ever ran in we were able to fix on our own within 1-2 days at most. it is safe to say we know those machines inside out.

as we need to extend our capacity, we are looking into a new printer - a printer that operates the way the tjet 2s do but we need a faster machine for darks that requires not to be used every day (which is what we do with the 2s) without starting to clog.

what machine would you recommend?

so far i believe the hm1-c with wims is fast and reliable? what about the anajet?

the viper is as slow as the blazer express and i am not sure about the kiosk 3?

please let me know what you think.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
will look into the veloci-jet...

as i said, i need a machine that does not require to have it running every day without getting clogged.... so adding more t-2s is not really an option.
 

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will look into the veloci-jet...

as i said, i need a machine that does not require to have it running every day without getting clogged.... so adding more t-2s is not really an option.
LOL....yeah we own one also, good machine but it does require some TLC.:)
 

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We were in the same boat as you last January.

After switching over to the Belquette closed Ink system, we were finally able to get our Kiosks running consistent, and able to let them sit for several days at a time of no use.
But they are just too slow.

After looking at several different newer DTG machines, we decided on the Belquette MOD1. Not only is the print speed faster, but the platen bed makes for loading and unloading super easy. I will be posting video's shortly.

We have found that 1 person running 1 MOD1 printer can get more product than we could with 2 people running 2 Kiosks.

On top of the print speed, the way Belquette designed the printer makes maintenance a snap. All critical components are segregated from the printer area, so at the end of the day we simply open the front cover and spray the entire capping station and wiper blade down with windex and not have to worry about the liquid dripping into any electrical components. Under the capping station is a removable tray you simple take out and empty. After 6 months of use, our printer still looks new.

We are so happy with our MOD1, but MOD2 is on the horizon! :D
 

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We have found that 1 person running 1 MOD1 printer can get more product than we could with 2 people running 2 Kiosks.
Fair assesment - we find the same with the HM1-C as they are based on a "same-speed" print engine. The Kiosks are roughly 1/3rd the speed of the 2400/1800/1900 machines that the HM1-C and Mod 1 are based on.
 

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Fair assesment - we find the same with the HM1-C as they are based on a "same-speed" print engine. The Kiosks are roughly 1/3rd the speed of the 2400/1800/1900 machines that the HM1-C and Mod 1 are based on.
This is partially true in comparing the print speeds between the Kiosks and the 2400/1800/1900 print engines except for an inherent firmware difference not so apparent.

To clarify:
The HM1 uses a 2400 print engine and the Mod1 use 1800/1900 print engines. The maximum drop size the HM1 (or any 2400 based print engine) can achieve is 18pl in contrast to the Mod1 (or any 1800/1900 print engine) that can output 21 pl drops.
This effects the printing speed between these two platforms when laying down an acceptable white ink layer.
Why:
When printing white ink we need to produce an adequate white ink layer. The base line for these platforms when utilization 4 channels of white with a 21 pl drop at 1440 x 1440 meets this requirement.
Printing with the same resolution on a HM1 or any 2400 base engine will result in an automatic 16% decrease in coverage. This forces one to print at the next common resolution to get an acceptable white ink layer which is 1440 x 2280 that slows the print time down about 30% in contrast.
This 16% ink volume decrease is also true when printing CMYK colors at the same resolution.

No offense Don, but not quite the "same-speed" print engine. Agree?
 

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Good info Mark.

Unfortunatley we run our HM1's most frequently at about 85% of potential at 1440 x 1440 and still experience pooling in some cases (in other words we find that 18 pl is too much most of the time, QED - 21 pl would be too much even more frequently). The chip set on the HM1-C also decreases down time for ink chip resets which are evident on the 1800 and painful on the 1900 as you know. Only having to reset at 400 ml versus every 18 ml makes a big difference in productivity, and a decent savings in wasted ink.
 

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Unfortunatley we run our HM1's most frequently at about 85% of potential at 1440 x 1440 and still experience pooling in some cases (in other words we find that 18 pl is too much most of the time, QED - 21 pl would be too much even more frequently)
We find most of our customers run their white ink levels at 85 to 100% to insure full coverage ensuring they cover little pokers, it's good to have headroom.
This was our experience when first using the 2400 print engine and hence why we did not use it.

The chip set on the HM1-C also decreases down time for ink chip resets which are evident on the 1800 and painful on the 1900 as you know. Only having to reset at 400 ml versus every 18 ml makes a big difference in productivity, and a decent savings in wasted ink.
As for ink chip resets: This operation is performed on the mod1 between prints and is usually transparent to the operator and does not use any ink.
 

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Don,
when looking at new printers we liked the HM1 but the problem was the platen was attached to the bed. This would increase production time when running a batch of shirts if you cannot have shirts staged on platens and ready to go.

I'm not sure if all of your printer models still have them attached. There was one printer at the show we saw that had a conveyor style bed, when we came to watch it in action it looked like it came off the track and the techs were working on it to get it back up and running.

Some of the main things we were looking for when choosing a printer was:
* Print speed. To us print speed is printing at levels to produce the best quality print (not just acceptable).

* Ease of loading.

From what we saw at the show, the only printer that had the MOD1 beat as far as print speed was the Kornit.
For ease of loading, the MOD1 had all printers beat hands down.
 

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Adam,

Thanks for the response - I would like to correct one thing here. Belquette uses the same platens we worked with Livingston Systems to develop for the original Kiosk almost 4 years ago. The machines use the same platens (I believe they - Belquette - have a slightly modified base and retail for a good bit more than ours) - they load the same and can be staged just like the Mod printers.

Mark & Brett have done some nice things with the Mod, I don't deny that. We can argue bags versus WIMS until the cows come home. I will say that the HM1-C offers the most value for the dollar of any small format direct to garment printer on the market, and if you want speed you can buy 3 HM1's for the price of two Mod 1's.
 

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Don,
The platen themselves are the same (somewhat) as SWF Mesa sent us different height platens when we re-ordered.
For the Kiosk, we now have 2 of the same height adult platens and one adult platen that is shorter in height.
It takes time to readjust the bed height when using that platen, so in a batch all that time adds up.

That problem aside, none of the printers that I saw had a way to just simply set the platen on the bed and walk away. With our kiosk, the slight variation in platen height and since there is no way the print bed is always level using flimsy aluminum, it takes a half minute to level it and then check it with the "leveling jig".

The modifications that Belquette made to the platens using the ball legs make it super easy to load.

I know your later model printers do not have the same bed as the old kiosks, but I was just giving an example that just because they are the same platen, doesn't mean it takes the same amount of time to load.




Also, another selling point for us was tech support. A while back we were unable to solve the problem over the phone so we had to drive our Kiosk printer 6 hours to So Cal to have a tech look at it. Luckily it was only a 6 hour drive as other customers are not so lucky.

With Belquette, the printer is separate from the print bed unit. They offer an optional warranty where if you cannot solve the problem with a tech, they ship you a new printer unit which helps eliminate downtime. In addition, you may purchase spare printer units for somewhere around 5k as a backup. This is something we are investigating as a growing company. Eliminating downtime is a must.

If I'm not mistaken, you may even use the backup printer to print solvent inks. Belquette might be able to discuss that. I think having a separate unit that fits on to the print bed unit is far superior than having to flush out your expensive DTG inks just to switch over to another job.
 

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Adam,

I hear what you are saying. The difference in platen heights came about when we introduced the HM1-C, they required a slightly shorter platen to allow for thick garments. We carried both heights for a while - but ultimately went to the shorter HM1 size only. The bed on the HM1-C is rock solid and level - with lasers front and back to check print head height - that set at the optimal height when loaded. Big change from the Kiosk days.

Glad to hear that things are going well with your business.

Take Care
 

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We can argue bags versus WIMS until the cows come home.
No offense Don, but before WIMS came out DTG tech support said the reason for clogging is that we were not running white ink enough. This has been said countless times on this forum and the DTG forum. We ran a minimum of 30 dark shirts a day on our kiosk and still ran into clogging. Sometimes we did an average of 90 dark / black shirts a day.
What helped make a difference is getting ride of the valve system on our Kiosk, a modification made by your company to later model Kiosk 2's. Cartridges worked better than the dampers, only they turned watery after awhile.
Some people including ourselves had far better success using Equipment Zones bulk ink system.


My point is that before WIMS the problem according to SWF was not enough usage, now that WIMS is out, the problem is not enough white ink circulation. To me it just seemed like another very expensive upgrade that wouldn't really solve the problem.

When we read Belquettes post over a year ago on the bag system it made perfect sense, Air is the enemy of water based inks. Circulate it all you want with WIMS if air is getting in there.. problems are not far behind.
We are still running the same print head on our Kiosk that we had when we first switched over to the bag system.
Our other Kiosk would have an equally old print head if we didnt run into that motor problem on the carriage and replaced the print head thinking it was the culprit.

From a company perspective, some of the things that really made a difference for us were:
* Purchasing a Vastex Conveyor dryer.
* Purchasing a Air compressor sprayer to be used instead of the wagner. - Pretreat machine is next.
* Switching over to the Belquette Closed ink system.

Those 3 things have made quite a difference for us as a company.
 

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No offense taken Adam.

Using your printer regularly is the best solution to the problems that come from the settling of white ink - regardless of the ink delivery system you use. Commitment to daily maintenace is another big part of the equation. Settling of white ink is a third. Number one takes care of this to a degree and daily maintenance and nozzle checks will serve to indicate if a problem is developing. Circulation of the white ink eliminates the settling that WILL occur with white ink if it is allowed to sit for extended periods of time. Resuspending the particles through agitation helps, but it does not prevent the particles of white pigment and binders from attaching to one another and eventually causing a problem. The only way to address all of the ink in the system (except for the small amount actually in the printhead) from settling is to circulate the white ink - ALL of it. The only way to do that is to circulate all of the white ink.
 
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