I have to decide whether to buy a Domino K600, an MCS Eagle, a Delta from AZ, or an eZ-inkjet from GTUS. What is the difference between them ?
We think that the Ricoh head is definitively better for mailing, card, and any other single product application because it will last longer, it is newer technology, it is faster, and it is cheaper.
Once wider print is available, it will also be very competitive on webs.
Let’s check out the head technology
The Domino K600, MCS Eagle, AZ Delta, like the Raptor we sell (we think it works great on webs but we have bad experiences with single products), is based on Kyocera heads that came out around 8 years ago. They have 16 rows of nozzles that jet at 20 KHz, print 600 dpi and have a print width of 4.25”or 108 mm, the smallest drop is 7-14 pl (UV, slower on biggest drop, about 15 kHz) or 7-18 pl (Water). The head is very sensitive mechanically to products touching the nozzle plate (which will eventually happen), that is, you can easily lose jets, especially if not on a web (although they have splices). A replacement head costs $10,000 to $15,000
The new GTUS eZ-inkjet is based on the newest Ricoh technology that came out around 2 years ago. They have 4 rows of nozzles that jet at 60 kHz, print 600 dpi and have a print width of 2.13”or 54 mm (half the size of the Kyocera but the eZ-inkjet can hold 2 Ricoh heads, making it 4.15” or 108 mm), the smallest drop is 7 pl. The head is stainless steel, much sturdier than the Kyocera. A replacement head costs $5,800.
Let’s check out the speed
The Ricoh can jet at 52 kHz (433 fpm @ 600 dpi) vs 20 kHz (167 fpm @ 600 dpi) for the Kyocera, at the drop size of 7 pl, that is 2.6 times faster ! (*)
At drop size of 15 pl , the Ricoh can jet at 30 kHz (250 fpm @ 600 dpi) vs 20 kHz (167 fpm @ 600 dpi) for the Kyocera UV, that is 1.5 times faster ! However, most applications will need just 7 pl. So, you will run faster and use less ink.
The 2D barcodes will now print at the speed of the inkjet (GT-Jet 64 issue).
(*) Although Kyocera has come out with 20-30% faster heads, all companies still run the old heads because the speed gain is negligible and they are not compatible to old heads.
Let’s check out the head repair costs
The price per inch is about the same the same but the Ricoh head will last much longer because it is a stainless steel plate.
Besides, if you have to exchange a Kyocera head for 1 jetout, you will have to exchange the whole 4.25”. With the eZ-inkjet, you will exchange only one head. That will cost you only half.
Let’s check out the ink cost
The price per liter of UV ink starts at $196. This price goes down with volume. Kyocera inks apparently start at $250 per liter. The price for solvent and water based ink will about half the price of the UV ink.
We have also made the experience that our customers run mostly with 7 pl drops because the quality is good enough and they use only half the ink.
The ink cost is comparable.
Let’s check out the equipment cost
The price of an eZ-inkjet of 54 mm is $39,400, with an option to add a second head for 108 mm for $14,900. The Kyocera starts at $60,000 but it has 108 mm, more expensive with cleaning station.
The price per inch is comparable, however, if you only need 2”, the Ricoh is cheaper.
Let’s check out the quality
The quality is about the same with both heads.
Let’s check out self-cleaning
The eZ-inkjet is cleaned manually like the GT-Jet 64. The Kyocera has the option of self-cleaning which is in principle good.
However, the self-cleaning only works well if the people keep the cleaning station protected. If the wiper is exchanged poorly, you can scratch the head.
Furthermore, the cleaning station makes the system more complex because it needs flush, pumps, filters, motors, all components that make failures likelier.
We think that for a 2” or 4” head, cleaning manually is as good an option if not better than a cleaning station.
Let’s check out the case of replacing a GT-Jet 64
The eZ-inkjet uses the same mount as the GT-Jet 64. So there is no cost for a mount and it is replaced in no more than 2 hours.
The Kyoceras have different mounts. In the case of the self-cleaning Kyocera, it will probably not fit in an old machine.
We have replaced GT-Jet 64 with Kyoceras in the card market because the Ricoh was not available: it will only run at half the speed of a GT64, cards will eventually scratch the nozzle plate making costly head replacements necessary every 3-6 months. One Kyocera has already been replaced with an eZ-inkjet with great results.
Let’s check out the controller
Buying an eZ-inkjet from GTUS, you know you can connect it to the most versatile controller in the world with more than 4,000 controller installs. The GT controller is able to do any application, drive any inkjet technology, installed on any machine with the easy configurator. The controller software is changed here in-house, you get everything from one house.
The GT controller drives also our magnetic encoders, any camera or reader, RFID components, intelligent feeders, stackers and batchers, divert gates, labelers, etc.
Now driven with the SuperTracker, another development by GTUS.
Let’s check out the company
The eZ-inkjet is very important product for GTUS. We build it here in Florida. GTUS is very focused; small but with no debt, no gimmicks. Our support team is very responsive and compares positively to the other companies, knowing the CEO probably helps. We also can program the GT controller to adapt to any circumstance. We have a good working relationship with Domino and exchange frequently, in fact, we are proud resellers of Domino products.
The other mentioned companies are fine companies, bigger, with several lines of products and a worldwide presence.