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  • Graphtec vs Summa Cutting Plotters

  • Jamie Wood

    Member
    August 5, 2020 at 9:56 am

    Hello all,

    We will shortly be buying a new plotter, and I wondered if anyone had real world experience in any of the following, good or bad:-

    Graphtec FC9000

    Summa S160 D series

    Summa S160 T series

    Cheers.

  • Robert Lambie

    Administrator
    August 5, 2020 at 10:20 am

    Hi Jamie

    do you have any specific tasks you plan using them for?

    do you have a printer that you will use them to contour cut with?

  • Jamie Wood

    Member
    August 5, 2020 at 10:54 am

    Hi Rob,

    We’ll be doing usual cut vinyl, along with print & cut rolls. Quite a lot of our stuff is full rolls of print, which then need plotting after lamination. We’re currently using a Mimaki CG FXII, but it’s staring to show it’s age, and some of the features on the Graphtec & Summa ones look interesting. We print with a JV33, and Espon SC80600. Ideally, I’m looking for a machine that will last the next 10 years, as the Mimaki has done.

  • David Hammond

    Member
    August 5, 2020 at 1:18 pm

    We’ve run Graphtec cutters since I started in 2010. FC8000-130, and then upgraded to the FC8600-160.

    No complaints here, and the cutting master plugin works well in illustrator, and we also print and cut from Signlab VPM.

    We do print & cut, cut vinyl, perf cuts, with no issues.

    Saying that there’s probably nothing wrong with Summa, just never used them.

  • Joe Killeen

    Member
    August 5, 2020 at 4:52 pm

    Have the FC9000 a few months now and cant fault it, the barcode crop mark feature is faultless set it up and leave it to cut the full roll. Can’t say anything on the Summa’s never used one.

    • Jamie Wood

      Member
      August 5, 2020 at 5:44 pm

      Did you get it with the take-up? It could be very useful if we could leave it chugging away unattended.

      • Joe Killeen

        Member
        August 13, 2020 at 10:43 am

        Sorry Jamie only seen your question. No I didn’t get the take-up.

        Not a lover of leaving any of the machines running totally unattended.

        The media basket does a good job.

        • Jamie Wood

          Member
          August 13, 2020 at 11:12 am

          Thanks Joe

  • Gary Forbes

    Member
    August 10, 2020 at 5:39 pm

    Of the two, I would go with Graphtec as I don’t have any experience with Summa.
    Graphtec are very reliable accurate machines.

  • Jamie Wood

    Member
    August 12, 2020 at 7:40 am

    Many thanks to those who answered.

  • Robert Lambie

    Administrator
    January 3, 2021 at 9:40 pm

    Hi Jamie

    Sorry, missed responding to your reply mate.

    I highly recommend Roland, Graphtec and Summa cutters. All are workhorses and we have knocked the hell out of ours due to workload over the past 31 years.

    I was in the same position as you a few years back. I had two relatively new Graphtecs, but I wanted roll-to-roll contour cutting, unattended!

    In short, I opted for a top of the range Summa Cutter with the automated takeup system from Perfect Colours. Months down the line, I had wasted a ton of printed vinyl and man-hours!
    Perfect Colours didn’t want to know, and only when their back was in a corner, they paid me back my money “in full”.
    My opinion is the contour cutting facility on the machine was faulty. Other than that the machine was excellent. I have not replaced the Summa as yet, Just carried on with the Graphtec doing the job, but NOT “roll-to-roll” nor with a take-up system.

    I would still advise on the Summa, but make sure “accurate automated tracking” over a good length, is tested and you are happy with it, first!

    For the record, mine wouldn’t contour cut accurate over the width of the machine or 3ft into the roll, yet I was supposed to swallow, that was normal!

  • Martyn Heath

    Member
    January 4, 2021 at 5:37 am

    i have pulled the trigger and upgraded my plotter which arrives in the next few weeks. Im going from a graphtec ce6000 to summa d120. I wanted to stay with graphtec as ive had no problems in 5 years but i simply cant get the larger model out here. So summa it is and by all accounts should be as reliable and as capable as my graphtec.

    I would say summa seems to be our industry standard go to machine, so it seems anyway. Funny how roland gets little mentioning these days, when i started in the game 20 years ago it was the market leader.

  • Jamie Wood

    Member
    January 4, 2021 at 9:19 am

    We ended up going with the Graphtec FC9000 with take-up option, which has been great.

  • Robert Lambie

    Administrator
    January 4, 2021 at 9:26 am

    @Jamie-Wood

    Interesting Jamie,

    I did not know Graphtec did a model with a “take-up system”. Is this relatively new?
    What price does it come in at with the complete system?
    If not roll-to-roll, what is the longest print run with contour cut you have done with it?

    Thanks in advance for any feedback you can give. 👍

    • Jamie Wood

      Member
      January 4, 2021 at 12:31 pm

      Hi Rob,

      I think the take-up was introduced with the FC9000, but could be wrong. The longest bit we’ve done as a single piece into the basket, was a panel 5.4m long, which ran perfectly, but we’ve done loads of 10m long print & cut part rolls as nested prints, and these all ran great as well.

      I’ll message you with the price.

      • Jamie Wood

        Member
        January 4, 2021 at 2:51 pm

        PS. we got the Graphtec from Josero, who were excellent.

        • Robert Lambie

          Administrator
          January 4, 2021 at 3:15 pm

          Brilliant, thank you Jamie!

  • Robert Lambie

    Administrator
    January 4, 2021 at 9:29 am

    @MartynHeath

    I don’t think you will be dismounted Martyn, the Summa we had was built very well, and in a metal casing. the user interface was very sleek and easy to use also. 👍

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