First of all, Roland solvent printers are tried and tested workhorses. I have always been impressed by the colour output and the range of machines on the whole. combined RIP, onboard cutting blah blah.
I had a list of Roland printers and vinyl cutters over a 20+ year period.
I began to drift when I began using a third-party, UV lightbar on our printer. same machine, different ink which was UV cured. I loved it, and from then on I began to lean away from our solvent machines.
Due to a new contract, we won for wrapped I decided to move to HP Latex. 18 months later, bringing in a second latex printer and getting rid of the Roland machines altogether.
We also had a UV flatbed printer with ONYX RIP. So we basically run the HP machines using the same RIP.
We are predominantly a “sign and vehicle graphics” company that also does print. So I am not looking for mega-fast printers with ultra vibrant high-resolution prints with white ink options etc. Brilliant if the machine can do it, but for me, I want a decent speed, good quality, durable and stable ink, that is ready to roll when it comes out of the machine. HP latex does that for me!
Every machine has its pros and cons. You have to select one whose cons do not hamper your day-to-day business.
i.e. there is no point in having a super fast printer when the prints cant be used for a few days. Understandable, but pointless. ( and I have been in those shoes ).
I have attempted to buy another HP several times in the past 18 months, but I have been holding out for a variety of reasons, nothing to do with the printer, I have decided to make another significant purchase, so I will address the printer buy soon. I have had some demonstrations from Perfect Colours and have been Speaking with Darren Walker, who sold me my previous two latex.
Regarding the Epson. I have heard nothing but great reports about these machines from several companies I know of. However, regardless of the claim that they are latex, they have solvent content and no matter what is claimed, that should be outgassed when it comes to wrapping.
I just want to throw in something that I do, even with HP latex prints.
“Every” print, regardless of the machine or ink type, should be left as long as possible before lamination. However, something I came up with and HP has agreed with me personally, on my practice, when I put it to them in Barcelona.
If you laminate any prints, including HP latex print and intend on using it to wrap complex/deep “recessed” panels of a van. Allow for a “bonding period” For me, this is all belt and braces practice, it’s not stipulated by manufacturers. purely a Rob Lambie thing that I have preached for years now. Basically allow as long as you can for the prints to bond to the laminate in a warm room or simply sit the coiled roll next to a radiator or whatever, for 30+ minutes, just long enough for the heat to travel through the material.
Think about applying a vinyl graphic to a van. it will stick, but equally, you could pick it off quickly because it takes time to build up its bond. This bond accelerates with heat and time. So it’s a good habit to form.