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G4B Gets a Lucky Break

G4B Gets a Lucky Break

When Ian Hatfield, the Director of Graphics4 Business (G4B), broke his ankle and was confined to working from home, he used the downtime to evaluate his business, the industry and the opportunities for a PoS, exhibition and signage company. The result was the purchase of a DYSS X5 digital cutting table from AG/CAD.

Formed in 2004, Droitwich-based GB4 has continually evolved and now offers the full gamut of signs and display graphics, for which it employs aqueous, solvent and UV digital printing technologies, However, when it came to the finishing process, it was experiencing a serious bottleneck, so during his enforced downtime, Ian Hatfield began to consider whether a digital cutting table would help to eliminate the problem.

He explained: “Nowadays, customers demand greater flexibility with regard to both quantities and materials, as well as price. Thus, four years ago we purchased an OCE Arizona XT flatbed printer, bringing our printer count up to three. This significantly increased our productivity, but we were still manually handcutting the output.Furthermore, with the addition of the flatbed we were printing directly on to foamex, foam board, cardboard, Corex and PVC, all materials that were more challenging to cut manually.

“It was clear that we needed to automate the cutting process, so I decided to research the available options, before realising that the DYSS X5-1630C digital cutting table from AG/CAD offered everything we needed.”


DYSS X5 at G4B

As the Arizona XT offered a three-metre cutting area,G4B opted for the 3x 1.6metreversion of the DYSS X5, which also offers a roll feeding conveyor facility. The combination of the large bed size and the conveyor accommodates all of the large format work output by the Arizona, as well as the long rolls of mediaproduced on the other printers.

Installed last September, the DYSS X5-1630 has already made a huge impact at G4B.  Ian Hatfield continued: “Previously, we had one member of staff hand cutting on a full-time basis, and he really struggled to keep pace with the printers. Now though, it’s a complete role reversal – the X5 churns through all of the creasing, marking and cutting so quickly that the bottleneck has moved to the printers – they simply can’t keep up! Our employee now gets the X5 going and then gets on with other tasks – it’s like having an extra member of staff!”

Another advantage is that the X5 provides the company with a 300 to 400 percent time saving.  Ian observed: “For example, a batch run of A3 vinyls would previously have taken one and a half days to hand cut, while the X5 reduces this to two hours. Additionally, a regular job that uses 4mm thick A3 Corex, run in quantities of 1000,used to take three days to complete, but is now cut in just a few hours.


DYSS X5 in use at G4B

By reducing the labour requirement, the DYSS X5 has improved the company’s speed, precision and repeatability on long runs,together with the edge finishes.

In terms of streamlining business, thanks to its robust build quality and the heavy duty tooling configuration,the X5 can also be used for some of the work that was previously processed on the company’s dedicated CNC routing machine,

G4B has estimated that the DYSS X5-1630 is so productive that it will pay for itself in little over a year, but the machine’s real potential lies in the new business opportunities that it will help to open up.  Ian Hatfield reported: “We can now generate complex forms and shapes with exceptional precision and speed. This has already enabled us to win new business producing short-run boxes for customers and we are also looking into the area of cardboard engineering. The KASEMAKE software from AG/CAD, which is extremely easy to use, issimilar to a traditional CAD package, but also offers hundreds of built in resizable templates and limitless possibilities.

“It will help us to develop our own product lines and will also serve as a sales tool,as we can use the 3D rendering facility to provide customers with 3D format designs so that they are able to properly visualise their project before work begins.  All we need now are faster printers to keep up with the X5!”

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