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Eastern Exhibition and Display has the cutting edge

Eastern Exhibition and Display has the cutting edge
Eastern Exhibition and Display has installed a Kongsberg X24 edge digital cutting table and Trotec Speedy 360 laser cutter from CMYUK. The new digital cutting and laser equipment is set to totally transform the Scottish company’s finishing capabilities as well as adding new service offerings.

 The company has created a new area in its Musselburgh-based production facility christened ‘The Lab’ to house the new equipment with space for future purchases.

Founded over 40 years ago as a professional photo lab, Eastern Exhibition and Display was an early convert to wide format digital print technology. It offers a versatile service portfolio that includes all aspects of display graphics, from pull up banners, portable solutions, and modular systems to manufacturing entire exhibitions. Other services comprise the production of decorative interiors and glass manifestation; retail fit-outs, plus the full array of singage.

Managing Director, Shevy Kapoor (pictured above right with Operations Director Ian Hutchinson), joined Eastern Exhibition and Display in 2019 as Finance and Operations Director. In October last year, he purchased the company with the clear intention of nurturing future growth.

He explained: “Lockdown gave us the opportunity to review our existing processes and equipment. I was aware that jobs were taking far too long to produce, and we needed to make the correct investments”

After consulting with long-standing industry colleague Sue Hayward, Equipment Sales Director at CMYUK, it was agreed that Amira Bouchiba, CMYUK’s Academy Manager, would visit the business to audit the existing set-up and produce a set of recommendations to support future growth and profitability.

Shevvy continued: “Amira got on well with everyone and really understood the business. Her report reinforced everything that I had been saying for months – it’s really advantageous having a fresh pair of eyes look at your production processes and Amira certainly knows her stuff. As well as the new equipment, we’ve also invested in Clarity workflow software, which was one of the recommendations.”

Shevy was already familiar with the benefits of the Kongsberg digital cutting table having purchased one for a company he had previously worked for.

He observed: “The Kongsberg opens new markets. It allows you to do creative things for clients, which they love. We work closely with creative agencies and I’m sure we will produce more bespoke work, which in the past we would have been very reluctant to do.”

Operationally, the installation of the Kongsberg X24 will solve production bottlenecks, allow existing equipment to be used more appropriately, create real cost-saving efficiencies, and increase competitiveness by removing time-absorbing manual processes.

“We were cutting on a CNC router, so everything was taking longer to produce”, said Shevvy. We weren’t being efficient, production was being held up, and due to this, we were reluctant to take on volume jobs. We were losing work because we were too expensive as a lot of the time we were pricing jobs with the extended labour costs factored in.

“The X24 is going to be a real game-changer. It will give us the speed and efficiency we need to handle high-volume work. Our labour-intensive manual finishing will be a thing of the past, and along with the Trotec Speedy laser cutter, it will give us the opportunity to develop new concepts and be more competitively priced.”

The Trotec Speedy 360 was almost a spur-of-the-moment decision, made when Shevy and Operations Director, Ian Hutchison, visited CMYUK’s Demonstration and Training Centre in Shrewsbury. The Speedy 360 cutter and engraver is part of Trotec’s Speedy family, which includes the fastest lasers on the market. It incorporates Sonar Technology based on ultrasonic sensors to provide the highest level of accuracy to ensure precise engraving results. With a working area of 32″ x 20″ (813 x 508mm) the Speedy 360’s bed size has been designed to maximise the material usage of standard sheets of laminates, acrylic, paper and more. In addition, the high processing speed of 3.55m/sec and optional 120-watt power ensure optimum productivity.

Shevvy enthused: “It’s a fantastic machine which certainly wasn’t on our radar until we saw it. We have museums, galleries, and distilleries as clients, and I could really see how this could work in terms of producing a host of additional products for them. In the medium to long term, it will also help us to establish our own online gifting presence too.”

 As many businesses have testified, Lockdown offered companies a chance to re-evaluate their commercial strategies and reset the dial on their working practices. This is very much the case for Shevy and his buyout of Eastern Exhibition. Committing to capital equipment investment, rethinking working practices, and devising strategies for better client services are all par for the course. However, another area that the company is focussing on, is sustainability. To this end, it has been working with CMYUK and other suppliers to source environmentally responsible materials.

“When it comes to sustainable materials, we’re working very closely with our supply chain,” said Shevvy. “There’s a big push to look at different substrates and how we produce products. We need to work much smarter now. We’re finding that many of the work tenders want to know what types of materials we use and which manufacturing processes we employ.”

Scotland has been very cautious in the lifting of its Covid restrictions, but there’s now a sense that the population is ready to enjoy established events again such as the Edinburgh Fringe, which is a big account for Eastern Exhibition and Display. That said, since last July the company has been busy with corporate interior refreshes and staycation-related work for the outdoor leisure, heritage, and hospitality sectors.

Shevvy concluded: “In the short term we’re looking to make the business stable after Lockdown and get the new equipment in, but we’re also looking to build more volume and establish relationship partnerships with other companies, something that we haven’t really done before.   In the medium term, we’ll be introducing an online presence so that we can engage with more clients. I’d also like to grow the workforce we have from 25 staff now to 40-45 over the next three years.”

For further information On Eastern Exhibition & Display visit: www.eastern-info.co.uk

 For further information on CMYUK, visit: www.cmyuk.com

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