|KIP 3000 Scanner/Printer
|We got a taste for large format scanning and plan and poster printing with the Xerox 6204 a while back so it was logical to try machines from another manufacturer. The KIP 3000 is part of a range which goes up to full colour capable machines, but the advantage of this more basic model is that while it can only print in black and white/ greyscale, it can still scan in colour.
This makes it useful for all sorts of artwork that may be saved to disc or printed at reduced size for portfolio use. There is the option to print to a seperate LFP colour printer if one can be introduced into the network, and this will then be selected automatically if the colour copy option is chosen.
The absolute key to this type of printer is usability. Customers for plan printing - architects, builders and the like, are generally looking for print on demand instant print so you need a machine that instantly springs into life and can be operated competently by most staff with basic instruction.
The most important consideration in copying at this scale is that, unlike a flatbed, the original will need to be fed through rollers underneath the scanner heads, so thick material, or any loose or uneven items may cause problems. Creases in plans may be ironed out in the process but it is worth the note of caution when assesing a job taken in. It's not possible to raise the head height for thicker items, it's also worth watching for suraces like crayon that may smear lines on the scanner glass. These are easily cleaned but can caused delays and wastage.
In a confined space, against a wall, the original is folded back on itself by guides as it passes through, but with sufficient space behind, a flat piece could be fed through by removal of the guides.
The passage of the copy has a slightly tortuous route, exiting the back to be fed back down a chute at the front, but some sheets can just miss the guides and drop behind so worth checking if the printer is making the right noises but nothing has come out of the front.
In normal mode the KIP will scan, size and trim sheet to fit the image, feeding from an option of two rolls of width from A2 to A0, but it also has full manual overide for custom sizes, or where a customer may require extra large borders for example.
A manual tray will accept cut sheet, like tracing paper, for example and here it is particularly important to line up both original and copy sheet central on the guide lines for accuracy if it is tight on the paper. We did manage to double side an AO poster for a particular customer but this is not recommended.
The KIP has full enlarge and reduction capability which makes it very useful. The very nature of detail plans is that often there is one original that may need to be enlarged to show detail, or enable further notes, or alternatively reduced to go into a folder or presentation.
The scanning capability in particularly useful as it means colour documents as well can be saved as Jpegs or PDFs to be incorporated in a brochure or the ubiquitous power point presentation.
Scan settings are done from the user-friendly stand up display attached to the machine and the scans stored locally or on a convenient folder in a network host. They can even be emailed direct if a mailbox in enabled.
With scanning and copying a variety of quality options are available to suit originals, from line drawing to greyscale and photo, as well basic settings on density and threshhold to suppress or enhance features. This is a little bit of trial and error at times. Although the screen gives you a good visualisation of the item going through process, of course by that time it is already going to print.
From the network, and KIP's own fairly straightforward workstation, the printer can print from disc or from scans saved and stored previously.
The scanner uses a five lens head system and the software stitches the complete image together, an arrangement that can result in interference - banding or lines - on some complex images so its not recommended for really high quality photographs, but for basic art and line its fast and functional, producing strong blacks and good tonal range in greyscales.
At just on six grand the KIP 3000 is worth consideration if you have a market for a plan printer but want to consider that extra capability of a bit of colour. We'll continue our KIP review next month or you can get more information at KIP UK
PS. Must mention best wishes and some sympathy to Steph at Hodgkinsons Stationers of New Milton on her engagement to the "Happy Kip engineer"