AG/CAD DYSS X7 cutter opens up new opportunities for the Colour Crew

DYSS machine LFR

The Colour Crew has invested in a DYSS X7 digital cutting table from AG/CAD to reduce lead times and costs, achieve greater in-house control and open up new markets. Within a few months of installing the DYSS machine, the large format digital and screen print specialist is realising the benefits of its investment.

The Colour Crew takes huge pride in its ability to turn quotes and the consequent projects around for customers with lightning speed and uncompromising quality. However, as a company always looking to enhance its service levels, the Milton Keynes outfit recognised the potential of a digital cutter and considered what was available on the market. Commenting upon the need to invest in a cutter, The Colour Crew Managing Director, Nick Goodall says: "We were outsourcing a lot of cutting and due to the quantities; this outsourced work often required die cutting and a cutting forme. The inherent issue was the turnaround time of producing the cutting forme and the consequent cutting by an external supplier. Buying a cutting table would bring this work in-house, cut costs and lead-times and also give us complete control over the process. The investment was a common sense decision."

When it came to selecting a suitable cutting table, Mr Goodall reviewed the available machines and found the DYSS X7 was the best option for a number of reasons. Firstly, the build quality of the DYSS exceeded similarly specified machines. Added to this robust platform, was the incentive of a cost-effective machine combined with the industry leading KASEMAKE CAD software.

Nick Goodall continues: "The machine looked a clear winner for us and on top of this I heard anecdotal tales of excellent service and support from AG/CAD and in contrast there were tales of hidden costs and charges when using alternative suppliers. We agreed on the DYSS X7 and it's proven an excellent investment that will pay-back within two years."

The Colour Crew offers complete print, packaging and PoS solutions and this results in the company handling anything from foam display board and FBB through to laminate, vinyl, acrylic, corrugated plastics, high impact polystyrene and aluminium composite to name a few. Many jobs from these materials had to be outsourced for cutting and if the shapes were geometrically challenging, the work was sometimes turned away altogether, but not now with the new DYSS. In addition, the company now has a large format roll fed Mimaki digital printer and a UV digital flat bed. By purchasing the DYSS X7 SuperHead machine with roll feeding capability, the cutting machine easily copes with work from both printers.

This flexibility means that The Colour Crew now processes almost 25% of its finishing work on the DYSS and since the installation, the company hasn't sent any work for external finishing. Bringing this work in-house is a major saving for The Colour Crew, as 15% of the company's work was previously sent for external cutting and finishing.

Cancelling the use of external cutting has slashed subcontracting costs considerably, but more importantly the company has also eliminated labour intensive hand-cutting operations. As The Colour Crew Warehouse Manager, John Goddard says: "We have a lot of work with the Domino Pizza Chain that used to involve hand cutting pizza boxes and boxes for sauces and dips. This would take one employee at least 1-3 days a week, depending upon batch quantities. This labour resource can now be allocated to other tasks as the DYSS cuts hundreds of boxes in no time. In addition, we used to send the higher, 1000+ quantities of dip-boxes for die cutting, as it was too much to cut by hand. This is all now done on the DYSS, saving labour and external cutting costs. Also, the KASEMAKE software allows us to turn-out designs and samples for customers really quickly. When we win orders our flexibility and capabilities allow us react at speed, regardless of order quantities and design complexity."

Of equal importance to The Colour Crew is the streamlining of the production process. Since the DYSS arrived, no work has been sent for external cutting or finishing - a glowing endorsement for the 3m by 1.6m machine. By conducting all finishing work internally, lead-times have been cut from 4 to 5 days to 1 to 3 days depending upon quantity, material type and complexity.

Nick Goodall continues: "Some jobs can now be turned around with same day delivery and this wasn't previously possible. The streamlining of processes is a major selling point for our business. In addition, the faster throughput has increased capacity and enabled us to take on more work. Working hand-in-hand with this benefit is our ability to design and manufacture dummy PoS, dummy boxes and FSDU's for customers with speed. This is acting as a sales tool and we have now employed a salesperson to sell our new capabilities and the capacity that the DYSS machine has given us.

"The flexibility of the DYSS allows us to regularly process batches of 300 to 500 jobs and very often a thousand or so parts from 3 by 1.6m boards or 50m rolls whilst simultaneously having the ability to crease and cut one-off prototypes for customers. The three-tool SuperHead gives us the finesse to cut vinyl and crease thin materials whilst also delivering the power and stability to cut Dibond ACM and 19mm thick foamed boards with excellent edge finishes. This platform is complemented by the K-CUT Vision system that guarantees absolute positional accuracy and of course the industry leading KASEMAKE CAD package. We have been delighted with the DYSS and the service provided by AG/CAD, it is really opening new doors for our business."