Using the Oce CS2236

About 2 years ago we were looking for another plotter in our print shop to replace our ageing but ever resilient HP DesignJet 500. It was so S-L-O-W at printing an increasing amount of drawing files that were sent to us.

Seeing as we sold the darn things we thought why not try the Oce CS2236 - so we put one in and we have found it to be a very productive unit for the money.

We print all sorts of jobs on the Oce CS2236 - mono and colour CAD plots are its mainstay, but we also do posters on it as well which it seems to rips through!

Over time we have standardised on four types of paper or media that we use - straight forward 90gm plot paper which gives excellent plot results. 115gm trace is used for printing out the artwork we require to produce the RIBA signboards that we print. And we also use a matt coated 120gm paper for poster work. Sometimes, if the client will pay a bit extra, we use a 190gm Satin Instant Dry which gives stunning results.

It's very rare that we have to use the highest quality print settings and this helps by saving ink. For CAD work 300dpi draft is phenomenal - this little machine prints unbelievably quickly whilst being frugal with the ink, yet really, really accurate - I can check ink usage by going into the web generated control panel page and look at the job logs. Even posters, A1 size, full coverage only use about 80p worth of ink. Sometimes a little more ;)

Changing paper is easy enough on the Oce CS2236 and the same as most plotters on the market, I guess. A clip on one of the mandrils releases it from the spindle and the paper slides off or on. The paper loading sequence on the plotter is fool-proof and only fails if the paper isn't quite straight - in 2 years I think I have only managed to make it fail once when paper loading! You then pick the paper type you have loaded on the control panel and match that up in the Windows driver. That way you get access to the exact settings for that paper type. So normal paper has different settings in the driver compared to say the Satin paper. All very easy.

So overall the Oce CS2236 has properly earned its keep in our print shop and we won't be changing it any time soon - it's reliable, fast, cheap to run and easy to use. It's a lot better than our old HP DesignJet 500! What more can you ask for?

Stuart Palm