Identity Printing: Ricoh 6000 from Resolute
Leo Stanley, managing director
Tell us a bit about your business
We’re a DTG printer. We don’t do volume printing, we’re more high-end for the fashion brands and independent labels that we print for. We’ve been doing DTG for about seven years now — we were one of the first to get into it.
What is the latest DTG machine that you have bought, and when did you buy it?
We’ve got the Ricoch 6000 from Resolute. We started running it in April and we’ve been running it every day since.
What prompted the purchase?
We were replacing the R-Jet 5 because the quality and speed weren’t really good enough. With the R-Jet 5, one of our prints could take up to 15 minutes, but on the Ricoh you’re down to two or three minutes. It’s a massive difference. You see the quality difference straight away. We do a lot of sweatshirts and the quality on the sweatshirt is phenomenal, you can’t fault it.
How much did it cost?
We paid £24,000 plus VAT. If you compare it to the R-Jet 5, you’re paying double. However, you’re getting three, four, five times faster production. The machine itself, compared to the smaller machines, is much more reliable.
What other machines, if any, did you look at before purchasing this one?
There was supposed to be an R-Jet 6 that was coming out that didn’t happen. We weren’t 100% sure about this one at first, but we were absolutely gobsmacked at the quality, the speed and the way the machine printed.
What do you think are its main advantages?
The beauty of this machine is there’s a sensor on it so you can’t damage your printer. One of the downsides of the small machines is that you’d get a scuffed garment if you had a little ripple in the fabric. With this, we’ve not had one damaged so far. From a production point of view, the quality is phenomenal, the speed is there, the reliability is there – it’s fantastic.
Is there anything you’d like to see in an upgrade or don’t particularly like about it?
From a speed and quality point of view there are no negatives, but my one gripe is that it’s a fixed cartridge. I think that’s a commercial decision from Ricoh because they make more money out of you with cartridges than they do with bottled ink. We’re compensating for the loss on the ink side with the speed and the quality of the print. It’s just a bit awkward having to buy cartridges rather than loose ink.
Do you have any tips on how to get the most out of it?
We service the machines every day. The thing with DTG machines, if you don’t keep them clean, you don’t get reliable production. We’ve always been sticklers for making sure we maintain our machines and the beauty of this machine is it’s so easy to clean and it’s very easy to access. It’s a five-minute job in the morning to clean it, then for the rest of the day it’ll just keep running and running. It saves us a huge amount of time. It’s not been down yet and we run it every single day, seven days a week.
What other machines do you have? Does your DTG machine work in combination with any of them?
We’ve still got the R-Jet 4 and R-Jet 5, but they’re sitting idle for most of the time now because of the difference in quality and reliability. So far this machine hasn’t let us down.
What would be your advice to others thinking of buying a DTG machine?
These machines are built for strength and reliability. If someone has the budget to buy one, I’d definitely say that the Ricoh is one of the better machines on the market.