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Five reasons to avoid Epson based CTS Machines

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Five reasons to avoid Epson based CTS Machines

Postby dtsmike » Tue Apr 28, 2009 8:07 am

1. Epson does not condone or support any Epson based OEM equipment.

At any screen printing show, there are always a number of products based on the Epson printer platform. Epson frowns on the use of their product in OEM equipment. They keep accurate and detailed records of all printer serial numbers and customers. They will no way support any printer that is used in another product. As explained to me by a district manager, they feel it hurts their consumable business. Other reasons are product liability, business focus, and maintaining the integrity of their products.

2. Epson 7600/7800 products are at “End of Life.”

In the “High Tech” digital industry, markets and technology change fast. This means that the average product life of digital products is about three years.

This is true for the Epson 7600 and Epson 7800 based machines. 7600 heads are now becoming quite scarce and most are sourced out of the country. (Quality issues).

If you have an older 7600 based imager, then you should have at least two heads in reserve. If you don’t need them, one of your fellow printers certainly will. The 7800 is at “end of life” as well. As anyone will notice, the Epson part costs have doubled for screen printers in the last year. Parts prices will continue to increase as the availability diminishes. Epson is not making new parts for these products.

3. Epson 7800 maintenance software is pirated

Hey guys, this is a biggie!

The software required to properly align Epson 7800 machines is illegally obtained and is NOT LICENSED for use by anyone that has an Epson based imager.

This is proprietary software and Epson management was quite clear on this. IF YOU HAVE A COPY OF THEIR ADJUSTMENT WIZARD, IT MUST BE DELETED!

It is stolen property. Epson (like all other corporations) is very aggressive when is comes to software piracy. Trust me, software development costs are a huge expense. It is often the largest expense associated with a new product.

This software is required for all head replacements, and most of the print and servo adjustments. Without it, the machine cannot be repaired properly. This software is for Epson and Epson approved service providers only!




4. Many new 7600 and 7800 based imagers used scrap printers

It was common practice to buy used printers off the internet and use the Epson print engine in a “new” imager. While technically, the mechanical platen assembly could run dozens of years, it has caused other issues with reliability. Pumps, wipers, head pin stations, and other components fail prematurely.

I became aware of this practice after several months with PlanetB. The printers were supposedly refurbished. This meant that if the original part works, use it. If not, find one that does.

While that product was very successful, every customer out there knows about those annoying errors from counters, pumps, cartridge assemblies, pin stations, and head assemblies.

Most of the Epson based imagers are “Ebay based.”

5. Reliability Issues

The Epson based imagers now being sold have a history of serious quality/reliability issues.

After the demise of PlanetB Technologies, the good folks at KIWO were very happy to inherit the product line and re-launch it as the ECOJET. There were over seventy solid PB machines out there with very satisfied customers. The future looked bright. KIWO had a solid product to complement the I-Jet market.

Unfortunately, the new manufacturer in South Carolina could not product a quality product and most of the first machines were returned by very disappointed customers. This was a huge embarrassment and KIWO had to immediately drop the product line. (Rightly so).

The issue was that the new company had no professional design engineers and the policy was to only hire non-skilled entry level personnel. Their view was that anyone can build a CTS machine.

These machines are now on the market under a new product name. Some of these machines are the same ones that have been returned.

In addition, the last batch of five or so machines that was manufactured by Planetb had serious quality issues as well. This was due to the fact that PlanetB was on it’s last leg financially and quality suffered. There are three or four of these machines still on the market. They should be avoided.

It’s a rough economy out there right now. Customers need quality information to avoid the many pitfalls one can encounter when purchasing digital equipment. An informed decision is a good decision.
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Re: Five reasons to avoid Epson based CTS Machines

Postby tompaine » Tue Apr 28, 2009 3:03 pm

Would DTS Mike like to declare an interest?
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Re: Five reasons to avoid Epson based CTS Machines

Postby dtsmike » Tue Apr 28, 2009 4:03 pm

I am actually out of the industry and doing other things but posted due to concerns from a number of my previous customers.

I do not recommend any particular CTS or DTS machine. I'm a retired engineer from the tech industry who has been supporting CTS machines in the screen industry for the last 4 years.

The technology in the screen industry is behind most other industries. There are products out there that do not live up to the sales pitch. During my years with KIWO and PlanetB I have been fortunate enough to build relationships with many screen printing companies and corporations. These are good people and most are my friends. I would be remiss if I didn't communicate what I've seen in this industry lately. I want my friends to succeed.



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Re: Five reasons to avoid Epson based CTS Machines

Postby tompaine » Tue Apr 28, 2009 4:27 pm

That's OK Mike, salesmen generally oversell their products :oops:
Why Epson, I suspect that all printers have their failings, generally linked to white inks that aren't suitable for inkjets.
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Re: Five reasons to avoid Epson based CTS Machines

Postby coachie » Thu May 19, 2011 11:35 am

Mike, if you're still out there I'd like to talk to you about Planet B issues. Send me an e-mail at rdywrsl@charter.net.

Thanks a bunch,

Kelly St. John
KSJ Studio
Hollister, CA
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