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PPFS hangs out the bunting for DYSS

PPFS hangs out the bunting for DYSS

Initially established in 1997 by Annette and Joe Hobbs as an adjunct to their day jobs, Professional Print Finishing Services (PPFS), which recently celebrated its 20th anniversary, now operates from a 50,000sq.ft. facility in Edmonton, north London and employs 25 people.

PPFS originally produced bunting, posters and direct mail, but now it has expanded its repertoire to offer cardboard engineering and large format die cutting; packaging and assembly; mounting and fulfilment; distribution; warehousing and much more. It has always made a point of investing in the latest technology, which has included the world’s largest flat-bed Goldline die-cutter, Europe’s largest Bickers Gluejet system, plus a host of automatic glueing, hand-fed platen and large format laminating technology. To add further diversity to the business, PPFS recently installed an AGFA Anapurna M2540FB large format digital printer and a DYSS X9-2230C digital cutter from AG/CAD.

Commenting on these latest investmentsPPFS Director Annette Hobbs said: “Digital print jobs are increasingly requested in smaller quantities and we were losing this short run print and assembly work because the cost of conventional die-cutting was pricing us out of the market. Projects with a run of less than 200 were typically too small to make die-cutting a viable option. We were losing the mounting and die-cutting work that we used complete for smaller retailers, plus the jobs printed in multiple languages, thus we had to look at ways that would help us to provide this service more competitively. At the same time, we wanted to expand into large-format digital printing to open new markets and we realised that without having a digital cutter alongside, we wouldn’t be able to regain the short run work we were losing.”

According to Annette Hobbs, the decision to purchase the DYSS was straightforward. She observed: “The AG/CAD solution won us over on two key factors. Firstly, we are a trade finishing company and all of the leading businesses in our sector use AG/CAD’s KASEMAKE CAD software. It is the leading package and it is recognised as the industry standard for display work. So, as AG/CAD is the developer of the software as well as the supplier of DYSS digital cutters, the decision to purchase the two together was something of a no-brainer.”

Annette continued: “The second reason for selecting the DYSS was its cut quality. We conducted trials on all the leading cutting tables using E, B and EB flute boards as 80-90 percent of what we process is corrugated and none of the other machines could match the performance of the DYSS. Die-cutting historically delivers a better cut-quality than a digital cutter when processing these boards, as it has high precision, repeatability and superior creasing. With a digital cutting machine, the board is susceptible to cracking and splitting during the cutting and creasing process and knife tools can cause drag marks or rip the board. In addition, creasing tools must apply the exact pressure to generate perfect creases. Fortunately, though, the DYSS X9 was far superior to the other machines we trialled. We couldn’t tell the difference between DYSS cut boards and our standard die-cut boards.”

The immediate benefit for PPFS is that projects with runs up to 200 can now be manufactured cost-effectively without having to spend £400 to £500 on large die cutting tools. Annette confirmed: “The Anapurna/DYSS combination instantly makes us cost competitive, as it eliminates the cost of dies and reduces our lead-times. We can now turn jobs around immediately if required, without waiting two to three days for external suppliers to produce the die tools. Going forward, our die-cutting set-up and die costs will fall significantly, our lead-times have already fallen and we can also create samples on the X9. Additionally, we can undertake design work and offer consultancy advice, as well as proofing jobs prior to entering die-cut production. The DYSS also has a taping head that allows us to tape samples and test pieces instead of glueing them, which is a huge benefit for prototype work.”

PPFS didn’t just select the next generation 2.2m by 3.2m DYSS X9-2230C machine for its high-speed capability or its enhanced drive technology and precision levels – longevity was an important criterion too. Annette explained: “In a few years, DYSS could introduce next generation tooling and we don’t want to be behind the curve. This new machine is completely modular, which will enable us to upgrade elements and features at a later date. We can evolve the configuration of the machine to suit our business.”

The X9 has a Combo-head configuration with a high-speed oscillating knife, high-frequency routing tool and creasing tools. Using the supplied K-CUT Vision System these tools help guarantee the quality and accuracy levels that PPFS requires. The combination allows it to process plastic, vinyl, corrugated, display board, Foamex PVC, Correx, foam core and more. Annette added: “This DYSS gives us the potential to process a huge range of materials. Essentially, it gives us the ability to say ‘yes’ to just about anything the customer throws at us. At present, we’re doing a lot of PoS, FSDU’s and posters for cinemas, the home entertainment sector, supermarkets and the health & beauty industry.

“Since the DYSS was installed, we have been targeting more short-run digital print work, which has historically provided 10 percent of our business, a percentage that had been in decline over the last several years. The DYSS has helped us to secure this and we are expecting significant growth in the short to mid-term future. This upturn is a credit to both the DYSS and the Anapurna.”

For further information on Professional Print Finishing Services, visit: www.


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