Making the right impression
As a business that only opened its doors four years ago, Impression (Bolton) is now flourishing as a large format display, event and signage company.
Specialising in the production of a variety of graphics and digitally printed products, ranging from A4 leaflets, to vehicle wraps and marketing collateral for brand building, through to exhibition stands, it has invested heavily in the latest equipment to meet the demands of these diverse applications.
After initially using Roland, Konica and HP solvent and small format printing machines, for roll to roll and small print projects, including promotional work for hotels, colleges and local authorities, it was the arrival of an 8′ x 4′ Océ Arizona Flatbed digital printer in 2011, plus the more recent acquisition of an AG/CAD KM627R digital cutting machine, that have really helped to propel Impressions to a new level.
As Director Martin Lyons observed: “We wanted to extend the scope of our business and the purchase of the Océ flatbed UV printer with a 2.5m width, which has facilitated printing directly onto substrates such as Acrylic, DiBond and Foamex, as well as the production of window stickers and reverse printing, has certainly helped us to achieve that aim, by enabling us to broaden our scope and capacity.”
However, whilst the acquisition of the Océ printer opened up new markets for Impression, the company was still outsourcing a large number of jobs for routing, corner machining and hole drilling, which, coupled with the increasing diversity of its work, meant that it was becoming more and more dependent upon external suppliers. In addition, it was also turning away some lucrative bespoke POS projects, as it didn’t have sufficient capacity to handle them.
Accordingly, Impression began to consider the possibility of purchasing its own cutting tables so that it could continue to drive the business forward. Following an intensive review of the available options, it decided on the AG/CAD KM627R flatbed-cutting machine.
Martin Lyons explained: “As the AG/CAD KM627R has virtually all of the capabilities of a high-end, ‘all bells and whistles’ machine, but at half the cost, it was the logical solution for our business. Furthermore, since most of its competitor machines actually run AG/CAD KASEMAKE, we were confident that we were buying both a quality machine and the best available software.”
Since its arrival at Impression last April, both roll fed and direct to substrate output from the Arizona has been passed directly onto the KM627 for cutting, thus creating a perfect synergy between the two machines.
It has also made a huge impact, especially for the POS projects that Impression has recently completed for clothing brands Henri Lloyd and Dare 2B. These involved the production of freestanding display and shelving units made from boxboard, Corex and Dufaylite that incorporate backlit LED lighting. Without the KM627, production would have been impossible, as Impression would have been unable to hand cut the 18mm thick Dufaylite POS displays or to have produced the complex forms, shapes and holes to the requisite level of accuracy. However, thanks to the innovative KASEMAKE software, the KM627 made light work of cutting, creasing and folding the units.
In addition, Impression uses a considerable amount of aluminium composite material (ACM), which previously had to be cut by the material supplier to the sizes and shapes required. Now though, the ACM sheets can be cut to the exact dimensions required by a specified job, in-house, thus enabling Impression to significantly improve its lead-times and reduce material costs.
According to Martin Lyons these savings are such that he anticipates that the KM 627 will pay for itself within 12 months.
He confirmed: Since the machine was installed we have already saved the equivalent of 50 percent of its cost.”
He concluded: The KM 627 offers so many different benefits, for example, its numerous tooling options, which include scalpel tools for cutting vinyl stickers, mean that it can be used to knife cut, as well as for routing, creasing and ‘kiss cutting’, while AG/CAD’s KASEMAKE software, which is extremely intuitive, ensures that the KM627 is very easy to use. And although it is doing everything we expected and more, we are still discovering new applications everyday. All in all, we are absolutely delighted with the value that it has added to our business!”
For further information on AG/CAD visit: www.agcad.co.uk
For further information on Impression (Bolton) visit: www.impressionltd.co.uk