Composer/Signature III System -
Big toys for
big boys ;-)
Most users are happy with their home CDR-W drive. The most recent CDR-W
drives with the 16x/20x/24x writing speed are able to produce enough amount
of CDs per hour but with time problems since the human factor is involved. When
the time comes for increased quantity among with other features, such as CD
printing, normal solutions are out of question.. Long time now professionals
are using the so-called "Auto-loader" systems.
- What is an "Auto-loader" system? (Source
Padus DJ on-line manual)
"...A CD autoloader consists of one or more CD Recorders that are able
to accept, for consecutive loading into their trays, blank recordable CDs from
a stack. In addition to the accurate duplication of the source compact discs
which are often interspersed with blank discs. The special software handles
the task of controlling the autoloader robotics, so that blank media are correctly
loaded into the CD Recorder, defective discs discarded, and successful duplicate
discs removed after recording. Autoloaders are normally a combination of a drive
section (with one or more CD Recorder devices) and a robotic section. CD Recorders
are usually devices that use a SCSI interface to communicate with the host computer
while the robotic section can either use a RS-232 (serial) or SCSI interface
was founded in September of 1998 by the same management team that built FARGO
Electronics. "...Primera's mission is to produce technologically superior
products that offer a high degree of customer satisfaction and value while
business affairs with unparalleled integrity, courtesy and professionalism.."
as Primera states in their website. Primera's headquartered are in Plymouth,
Minnesota, USA, and distributes its products in over 80 countries! We tested
the Primera Composer
Optical Disc Duplicator among with the Signature
III CD Printer.
Primera Composer Optical Disc Duplicator:
"...The Composer is a low cost, turnkey duplication system that can
be configured for either CD-R or DVD-R. It duplicates and optionally prints
up to 50 discs per job from any Windows based PC. A "pick-and-place"
robotic arm transports discs from an input tray to the integrated CD-R or DVD-R
recorder. After recording, the disc is transported to an optional Primera Technology
ink-jet or thermal optical disc printer where it is printed and then stacked
in a 50-disc output tray. The Composer comes either with Plextor 12x SCSI or
Pioneer DVD-R recorder...".
In other words you are getting a small CD/DVD duplication factory
in your home! Note that the Composer system is not supporting either MAC or
Linux OS system. The problem here is not the hardware but the CDR software.
Both MAC and Linux OS have very limited variety of CDR software. Another issue
is that the possible buyer cannot reduce the initial cost by dropping off the
included CDR-W drive. The Primera insists that this cannot happen since there
is an alignment and testing procedure so that discs are perfectly placed into
the tray each and every time. That ensures the proper working of the Composer
How many CDs can I make per hour?
This depends on 2 things: 1) how much data is recorded on each disc, and
(2) how much is printed on each disc. In a typical software application, only
a small portion of the disc is recorded - perhaps 50MB of the possible 650MB
on the disc. An entire 650MB records in six minutes on a 12x CD-R drive. So,
50MB would take only about one minute. Printing in 600 x 600 dpi default mode
on a Signature III CD Color Printer also takes one minute. So, each disc takes
two minutes from start to finish. This yields 30 discs per hour.
Does Composer need to always be connected to a computer?
Yes. It is what's called a "PC Connect" duplicator. The other
type of duplicator available is usually called a "Stand-alone." Stand-alone
duplicators have a PC board inside them instead of connecting to the PC you
already own. Each have their own place in the market, but PC Connect duplicators
like Composer are usually much more versatile due to the application-specific
software (i.e. Prassi PrimoCD Pro) that is shipped with them.
Who will need the Composer duplicator system?
Primera answers: "....Software duplication is currently the number one
application for disc publishing systems like Composer. Music, games, data, billing,
imaging (medical, legal, etc.) and more are also very popular. Look for companies
who need to produce small batches of CDs every day and frequently need to change
or update the information. A typical user will produce from a few discs up to
several hundred discs per day..."
Why spend $2495 for a Composer when I can offer my customer
a $200 CD-R drive or a $1000 duplicating tower?
Primera answers: "...One word: automation. Composer uses robotics to
reliably and consistently feed discs into and out of the Input Bin, CD-R recorder,
printer and Output Bin. Most users will start up their Composer early in the
morning or before leaving at night. When they return, 50 finished discs, recorded
and printed, are waiting for them. Composer usually isn't sold to users who
need only 3 or 4 discs a day. It is for those companies who need to produce
25, 50, 100, 1000 or more discs on a regular, weekly basis. .."
Signature III CD Printer:
III is an ink-jet CD color printer. It combines the fastest print speed ever
with the highest print resolution available in the world today: 1200 x 1200
dpi for a stunning 1.44 million pixels per square inch. A full -color CD with
100% coverage prints in just 68 seconds (in default 600 x 600 dpi print mode).
Signature III features a new and improved ink formulation. Color gamut has been
increased over 35%, delivering incredibly bright, bold and realistic colors.
It also prints onto the widest variety of printable-surface media ever..."
- Supplied Package:
The package was all the nessecery stuff which someone would need in order
to start a mini-cd duplication home factory (including CD printing option).
In short words we got: the Composer CD duplicator, the Singature III CD printer,
the printer stand-alone stand, the SCSI-kit -includes Advanasys Ultra SCSI controller,
the parallel cable IEEE-1284 and last 50 Primera printable CD-R 74min media.
The whole package costs according to the Primera's current
price list about 4500$!
Celeron II 566 over clocked to 850 MHz
128MB SDRAM PC 133
WD 18GB UDMA 66
Quantum Fireball EX 6.4GB
SCSI: DAWI 2975 - PCI (ULTRA)
ATI AIW 128
Scanner: HP 5300C
Sanyo CRD-BP4 firmware v4.31
Sanyo CRD-BP1400P firmware v5.31
Yamaha CRW2100E firmware v1.0h