Activity Feed Forums Printing Discussions Roland Printers PC60 / 600 Cartridges – Thermal products or genuine Roland?

  • PC60 / 600 Cartridges – Thermal products or genuine Roland?

    Posted by WP_Graphics on August 28, 2002 at 10:05 pm

    Hi All,

    I’m very new to this board but I though I’d add a little post in here! I bought a PC600 a few months ago now and started using the genuine roland cartridges after 10 minutes of me using this machine I heard a beep beep beep… from the machine. I had used my first cartridge in 10 minutes!!! This let me lead on to try to find a cheaper but just as good quality ribbon. I am now using Thermal Products’ ribbons.

    Can I have everyone’s view’s on these against genuine cartridges.


    Gav Wallace

    Dave Standen replied 20 years, 6 months ago 11 Members · 26 Replies
  • 26 Replies
  • Phill Fenton

    August 28, 2002 at 10:17 pm

    Interesting subject.

    I’ve only had my colorcamm 6 months – but had to have a new head fitted once already.

    I was worried that this was caused by using replacement ribbons instead of Roland cartidges.

    I have never had a definitive answer on this – but I suspect that using replacement ribbons was not the cause.

    Certainly the cost savings are substantial – I only wish Roland would lower their prices to encourage more to use their own products.

    I think the competition raised by these ribbon suppliers can only benefit the user in the long run – hopefully with the release of lower price consumables.

    I’m sure the colorcamm would become a runaway success if Roland were to market their cartridges at prices that allowed the signmaker to offer more affordable prices on printing to their customers. This would generate much more demand for colorcamm printing which would benefit Roland

  • Robert Lambie

    August 29, 2002 at 12:06 am

    ok ribbons… yep very expensive.
    i was recently having a blabber with our new board mod, mr andy balckett 😆 😆 about ribbons etc..
    his argument was the cheaper ribbons etc was better value than using the originals. very true. but i found that i could not be bothered with having to load these refills into my catriges every time i finished one. it all seemed very tricky to me.. so i did agree with the savings but not on the method.

    roland say: if you send back 200 spent catridges to them they will send you a new print head.
    value around £180 then all you do is pay a guy to fit it… can be costly though…
    catriges from roland are about £10 each 200 = £2000
    spot colours £15
    minus the print head you have spent £1820

    i have found a supplier im about to start using..
    they say send them your spent catridges in there "pre-paid by them" envelope.
    they will the next day send you the catridges all filled by them. cost per catridge if only buying 5-10 is about £5 give or take a few pence.
    spot colours are about £8

    so taking into account you have like before used 200 catridges
    total cost just over £1000
    add the price of you paying for new head at £180
    total saving of about £820

    so as you can see using the new supplier and paying for your own print head the saving is in the region of £800
    not to mention the fact you dont have to fill the catridges they will come already loaded.

    are they better or worse than the real roland ones. i would think not.
    since forming this group and speaking more and more to suppliers i find lots of nitty gritty secrets… re-branding is a big one…
    i reckon most ribbons (not all) are the same and the casing thats labeled different…

    take roland cutter blades and graphtec spendex etc… where do they get there blades. because they dont make them themselves.
    they have companies like edward mathias make them and badge them roland or whatever. stick on a big profit and we buy them.
    edward mathias now sell the exact same blade for about £8 each. roland and the like £20-£25 each.. and that is fact.
    there are only 2 real manufacturers of blades in the uk. edward mathias is one. a link to there details can be found on the homepage..
    please remember to mention where you got this info.

    the details of the ribbon supplier is as follows:

    01254 704330

    they also do durachrome, fargo and gerber edge ribbons…

    again, please remember to mention where you got this info.

  • Robert Lambie

    August 29, 2002 at 12:11 am

    oh and before i forget!
    your print head is supposed to last 22km of ribbon lentgh used. did that make sense?
    what i mean is before the head is supposed to burn out it should travel 22km.
    there is a counter inside the machine & it does this itself. so when the head is being replaced ask to see the travel distance of the head. and stand over the guy watching him get the reading just incase he re-sets it or somthing.
    if the head has burned out before its distance has been reached they are supposed to discount you on what you have lost out on..

  • Bob Gilliland

    August 29, 2002 at 1:06 am

    Truth be told about the colour ribbons used in the thermal devices; four actual manufactures exist worldwide. As Robert states, re-branding or contract OEM services occur to have all the “availability” we have. Some contracts stipulate that neither party can reveal each other. Same with the heads; only a few manufactures. Most thermal printing is monotone and very small in nature, so “our” uses in the signage industry are a niche within a larger picture for thermal printers.

    There is a difference between Roland/Summa foils compared to the Gerber foils. At this point, I’m not clear what the Matan series matches to; but feel comfortable in stating that it would be one or the other and not a third, unique technology.

    I’m not a big fan of non OEM materials, but I don’t “trash” talk and “belittle” what they do offer. I feel they are adding value to the machines, in some cases, offering additional options that the OEM’s don’t make available. How many spot colours does Roland offer to a PC-12/60/600 user? How many are available from all the third party suppliers? Does Gerber make a cartridge UV Clear or any 100 yard rolls? There are times to stick with OEM and there are times to use non-OEM. It is up to your comfort level, design, and abilities to know when to select one over the other. Not always a clear cut answer!

    And please remember, the heads will go bad in these thermal devices. It’s a matter of when; not if. Clamping pressure, abrasives contacting the element, and heat cycles will kill all heads eventually. It’s just some heads/shop allow for greater profits between replacements, Roland or Gerber.

    Also remember:

    [size=150]Value does not always equal cheaper and cheaper does not always equal value.[/size]

  • Robert Lambie

    August 29, 2002 at 7:39 am

    bob do you have an idea of the length of a pc60-600 ribbon.
    the company i mention state there is 60metres of ribbon and 90 in the pc50 i think..
    i was just wondering what roland offer in a catridge. 🙄

  • Andrew Blackett

    August 29, 2002 at 4:36 pm

    our 600 has been running on Thermal products cartridges now since January with absolutely no problems.

    the only thing you may get, is if you feed the ribbon round the guide pin on the outside of the cartridge, the tension can snap it. Just dont feed it under it.


  • WP_Graphics

    August 29, 2002 at 5:43 pm

    I tried Print One for my initial cartridges and I’m afraid that they were useless. Every time the cartridge broke due to either the heat or the tension. Rob, you may find that it’ll work ok on the PC60 as they have only tested the ribbons on these. They are actually Gerber foils cut up. The colour compared to the OE roland ones are totally different also. The Thermal Products (TP) ones are really good but I do agree with you, re-loading these can be a bit of a hassle but I found myself buying half a dozen blank cartridges of each process colour and pre-loading them all which saves time in the long run!

    Andy, tell me about your way of loading the cartridge – is it different to the way that it states on the jig diagram.


    PS – PC60: Roland cartridge length is 60m and the TP is 90mm (75 on spot colours)

  • Robert Lambie

    August 29, 2002 at 6:03 pm
    quote :

    They are actually Gerber foils cut up


    quote :

    The Thermal Products (TP) ones are really good

    so where would you recomend we buy these 😕

  • Andrew Blackett

    August 29, 2002 at 6:05 pm

    no probs gav,

    take a look at this, the red line shows the “suggested” ribbon path, mines the same but follow the black detour when you get out of the cartridge.

    it may be, that the print one refils were snapping because of the firmware version your 600 hundred is running. When did you buy it, and has it ever been back for servicing. The roland team, always flash the firmware on them to keep them up to date. But the latest versions of the firmware have a higher operating temperature on the print heads. This gives better clarity and print defination when using original roland ribbons.

    To be honest, I think that the quality of the refil ribbons is definately less than the originals from roland (but the saving in costs counter balance that). I believe however, that in the future we may not need to or may be able to use refils. Either because roland will drop the prices significantly to compete or the machines will come with head temperatures that are far to high for the refils to work with.


  • WP_Graphics

    August 29, 2002 at 9:38 pm

    Thermal Products
    01484 533111

    Paul North is your Guy – perhaps we could get a further discount off of him??

    Andy – I must try this as TBH, I still do get a few breaking for no apparent reason… Especially when I am printing a group of labels with borders round them. The ribbon gets a small space between the print lines and – I think snaps under strain.



  • Robert Lambie

    August 29, 2002 at 9:50 pm

    well gav like i said in the first post. i dont mind saving a bit of money but i dont have the time it takes to load ribbon in every catridge i use. too mcuh can go wrong.. ide rather load the machine and away it goes.
    so ill try “PRINT ONE” for now.. there prices & service seem great to me.

    i still dont understnd what you mean by this:

    quote :

    They are actually Gerber foils cut up.

    how can this be possible? and why go to the bother?
    if it is true then surely the ribbon would be of quality if it was from the edge? 🙄

  • James

    August 29, 2002 at 10:44 pm

    Hi the gav,

    I think from what you’ve said about the ribbon’s bracking when printing borders etc… is probably the machines fault and not the ribbons below is something which I pulled off Roland’s support board ( ) regarding this.

    quote :

    Its a “feature” of the printer , when printing thin lines , the heat of the thermal head acts almost like one of those plastic bag sealers (as the roland guy pointed out , thin lines) and sort of heat seals and parts the ribbon , its a particular problem if there is just one line from the top to the bottom of the width of the ribbom , and its NOT solvable unless you thicken the line , when you fisrt encounter it and dont know why it’s happening , it’s a hair tearing out excercise as you go thru every possible problem solving routine.

    Hope this helps, the roland boards can be a good place to start if you have any problems with the colorcamm, the guys there seem to know there stuff.


  • Robert Lambie

    August 29, 2002 at 11:05 pm

    good reply james & thanks for the link mate! 😉

  • Bob Gilliland

    August 30, 2002 at 10:52 am


    (?) (?) I’m also very interested and intrigued about the “Gerber foils cut up” statement. Considering that the actual foil technology is different, I’d like to understand how anybody successfully delivers “Gerber” based foils to a “Roland” machine. I’m ready to learn if somebody is willing to teach. (?) (?)

  • WP_Graphics

    August 30, 2002 at 12:51 pm

    Hi Guys,

    That was a quote that I was given from Mike @ Solutions 2. He Stated that this company was specialists in doing Aftermarket Gerber Edge Foils and then moved to the colourcamm’s. They apparently did this by cutting up their own aftermarket Gerber foils and then loaded them into roland cartridges. So I’m told…..

    Sorry to print one if this is wrong 😳


  • Bob Gilliland

    August 31, 2002 at 12:13 am


    It’s “my” understanding of the Roland and Gerber foils that has me interested if anybody is successfully using one type of foil in the other machine type. I didn’t mean to insinuate or have you read other wise. I have no doubt that somebody may have stated this to you, I am just wondering what validity the statement holds. 🙄 I’m just really, really interested in knowing if someone is in fact doing this and how they are able to. I’d like to have a discussion with who ever is doing this if they would be open to talking with me. For most people, they look the same; both have pigment and a linear (carrier) and heat transfers that pigment. However, there are distinguishable differences between the two that “I thought” would prevent a successful use as was indicated. If someone were successfully doing such an event, I’d love to chat with him or her.

    Enough of that for now, tells us about your machine. Happy with the quality and performance of the machine? What software you using to design and output to it? What influenced your decision to go with the PC-600 as opposed to other thermal devices or an inkjet?

    By the way, welcome to the UKSG Boards!

  • Robert Lambie

    August 31, 2002 at 12:28 am

    personally i would have thought the ribbons had to be manufactured at the proper size to fit the cartridge in question.
    i didnt know the ribbons where actualy differnt unti rob said so. i was more puzzled at how anyone would go to the expence of actual trying to convert a edge ribbon to a roland one… surely its not possible and even if it was im sure just buying the proper ribbon would be more economical.

    so if james’s suggestion to the ribbon breaking is correct & the story about the edge ribbons being converted is just here say…
    that means Print One as a source for these ribbons is back up there as an excellent option for cheaper ribbons..!

    phew.. now thats out the way i think ill give them a try im needing some now!
    😀 😀

  • red dragon

    September 2, 2002 at 12:21 pm

    Having read all the posts relating to this, I called Prnt One on Friday, and the package arrived this morning. They look interesting, will let everyone know how I get on with them. Some interesting metallics available by the looks of things.

    It would appear from what they told me on Friday that if your machine has a particular version of Firmware loaded it can cause the breaking problem, and that’s why they send out a full set of samples to begin with.

  • Robert Lambie

    September 2, 2002 at 12:29 pm

    great sharon..look forward to hearing your thoughts…

    as for the samples…yeh we got samples also.. all worked perfectly fine…

  • James White

    December 5, 2002 at 10:42 pm

    Hi Everybody,
    We use Thermall Products for Roland refills. Can anyone suggest another supplier?



  • Dave Standen

    September 22, 2003 at 10:42 am

    Hi Everyone.
    So now I’m under the spot light! Lets hope I don’t let anyone down.
    Rob has sprung this old post on me – I didn’t know about it but I shall work my way through and try to give accurate info that may interest and assist everyone. I’ll start at the bottom and work up.

    Hi Bob:
    Your last post – ‘Gerber foils cut up to become Roland refills’ – I think the jargon is misleading. This activity in UK was indeed started by Paul North -Thermal Products. At that time (some years ago) 91M x 305mm wide refills of thermal ribbon (Gerber size) was slit down to 13mm wide (Roland size) by Paul. At that time, a standard size 15mm copper pipe was cut to form a ‘push on’ core for the 13mm ribbon. Paul produced those refills himself. At that time they were sold @ £8 each. The foil was from Coding Products – now known by Gerber users as Sign Foils. The process described does not give a lot of client confidence, but it was the only alternative available at that time. Printability with these ribbons has always been excellent, durability is an issue – with little or no chemical leeching resistance – they wipe off instantly with isopropanol. This is not so important to label makers or printed decals for in indoor use.

    So – the description should read:
    The old refills (to fit Roalnd) were slit down from Gerber size refills.
    They were not slit from genuine OEM Gerber foils!
    I shall keep adding information as I digest the rest.
    Regards Dave Standen

  • Dave Standen

    September 22, 2003 at 11:36 am

    Hi Again – Installment 2

    Anjasola – at last a reply – please to meet you – I can supply.
    Please sent me your address samples – will be supplied mid/late October.

    Red Dragon – Sorry that your machine is more prone to snapping than others – again supply your address and you can test the new formula in mid/late October at my expense.

    Foils to fit various machines. Your right Rob, the only sensible way forward is to manufacter for the particular target machine rather than ‘remanufacter. The system is that thermal transfer film is manufactured in ‘Master’ or ‘Jumbo’ rolls, 1 Metre wide (or wider) by up to 15,000 Metre long.(could be shorter) Now that’s a refill! The material is then slit and processed to fit various machine sizes, possibly by people claiming to be manufacturers)
    For example:
    Mattan (Isreal) uses 1Metre wide refill rolls made in USA
    Roland (Japan) uses 13mm wide, made in Japan
    These companies do not manufacture the refills. They are of course supplied to them by OEM people under contract.

    You are interested to talk to someone with regard to thermal transfer foils – perhaps we could chat?

    With regard to the same foils being used on various machines – DuraCoat (Iimak) do it all the time. They supply refills that fit many machine makes. The large one of course is Gerber. They also supply as OEM for the Mattan range including the Sprint1216. It is possible they give the impression of various formulations. Consider my earlier remarks to Rob. It would be a forest of material to have multiple formulations.
    I’m informed that DuraCoat have now abandoned the Durachrome line of supply in USA because their back coating of their foil is an issue – potentialy ‘scrapped’ off by the ‘attack angle’ of the duracrome DC1 print head (to be left as a deposit). That means no special DC formulation! All the material issued by DuraCoat has the same unique dark back coat. This also supports what I have said. If you look at the spot colours available from DuraCoat – they’re all the same for the larger size machine refills – I believe they are the same foil – slit to requirement.
    I’d be very interested in a chat Bob – maybe hear from you soon?
    Maybe you would like to independantly evaluate and publish your results of the Renown product to fit Gerber Edge?
    Enjoy the trade show.

    WP Graphics:
    Mike at Solution 2 sold me my Roland PC60 as well. We use for testing and development. The system for refills that Paul North did use does not apply to Print One. We buy finished product from Renown – fully packaged and finished. Print One is the distributor – we do not manufacture. Indeed Roland was the 1st product and the Gerber refill system came a quick 2nd.

    More soon
    Best Regards Dave Standen

  • AaSk4Stickers

    September 22, 2003 at 2:11 pm


    I have just re-read this thread which interests me greatly as I also have a PC600.

    I did try the Thermal Products cartridges a year or so ago, and had the snapping ribbon problem that others have reported. The black cartridge was the worst, and it wasn’t printing just lines either. The other colours also broke but not as frequently as the black.

    On discussion with Paul at TP he suggested that it was the different temperature of the PC600 via a vis the PC60 on which the refills apparently worked fine.

    Like Rob Lambie, I can’t be hassled with trying to refill my own cartridges, and the cost of the refilled cartridges from TP didn’t represent much of a saving from the genuine Roland ones. I decided back then to stick with the Roland ones.

    If your organisation, Dave, has a product that will work on my PC600 without breaking and its cost makes it as worthwhile as Rob suggests I too would be interested in trying the print-one product.

  • Rodney Gold

    September 22, 2003 at 3:16 pm

    I REITTERATE – Be CAREFUL with aftermarket gold and silver – I have just blown a head using an aftermarket silver for my pc60 which has obviously been badly slit or something , all the silver flakes off the edges and shorted my head out.
    Now I had the problem with gold aftermarkets and got a report from Roland that this was the problem (I could plainly see the gold on the head so this was not a “use roland only” type thing), the suppliers said they would check – same supplier , same problem with silver – using aftermarket metallic foils has cost me 2 heads + downtime and no recourse from the supplier. (I was told they had no problems in their machines)
    I could see the flakes of silver on the vinyl as it came out – but it was too late. The head was a gonner!!!!
    AFAIK this is a Renown product. We are VERY careful when refilling , taking time to clean all rollers etc in the cart and clean the machine religiously between jobs with a cleaning pen , replace the wipe pads every 2 weeks or so , clean the vinyl and use an antistatic gun on it , run in a controlled environment and so on.
    We had the agents here last week for to drop off some coated media for the soljet and I asked him to look at the PC cos we are hitting our really busy season and everything was pronounced hunky dory – sheesh – little did I know. I’m reall p…d off.

  • Bob Gilliland

    October 7, 2003 at 8:42 pm

    One of my replies further above indicates four manufactures globally for color thermal foils. I now believe that number to be five. And there are an increasing amount of “branded” foils for purchase, but not sure what the current number is there. Sometimes these vendors are like sign shops; here today, gone tomorrow.


    Thanks for the update and clarification regarding the “Roland foils from Gerber material” from further above. That makes much more sense and I understand where the confusion centered from. Thanks.

    As for chatting with you some time, no problem, I’d like the opportunity. I’ll drop an email once I’m back in on a regular basis (probably late October as I’m getting ready to hit the road again) to see about setting some time aside.

    I checked out the Print One web site the other day. You may want to look into correcting a minor error regarding 4edgetalk. It’s stated that 4edgetalk is independent web site run by a Gerber distributor in Canada – Hyatts. That’s not actually correct. The site is in fact run independent of Gerber, however, its by a sign shop owner located in Shippenville, PA, USA by a gentleman named Gary Wiant (along with his wife) and not Hyatt’s. Additionally, Hyatts is based in Buffalo, NY, USA, not Canada. Officially, Gerber products sold in Canada should come through ND Graphics, (part of Spandex, who is part of Gerber). Hyatts, Gerber, and other entities are sponsors of the site, but it is Gary that administers the site.

  • Dave Standen

    October 9, 2003 at 1:57 pm

    Hi Bob
    Thanks for the reminder ref 4EdgeTalk on Print One web site. I shall adjust. The site is being refurbished at the moment – finished by the end of the year – product re-launching etc.

    Perhaps when your schedule permits, maybe you would be interested in receiving samples of the Renown product to fit Gerber Edge for some genuine trials and comparisons against ‘The Rest of the World’ foils? A bit of fun – but outcome would be interesting. I believe you to be an independant with considerable knowledge with regard to Gerber Edge, or that’s the street rep you have anyway!

    I look forward to your reply
    Best Regards Dave Standen

Log in to reply.