Gerber Announces Discontinuation of all Flatbed Printers

Tom Dalton

New Member
We had our NEW CAT-UV Flatbed installed about 6 weeks ago. We love it. Today we get an email from Gerber saying....

We are writing to let you know that Gerber Scientific Products has decided to stop producing flatbed printers, including the Gerber CAT UV and Solara ion, in order to focus on its industry leading range of thermal printing products.

Unfortunately, a significant contraction in the size of the flatbed market during the global downturn of 2008, followed by a sluggish market recovery, has prevented the company from profitably manufacturing and marketing these products.

In line with its longstanding tradition of excellence in customer service, Gerber Scientific Products will continue to provide flatbed printer customers with access to service, support, parts and ink for a minimum of five years from the date of this announcement.

A representative of Gerber Scientific Products will be calling you in the next day or so to answer any questions you might have.

Is anyone else at signs101 in this boat? What do you think? Why do you think they're hurting? I think they are a bit too old-school in their sales channel rules. I've heard that they are very open to new distributors and are overly restrictive about what they can do and what volume they must maintain. Their product is also made in America. While their quality is great, their cost to manufacture these items must be too high (when compared to all the foreign products) as they say "...prevented the company from profitably manufacturing...".

-Tom
 

tcorn1965

New Member
We had our NEW CAT-UV Flatbed installed about 6 weeks ago. We love it. Today we get an email from Gerber saying....



Is anyone else at signs101 in this boat? What do you think? Why do you think they're hurting? I think they are a bit too old-school in their sales channel rules. I've heard that they are very open to new distributors and are overly restrictive about what they can do and what volume they must maintain. Their product is also made in America. While their quality is great, their cost to manufacture these items must be too high (when compared to all the foreign products) as they say "...prevented the company from profitably manufacturing...".

-Tom

Great. Just got the Solara ION last year
 

SignManiac

Member
That really sucks, sorry to hear that. I'm glad I decided against the ion when they tried to sell me on it. Hopefully you will make your money back on it in the next five years.
 

oldgoatroper

Roper of Goats. Old ones.
We've had an IonX for close to two years. Its had its problems (minor, compared to the 72UVR we had before) but if its anything like the Signmaker IV and the Sprint II, it will soldier on for a long time.

Five years of support doesn't seem like enough if the IonX can last as long as its older siblings...

Unless Gerber engineered it for a 5-year lifespan...
 
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OldPaint

New Member
i was offered a GERBER in 1993........with a couple fonts, link card for $4000.00. i PASSED ON IT.........got a ROLAND and vinyl for $2000.00........and i have never looked back to say i missed a great "goober got cha" deal. sorry but like someone else said.........they are to old school.............and PROPRIETARY!!!!!!! none of their stuff plays well with anything that aint GERBER.
 

phototec

New Member
We had our NEW CAT-UV Flatbed installed about 6 weeks ago. We love it. Today we get an email from Gerber saying....

In line with its longstanding tradition of excellence in customer service, Gerber Scientific Products will continue to provide flatbed printer customers with access to service, support, parts and ink for a minimum of five years from the date of this announcement.

Wow, in five years, NO INK!

I think I would sell it before the word gets out and you can't give them away, then you get stuck with NO INK!

:omg2:
 

iSign

New Member
in 5 years, call artbot & he can hook it up to the garage door opener, a sizzor lift & the central AC compressor & make it into the first 3D digital sculpture printer, possibly even firing molten urethane molecules into a "beam-me-up" style monument creation device
 

royster13

New Member
I am thinking that in 5 years a piece of equipment like this should be written off and replaced by a more modern and more efficient piece of equipment (therefore less costly to operate)....Is my logic flawed?....
 

Tony Teveris

New Member
I'm not ging to get into a "pissing" contest here but it's all about the "size" of the inkjet market, it's not there for all of us to make a buck, so we're out.

Cutters, router (Sabre) and Edges and aftermarkets live on.
 

oldgoatroper

Roper of Goats. Old ones.
I'm not ging to get into a "pissing" contest here but it's all about the "size" of the inkjet market, it's not there for all of us to make a buck, so we're out.

Cutters, router (Sabre) and Edges and aftermarkets live on.


And that is entirely understandable -- I don't blame you one bit...

I just hope that we will be able to get supplies for it as long as it still works, and that we won't have to prematurely retire our Ion simply because we can't get ink for it (like we had to for our ColorSpan 5000)...
 

phil duncan

New Member
cat

i have the tech here right now installing our new Cat..showed him this today and my supplier of said machine..surprised isnt the word but..they will support it..they have to..is it a good machine...i think so..is it overpriced..sure..its gerber!..but..totally understand from a companys prospective that what doesnt work then..quit..what will be in the market in 5 years..god only knows!!
 

Tom Dalton

New Member
Wow, in five years, NO INK!

I think I would sell it before the word gets out and you can't give them away, then you get stuck with NO INK!

Do you honestly think that Gerber makes the ink in their very own "ink factory"? No, they buy it and repackage it and then warn you not to use other ink or you'll void your warrantee (so they gain a captive market). They might specify the formula to make the "Cationic" ink optimized for their lamps. Fortunately, their flatbeds are not like the edge ...with 100 different spot colors to keep producing. It is ONLY four colors (CMYK) and they only come in one size of "pouch". So, if they don't want to offer ink anymore, i'm sure they will forward their users on to the company that they are currently buying their ink from.

We also have an edge-2 and it is older than dirt and been discontinued for a while and foils are still readily available and parts are also available.

I'm an optimist, so for now I'm going to say that we were lucky enough to get one right before they stopped making them. We'll use it until the wheels fall off. It does some cool stuff. EG: it uses less energy with its cold-fire UV lamps. The cold lamps also last longer. The cationic ink also adheres to coroplast better than any other ink that I'm aware of.

Looks like other manufacturers use "cationic inks".
http://www.konicaminolta.com/inkjethead/products/ink/cation/index.html
http://gurummx.wordpress.com/2008/02/12/cationic-uv-technology/
http://www.eurekanetwork.org/c/document_library/get_file?uuid=223c1535-2058-4f95-a4ef-1089c99159c0&groupId=10137

T

Maybe Gerber will sell the CAT-UV design to another inkjet company (one without a true flatbed) and slap the other companies logo on it and call it something else. We've got a guy working here that sold and installed Roland UV ink-jets and he is always saying how much better our Gerber Cat-UV is. Roland, if you're listing ...buy the discontinued Cat-UV from Gerber and send the plans (and a sample unit) to China and make it the Roland CAT-UV...or Make the Gantry in China and the bed over here.
 
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GB2

Member
Wow, Tony, I'm very sorry to hear this news. I remember you saying a short while ago that Gerber "bet the farm" on this printer and technology so I can understand that if it isn't thriving, Gerber has probably decided to cut their losses here and now. Truly a shame to have such a good piece of American technology cut short. This doesn't diminish the fact that Gerber is a good company that makes good equipment and provides good support for their products. It's too bad there wasn't another option.
 

Rodi

New Member
Transitions for sign shops and their vendors is very difficult to navigate, I really hope for the best for Gerber. They put out great, rock solid products, not just constant rebadging. Sometimes it hurts the bottom line when forecasts don't match up with reality (fighting marketshare with Epson, Mimaki, Mutoh, Roland etc) and they cannot compete where they though they could.
 
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