Formed over a decade ago from the merging of a print company specialising in promotional and PoS work with a traditional box manufacturer, the ethos and philosophy of Quantum Print & Packaging has always been continuous improvement.
To ensure the company delivers for its customers, the Midlands outfit recently invested in a Ricoh C9100 digital press and shortly afterwards added a DYSS digital cutter from AG/CAD.
The packaging company evolved into design and print, which resulted in the company moving from an old pen plotter that assisted with drawing out samples to be hand cut, to actual sample production on a KASEMAKE KM sample cutter supplied by AG/CAD in 2008. The KM machine has now been superseded by a DYSS X5-1310T digital die cutter that was delivered in September.
Traditionally a B1 Litho printer and packaging specialist, Quantum has diversified into small format (SRA3) digital work with the purchase of the Ricoh digital press and the DYSS. The step into fast turnaround multiple printed sample production left the previous KM machine struggling to keep pace with the exponentially increasing demand for samples and cutting jobs precisely to print was time consuming.
Commenting upon the situation, Quantum Print & Packaging Joint Managing Director, Mr Peter Thomas said: "Our previous KM machine was bought for prototypes and samples and it served us well, but as the business has evolved with the digital press, our workload has increased and customer expectations on turnaround times were ever shortening. The older machine was suitable for prototypes and quantities up to say 20-off, but higher quantities were not economical. In addition, the original machine was a lot larger, whereas the new DYSS has a 1m by 1.3m bed that is much more suited to our B1 format and also the fast turnaround of SRA3 work."
"We wanted a powerful digital cutting table for our packaging work initially. We are processing increasingly thicker substrates and in particular a lot of 400micron folding box board. With its high downforce giving excellent creasing and superior quality cutting, as well as fast throughput, the new DYSS is perfect for packaging materials like box board.”
"Additionally, the K-CUT Vision system on the DYSS enables us to precisely cut and crease several digitally printed sheets all laid out on the bed at the same time, even if they are not all the same design. We print registration marks on jobs and the K-CUT Vision system will locate each sheet and adjust each cut path independently to ensure remarkably precise cutting. This minimises set-up times and speeds up production and makes the new DYSS perfect for digital work."
DYSS Adds Flexibility
Whereas the previous cutter could only process a limited number of jobs, the new DYSS X5-1310T is frequently cutting anything from samples and small batch runs through to production runs of several hundred. Previously, such quantities would have required a cutting forme at a cost of anything from £150 to £250 with a lead-time of 3-5 days for the production of the cutting forme. With litho press and diecutter setup times and costs this often rendered small quantity fast-turnaround jobs unfeasible. Working digitally with the Ricoh and DYSS combination makes these jobs both viable and profitable.
The flexibility also extends to the specification of the DYSS X5 that has a cutting head with two interchangeable tools and automatic tool calibration feature. This makes the new DYSS X5-1310T 100% faster to set-up and more efficient with production being estimated to be at least another 50% faster than the previous cutting table. "The digital press brings a greater demand for more samples and small batches and without the DYSS we simply would not have been able to keep up."
Why Select AG/CAD?
When Quantum realised it needed a digital cutter to expand into new market segments and streamline production, the company did its due diligence in investigating the options. As Mr Thomas continues: "We looked at all the leading players in the digital cutting market, but only AG/CAD offered us a machine that was within our price expectations and was capable of delivering all the features we needed. Added to this, we already had a KM table from AG/CAD that had been running well for almost a decade. We were familiar with the high level of service and support and the complete confidence that being an AG/CAD customer gives us. Opting for an alternative supplier would have been stepping into the unknown."
Evolving To New Markets
The Wednesbury business has an established and high profile customer base that encompasses the food, alcohol and health industries as well as the e-cigarette, DIY, automotive, pharmaceutical and engineering sectors to name a few. However, low-production runs under 500 that previously required a cutting forme tended to limit new business uptake from a price point of view. The DYSS has given Quantum the ability to produce small runs cost effectively without the add-on of cutting formes.
In a summary of the new table, Joint Managing Director Mr Giles Foden says: "The DYSS gives us a price-point that is attractive for new customers aiming, at least initially, for small production quantities and samples. This gives us a better opportunity to convert potential prospects into customers. Since having the DYSS, we are converting more of our internet enquiries into business and this reflects how the DYSS fits well with the low quantity fast turnaround demands of on-line business."
"We also see the DYSS as a tool that can take new customers and prospects from seed level through to mature, long term customers. The DYSS combined with the Ricoh gives our customers the option of bringing their packaging ideas to life before committing to a full production run. Furthermore, the 3D KASEMAKE CAD suite is something we will explore further as we become more familiar with the system. This software has the capability of working as a sales tool to give the customer a complete visualisation of their concept and how it can be brought to life before production even begins. The DYSS has already delivered measured benefits and we see many more opportunities arrive as a result of buying the DYSS," concludes Mr Foden.