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  1. #1
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    Question BW Production Printing Headaches

    I would love to hear some real world feedback for people who have experience with minolta BW production systems. Do you have a maintenance contract on it or is it not worth it?

    I am not a mechanic and have never worked on a minolta printer. I am considering not having a maintenance contract on a Bizhub 1200.

    Toners, drum and developers all are pretty cheap off ebay. The impression I am getting is the bw engines are extremely robust and almost industrial grade. I am more worried about paper jams on the PF-702. I am using 75-90 gsm paper 6x9" size.

    I have read online where people never had to any service for over 1 million clicks. I can call a copier mechanic to repair if the thing goes down, but it doesn't make sense to call them every month/quarter. Better off putting the copier under a maintenance contract.

    Any thoughts/opinions from a seasoned professional are greatly appreciated.


  2. #2
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    Re: BW Production Printing Headaches

    No experience with Minolta production machines, just Ricoh, but in general I would recommend a service contract for 2 reasons:

    #1: Once you add up the cost that you'd pay for toner, developer, drums, fuser parts, etc. it's probably not a significant difference from the cost of the maintenance contract. (Of course, this varies by company.)

    #2: Especially with production machines, a service contract is nice because it (generally) gives you a guaranteed response time. If you just call a local repair company when something breaks, they may not be able to get to you in the time frame that you need.

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  3. #3
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    Re: BW Production Printing Headaches

    Thanks for the feedback. CPC on a 1051 are running $0.0075 since it is 7 years old. Multiply that by 1M copies it is $7500. Cost for toner, developer, drums, fuser parts is running $1,000 for 1M copies. $6500 is a huge difference IMO. The way I have heard these machines being described as being indestructible and solid makes me think it won't require $6500 in service. But maybe I am over simplifying things.





  4. #4
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    Re: BW Production Printing Headaches

    If those numbers are right, then I'd agree, that's not worth it if you don't think you'll need service very often. Just make sure that you're taking into account all of the consumable parts that would otherwise be covered under a service contract: feed rollers, all the different subsystems (developer, drum, fuser, transfer), filters, etc.

    If the price difference is that drastic and you can get your hands on a copy of the service manual (for routine maintenance procedures) I'd say you're right, it may not be worth it for the service contract.

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  5. #5
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    Re: BW Production Printing Headaches

    these units are tough and reliable but can be very costly to fix if something major fails, and also demanding when it comes to doing maintenance work properly, there are things that are not covered in the service manual, and firmware updates to take into consideration. also consider the quality of the stuff you would be getting from ebay. bottom line is how important is it that the printer works good and stays working when needed.


    good luck.


  6. #6
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    Re: BW Production Printing Headaches

    How costly can it be? And how often do they have issues?

    I'm buying the unit for $3,000 + $3,000 for perfect binder. Even if I get 1 million prints and had to replace the whole unit, I still save $3500 that is if I get 1M prints.

    What are the most expensive parts on these machines?


  7. #7
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    Re: BW Production Printing Headaches

    Quote Originally Posted by Albonline View Post
    these units are tough and reliable but can be very costly to fix if something major fails, and also demanding when it comes to doing maintenance work properly, there are things that are not covered in the service manual, and firmware updates to take into consideration. also consider the quality of the stuff you would be getting from ebay. bottom line is how important is it that the printer works good and stays working when needed.


    good luck.
    I assumed when you said you were getting the parts and toner from eBay that you meant genuine OEM parts. If you're buying compatible/third-party parts and toner, I would strongly recommend staying away from them, no matter how cheap. I've rarely had compatible parts or supplies be worth the savings. Either they fail prematurely (and you may or may not be able to get them replaced under a warranty) or they cause all sorts of weird issues that make troubleshooting the problem even harder. That can be more of an issue with color machines, but with b&w machines I'd tend to stay away from them too.

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  8. #8
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    Re: BW Production Printing Headaches

    Thanks for the advice, I plan to stick to genuine OEM parts. Toners are available for cheap.


  9. #9
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    Re: BW Production Printing Headaches

    I would never recommend a machine of that class without a contract. One wrong move on it and your pretty figures is down the drain. Suffer electronic damage and you will be prayed upon.
    Being in the industry we see 200% plus profit coming if you need any OEM only parts. Any PM service can be stretched out to 5 hour plus, at production tech rates.
    It is robust yes but so fragile...

    Whatever

  10. #10
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    Re: BW Production Printing Headaches

    I assume the machine is used. In which case how many prints does it have on it already? All machines tend to need increased maintenance as they age, which may be beyond you as a non technical person. That's when you will need a fully trained & experienced technician who as access to all of the non standard parts that can wear or break. In my opinion you will be taking a big gamble on the reliability of the unit, particularly the binder. Whatever you do I wish you good luck.


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