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Making an impression

Making an impression

As a fledgling company in its seventh year of operation, the pace of growth at Bolton-based Impression has been nothing less than remarkable.

The large format display, PoS, event and signage company produces a wide range of graphics and digitally printed products including everything from leaflets to store window displaysand outdoor signage to exhibition stands, a level of diversity that has delivered year on year growth in excess of 20 percent.

To maintain such growth levels, the company has invested heavily to meet the demands of its disparate customer base. Initially, itacquired Roland solvent printers and Konica Minolta machines, but it was the installation of its first Océ Arizona Flatbed digital printer in 2011 and the addition of an AG/CAD KM627R digital cutting machine that really helped to propel itself to the next level.

Commenting on the reason for the purchase Carl Webster, a Director at Imression,explained: “At the time we wanted to increase the productivity of the large format PoS department on such materials as acrylic, DiBond, Foamex and fluted boards, as well as introducing white and clear inks. But whilst this portion of our business has grown since 2011, we have also seen an increase in enquiries for sign related work and as a result, we are cutting ever more challenging substrates. Whilst the KM627R machine was ideal for many materials, it wasn’t best suited to cutting Dibond, plastics and acrylics at higher speeds, and,because it was a fixed bed, it wasn’t designed for the continuous cutting of roll media either.”

With business booming and the pressure of seasonal peaks, such as ‘Black Friday’, Christmas and the January sales, Impression, which now employs 11 people, reviewed the available cutting solutions and once again turned to AG/CAD,selecting the latest DYSS X7-1624C Superhead Digital Cutter, which was delivered last November.

Carl Webster continued: “Since the installation of the KM627R cutting table we had introduced a second Océ Arizona and the variety of materials and products we were using was increasing massively.It was clear therefore, that it wasn’t going to keep pace with the daily amount of output produced by two Arizona’s and four roll-fed machines that run day and night.As a result, we still had two staff manually cutting for four hours a day.”

Happily though, the new X7 is at least 40 percent faster than its predecessor when processing roll media and flat sheets, due to its high-end drives and controls that move the head around the table at impressive speeds. In addition, it features a more powerful oscillating unit that drives the knife tool,plus a much more robust, high precision router spindle. This not only provides more efficient cutting, but also provides a the completed output with a superior, high quality edge finish too.


With its diverse workload, Impression needed a cutting machine that could process roll media as well as sheet materials, which is why AG/CAD also supplied a conveyorised X7 machine with a roll feed system.Carl reported: “Previously, we spent up to eight hours a day hand cutting posters, window decals and banners out of 30 to 100metre long rolls, but now we simply load the rolls onto the DYSS roll-off unit and can run off a 60-metre roll of posters in a matter of minutes. The machine bed is 1.6m wide and 2.45m long, which is well suited to both our flexible and rigid media and, since we operate a two-shift pattern,it is running over 12 hours a day and has no problems keeping pace with our printed output.”

Whilst The X7’s power, speed, productivity, build quality and flexibility were all key attributes that contributed to Impression’s purchasing decision, a further clear benefit was the KASEMAKE CAD software. Carl remembered: ” Software is always a major factor for any company offering design and creative solutions and, as AG/CAD develops its own software, we realised that the service and support it could offer was far superior.Our designers now have two suites of KASEMAKE and have also undergone training on the software’s 3D rendering aspect, which has helped them to create 3D store environments in which to virtually display PoS material and signs, something that has proved to be a great sales tool.”

Not only has the company been delighted with the level of software support and training, but also the overall ethos of AG/CAD with regards to customer service. Carl concluded: ” AG/CAD understood our concerns regarding lost production time and to minimise the impact, it removed the KM627R on a Wednesday afternoon and the following afternoon, our team was up and running on the X7, meaning that we literally only lost a couple of hours. It really went the extra mile to provide the outstanding service,so suffice it to say we are more than delighted with every aspect of our new purchase!”

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