Independent Photographic Supplies (iPhoto) is offering fully refurbished Epson Surelab D700 inkjet minilabs at half the price of the current model.
The Epson Surelab D700 remanufactured printers are offered in two configurations – the ‘Skin Only’ package comprises a refurbished D700, with a full 12-month parts and labour warranty for just $2,995.
A brand new Epson Surelab D1060 (in simplex configuration) with 12-month warranty is $5995.
‘This is particularly suitable if the specialist retail outlet already has an Epson printer and needs a back-up or an extra unit when volumes are higher,’ explained iPhoto managing director, Stuart Holmes. ‘It delivers scaleability at an affordable price.’
The other offer is a ‘Full Consumables Package’ consisting of a re-manufactured Epson Surelab D700 and enough IPS DL paper and genuine Epson inks to produce and sell 2500+ 6 x 4in prints and 500+ 8 x 10 enlargements.
Stuart said that, based on industry average retail print prices, the full package virtually pays for itself before any more consumables need to be ordered. He added that the printer-and-consumables package would appeal to a photo specialist with a wetlab looking to transition away from a chemical-based, ‘dangerous goods’ printing workflow.
iPhoto has had exceptional success selling and supporting the Epson Surelab range in Australia and New Zealand. To generalise, the Fujifilm-badged versions of the Epson-manufactured Surelab drylab range have been more prevalent in similar markets around the world. This isn’t the case in Australia and New Zealand, with iPhoto handling distributing to photo specialists and prolabs.
iPhoto also excelled in supporting the larger Epson Surelab D3000 Professional 12-inch inkjet printers. In a world first, the Australian company developed bespoke IPS Image Flow Software for multi-printer installations. iPhoto was thus able to daisy chain an array of D3000s, creating high volume photographic output for a number of the leading Australian school photography businesses. Volume was infinitely scaleable by adding more D3000s to the array, with one installation of 13 D3000s producing up to 3380 8in x 10-inch prints per hour.
The popularity of Surelab printers in Australia has now given iPhoto the critical mass to launch its refurbishment program.
‘There are literally hundreds of Epson D700 Surelab’s sold into the Australian and New Zealand markets, followed by a later model, the Epson Surelab D860, and in the last nine months the New Surelab D1060 duplex printers,’ said Stuart.
‘Rather than consign these superseded D700s to landfill, the technical team at iPhoto devised a program to re-build them back to new printer specs, backed up by a further 12 months parts & labour warranty.
‘This is achieved by rebuilding the product to the specifications of the original manufactured product using (in the case of our remanufacturing process) only new parts, to match the same customer expectations as those of new machines,’ said Stuart.
‘Furthermore, for a product to be classed as ‘remanufactured’, it requires the repair or replacement of all worn out or obsolete components and modules. So as part of quality control during remanufacturing, any worn parts are replaced.’
The small footprint Epson Surelab printers initially played the role of a backup printer to ageing Fuji Frontier/ Noritsu QSS wetlabs to cater for downtime and breakdowns, or spikes in volume.
With photographic prints boasting a larger and more vibrant colour gamut than conventional silver paper and chemistry, a range of print surfaces (glossy, lustre, fine art matte, metallic and canvas), and much lower print wastage levels, the Surelab drylabs started to replace the old wetlabs, which were increasingly beset by end-of-life maintenance issues, parts shortages and soaring power costs.