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Finding a helping hand

Finding a helping hand

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When Anthony Cockcroft acquired Find Signage in 2011, he quickly recognised that the company needed to build on its established reputation as a market leader in the mental health sector by introducing new product innovations.  

Accordingly, during the last three years the Leeds-based company, which is the world’s first developer of dementia-specific signs, has further diversified its product portfolio to include dining products, clocks, visual communication boards and memory boxes for those affected by dementia and other cognitive disabilities.

The result has been exponential growth,with Find Signage’s visual communication boards, which include menu boards, pain assessment charts, personal orientation boards and activity cards, all proving to be particularly popular.   Many of these boards, which are crafted from Forex/Foamex, acrylic, aluminium and Dibond, require the creation of a wide variety of different visual aid cards, and Find Signage was experiencing a bottleneck between its wide format printing department and the section that was responsible for the hand cutting of the small quantities ofcards that accompany the different board categories.

Anthony Cockcroft commented: “We realised that while our large quantity print runs could be cut with industrial routers, the production of smaller quantities and prototype work was extremely labour intensive and thus we required a flexible and accurate cutting solution.”

After reviewing the various machines on offer, Find Signage opted for the DYSS X7-2230C Superhead cutting table, complete with KASEMAKE software and hasn’t looked back since.

Take, for example, the Foamex and Dibond wall mounted menu boards complete with the series of cards that dementia patients select to indicate their meal choices. Before the X7-2230C was installed, each postcard sized image had to be individually hand cut from a three metre x two metre digitally printed sheet, using a knife and ruler. Since each printed sheet would include 200 different images, this labour intensive process could take anything up to four hours. However, now, the the new DYSS X7 machine makes light work of the task and it takes a mere five minutes to complete the cutting with the added bonus that the finished result is more consistent, while the cut quality is also greatly improved.

In addition, the DYSS X7 has also helped toimprove both capacity and lead-time issues in other areas too.  Anthony Cockcraft explained: “Our visual boards are available in a wide variety of dimensions, designs and colours, so production of each type rarely stretches into double figures. Furthermore, we also do a lot of prototype and development work, but now we have the DYSS X7, we can produce whatever is required quickly and easily while also ensuring that the quality is top notch.”

With such varied schedules, the Dibond, acrylic and aluminium and acrylic, Foamex boards, which are up to 20mm thick, were formerly either produced externally by the company’s die manufacturer, or were processed on Find Signage’s two heavy duty routing machines, neither of which were satisfactory solutions, since the former lead to production hold-ups and occasional quality issues and latter meant compromising on edge finish and precision, which often necessitated time consuming hand finishing.

That though is now also a thing of the past, as the arrival of the 3.2m by 2m DYSS X7, has enabled Find Signage to cut the cost of out-sourcing by over 20 percent and has also reduced its reliance on the use of platens/dies for small quantity production. Lead times have thus been dramatically improved as the company can now print and cut samples internally, whilst also freeing up its heavy-duty routers for more appropriate work.  What’s more, since the DYSS X7 also delivers a flawless cut finish, the need for secondary finishing has been all but eliminated.

Anthony Cockcroft concluded: “The benefits of the DYSS are evident throughout the whole of our production process and it has helped us to really streamline our operative procedures. Furthermore, the KASEMAKE software enables us to offer 3D rendering samples for customers, providing them with a more representative version of the final result, while also helping us to generate better layouts with a consequent reduction in material wastage – we don’t know how we coped without it!”

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