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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
HEY, GUYS...
I am a newbee here at the forums and I just want to say Hey, I just ordered my new Kornit...Should be here in about 4 weeks they tell me. SO, my question is, what do I need to know before they get here with my equipment.
what do I need to look for? what do I need to check out? and is it worth all them money I just spent?
thanks guys.
Ken Scott
Ken's Custom Tees
:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
umm, you probably shoulda looked here before you bought!

Do a search at the top of the page on kornit. You will find a wealth of information, both good and bad.

i did...i could actually find 2 or 3 people on here that had both good and bad things to say.. Sounds like they loved it when it was running and hated it when it wasn't. Colorado timberline has 8 of these and cafe press has 10.. They seem to be making money...i don't know? Any thoughts?
 

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i did...i could actually find 2 or 3 people on here that had both good and bad things to say.. Sounds like they loved it when it was running and hated it when it wasn't. Colorado timberline has 8 of these and cafe press has 10.. They seem to be making money...i don't know? Any thoughts?
Yeah, that's the same thing I was talking about.

Look, I am sure before you put out that kind of money, you look long hard and close at everything there was available.

When I see something that big and complicated, I always think to myself that this method is too new and too changing to shell out that kind of big bucks. Then when we read from respected super knowledgeable folks like Justin at contractdtg that his Kornit has basically been a 1000 pound doorstop the last month, well it causes you to pause. Kornit Print Samples, Videos and Related Information - Page 8 - T-Shirt Forums
 

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I can say that Justin has been thru alot with his Kornit from what I have read, and he is one of the first experienced users of the dtg printers from its infancy. He has a kornit users forum where you can read more of the problems he has had. Here is a link to his forum www.kornitusers.com. I can honestly say I have seen him defend the kornit when others wanted to tear it down, and I can say I have seen him be 100% honest with his whole experience. It just sounds like he has finally given up on kornit and their customer service and repair issues. From what I have read of his posts over the years, most of his problems he has fixed himself . I really hope you are well prepared for owning this machine and know hands on stuff, as kornits main tech support is out of the country. There have also been issues with being able to get ink for his machine on a continuous basis.
 

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Normally I wouldn't step into this discussion but for Ken's sake he should hear from someone who is having success with their Kornit printers and not second hand information about one person or company that hasn't. What you are being told is truly correct that you need to be prepared for a large learning curve on how to use the Kornit but once you get the feel for the ripping, the printing and the curing processes, it can and will become second nature to you.

I purchased my first 931 Kornit over 2 1/2 years ago and honestly, for the first year or more hated the machine and anyone associated with the sale. Howeverm, when I bought it, I was told that I was getting into it very early, serial number 51, and I had to be prepared for a lot of ups and probably more downs and that was true. When my first 931 got converted over to water base ink back in May of 2007, it was like the light bulb went on and everything started to tick. The prints were vibrant, the machine was running smoother, not perfect, but smoother and the customers weren't complaining. We contined to learn the process and grow the business enough that in May of this year I purchased a second 931, that another company owned, but had difficulty keeping it running. It took about a month to work out the kinks on that machine and now I have 2 printers running 2 shifts with very little headaches. Are there issues that crop up? Of course but they are more of a nusance and usually easily remedied now that we know what to look for.

The comments about the lack of service were true for a long period of time. However, Kornit now does have a North America office located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and is building a qualified distributor network to sell and service the equipment. On top of that Kornit has partnered with EFI, the world leader in color digital print servers, superwide format printers and inks, and print management solutions to continue to improve and enhance the technology.

In the end you have to make you own gut decision. Is it all a bed of roses with any machine? The answer to that is a resounding NO. Are there some machines better than others? I would have to say yes from reading the forum but again, that is your decision to make. Some people will say you are crazy to spend so much money on a printer when you can get one for a fraction of the cost. My statement to that is, if in the long run I have a faster, easier, less labor intensive and less material cost, I will spend whatever it takes to be in business for many years to come. It all boils down to ROI and if that is there at the end of the month I am one happy person.

Ken, good luck with your purchase. be prepared for a lot of hard work and probably frustration but in my opinion, it will be worth it in the end. you are getting involved in an industry that is very new and exciting with lots of potential to grow.

Rob
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I can say that Justin has been thru alot with his Kornit from what I have read, and he is one of the first experienced users of the dtg printers from its infancy. He has a kornit users forum where you can read more of the problems he has had. Here is a link to his forum www.kornitusers.com. I can honestly say I have seen him defend the kornit when others wanted to tear it down, and I can say I have seen him be 100% honest with his whole experience. It just sounds like he has finally given up on kornit and their customer service and repair issues. From what I have read of his posts over the years, most of his problems he has fixed himself . I really hope you are well prepared for owning this machine and know hands on stuff, as kornits main tech support is out of the country. There have also been issues with being able to get ink for his machine on a continuous basis.



Thanks for the link . I have read that about a million times. I even tried to join that message board and had no luck. I have been in the screen print industry for over 20 years. I'm not new in the game but i am new when it comes to DTG's. We are just turning away so many jobs its crazy. And most of them are dark color shirts. I even thought about buy "another" m&r 18 color auto screen printer.. I just want to get away from the screen burning and have a quicker turn around for smaller orders (less than 100)... do you know anybody that has a kornit that has had good luck with the machine?
 

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I know there is another guy named Bob emb that runs contractdtg.com east coast that has a kornit. It seems he has also had good enough luck with his, as I have not him post with the type of problems Justin has had.

Rob thanks for you reply, its good to hear things are going well with your machine :) I was simply stating what I have read of Justins posts over the last year or so here, so its not quite second hand information, as you can find all of the posts here that justin has stated everything I put in my post. I am glad to hear though that you are having a better time with your machine then he is. I guess its just good to know that while some people may have good luck with a machine, others may not, and its good to be prepared for that with a large investment. Here is a link to a thread where several owners discuss owning the kornit https://www.t-shirtforums.com/direct-garment-dtg-inkjet-printing/t16001.html. This is first hand info from them.

I would just be cautious with that type of investment is all.
 

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Have fun. :)

Did you purchase a 931, or a 932? As Robert pointed out, he has been having good luck (minus the first year, as it sounds like) with his set of 931's. However, it is very important to remember that the 931 and the 932 are two COMPLETELY different machines. The 931 is simply a better engineered unit, with more well thought out features (for instance, electronic pressure monitoring, single-pass fixation, electronic height adjustments, etc). Therefore, when comparing experiences between different Kornit owners, it is important to be aware of what machine they are using.

Our network (ContractDTG) started with 3 machine purchases, and 1 more on order. These machines were spread all over the country, so humidity and environmental variables covered the entire spectrum. Less than a year and a half later, we are down to 1 machine. That should tell you something. We all started with 932's, and both Bob and myself purchased the very expensive "upgrade" for the machines, which we were told would fix our problems. In the first 14 months or so, here is a short list of issues I have dealt with:

- Replaced 1 printhead ($4,000 or so, had we not been under warranty) in the first 3 months
- Faulty sensor caused huge internal flooding in December
- Faulty lower fixation pump caused our machine to take 4.5 minutes for each upper fixation fillup (which meant we could only print 1 shirt every 4.5 minutes, max, for awhile)
- Assorted software problems caused the machine to behave erratically almost daily
- A semi-recent hardware failure caused my machine to flood internally, again, only a few months ago
- Upper control board (allegedly costing $6,000) burned out on me a few months ago
- For the last month, before I gave up, my machine was printing random nonsense all over the platen, and beyond. In fact, it will only print garbage from about 4 inches BELOW the lower boundary of the platen, all the way to 4 inches or so ABOVE the upper platen boundary. No actual images will print on my machine.

At that rate, it is safe to say we experienced a major equipment malfunction (one that was serious enough to put us out of commission for at least a week or longer) every 2 months since we purchased our machine. This extends far beyond a "learning curve". There have been at least 2 times where hardware failures have put us out of commission for over 4 weeks. December was one of those times - the busiest time of year for us.

I am not going to get into detail about all the nonsense I have had to deal with, because I don't feel that it will help anyone, at this time. However, I do feel that it is important for any prospective Kornit owner to have an inside look at what some of us have to deal with on a regular basis. I don't lose a dime, or gain a dime, if you or anybody else buys or sells a Kornit printer. In fact, it would actually behoove me to convince LOTS of people to run out and buy the machines, since I will be unveiling a new software project (which relates directly to the Kornit) within the next few weeks. However, I don't think it is fair to keep this information private, which is why I post this type of information, and why I started the PUBLICLY viewable Kornit User's forum. However, I do not allow non-Kornit owners to post, as it would detract from the conversations being held by current owners who are struggling to solve their problems.

Ken - now that you have purchased a machine, feel free to send me your user name that you created on the Kornit forum, and I will grant you the ability to post and converse with the other owners. Feel free to share your experiences, as well as any tips you might come across.

As you mentioned; when the machine was cooperating, I loved it. When it wasn't, I hated it. Overall, do I think it was worth the time and money I put into it? No. Do I think they are going to eventually get better, both in customer service as well as hardware reliability? Yes. Not only have they established new distributors who will hopefully help keep consumables flowing, as well as provide increased support (of course, at this point, that is all speculation), but they have also been working hard at the North American facility to create consistent, high quality print standards which can be implemented by any Kornit owner (AFTER that particular owner has succeeded in vanquishing all the Kornit ghosts in the machine). David Burkowitz has already made incredible strides in color profiling, print settings, etc, which will surely benefit Kornit owners who have chosen to use the Onyx RIP.

For me, it simply was not an option to keep losing money while I waited for them to get everything in order.
 

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PS - Bob has certainly had his share of problems, as well, but he has not had the constant hardware failures that I have had (although he did have some pieces fail). It would be out of place for me to tell the world what Bob has dealt with in the past, but I can say that he recently had his machine gone over by a knowledgeable technician, and it is running much "better" than it has in the past.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I haven't signed the papers yet.. Was suppose to on Monday. It was the 932 NDS.. The sales rep told me about all these new changes in the machine. ?? whatever that is.. I will get a list and post them here.
I will hold off until I talk to you guys more.. THANKS
ken
 

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I was in the commercial printing business for over 2o years and have been through the exact same situation with direct to plate makers and high speed copiers and digital color copiers. Luckily my business was in Massachusetts and we have consumer protection laws that allow us to be compensated from comapnies with faulty machines. After our experiences with numerous failures I am waiting it out for the DTG industry to mature and produce reliable profit making machines. As with the printing industry you will see these machines get better and less expensive as the industry matures. One thing that I think about, is like the printing industry with home printers and copiers is there going to be a time when your home printer/copy machine will also print T shirts.
 

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The sales rep told me about all these new changes in the machine. ?? whatever that is.. I will get a list and post them here.
I would be interested in hearing the most recent changes. However, they are constantly making changes to their machine hardware and software, so this is nothing new. Every time the company realizes that another part is regularly failing, they try something new and "see how it goes". They have had to change parts on the machine awhile back because they didn't realize that their fixation would ERODE certain pieces. The worst part is, when they do realize that there is a problem part on the machine, they do not immediately educate their existing customer base. Therefore, if you are stuck with a machine that has parts in it that are prone to failure, you won't know it until they actually go out on you (or, if you are lucky enough to talk to another machine owner who has had the same part replaced, already).

There are so many different variations of hardware setups among the assorted machines, that the software installation has about 6 different configuration combinations that you can select, based on your particular hardware assembly. There are also instruction manuals to show how to identify your individual hardware setup, based on visual cues inside the machine.

There is no doubt, that if you were to purchase the most recent 932NDS setup today, there would be a handful of random changes made over the next few months, and you will likely come to find out that you need all of the new features in order to keep the machine running correctly, or to solve whatever assorted problems you are likely to run into.
 

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Ken, If you go through with it I am sure all of us here would appreciate a play by play of your experience.

If you could please be honest and keep your feelings out of it. After making a huge purchase there is a tendency to "self affirm"...convince yourself that you did the right thing.

As a former Kornit owner I am now in the other side of self affirmation, convincing myself that we did the right thing by getting out...

I was much like Justin, struggling along all the while thinking that the solution was right around the corner. It never happened for us.

Imagine buying a 200,000 dollar car that did not run right after the first week...
 

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And if you do go through with it, be prepared for the time of your life, tinkering inside of your machine:

(yes, a Kornit tech told me to do this)





Even then, after you've busted your butt and sweated away a couple pounds inside Big Blue, you are still going to see some crazy stuff happen on your machine....




But, if you persist through it all, and really get to know your machine... I won't promise you will be able to make it run, all the time, but you should be able to get pretty good results. It is all a matter of where your tolerance limit, is. Mine is INCREDIBLY high, and I surpassed it - much like the ink in this print seems to have mysteriously surpassed the limit that it is supposed to be capable of printing within...
 
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