As a company that has relocated to new facilities three times in the last four years, JCT Developments is witnessing extraordinary growth levels. Despite the relentless growth, the Hampshire company that specialises in large format digital advertising and retail print production, PoS signage and the respective fitting, has seen business expand by 30% over the last 12 months.
Recently conducting print & fitting projects for Audi and Ferrari at the Goodwood festival of speed - as well as regularly supplying Pizza Hut, Halfords, Hobby Craft, M&S, Thornton's, Puma and Prêt-A-Manger - the pedigree of the Ringwood company is unparalleled. To support its exponential growth the company has just invested in a DYSS X7 1630C digital cutting table from AG/CAD. Discussing why the company made the investment, JCT Managing Director, Julian Turner says: "We have a series of flatbed digital printers that includes two Truepress W3200UV and a Jetrix KX7, plus four Mimaki roll-to-roll upright printers. Whilst our print capability is outstanding, our flat bed and vinyl cutting machines were manually operated and this caused a production bottleneck."
For JCT, there were three key issues. Firstly, its staff operating the existing board and vinyl cutters couldn't keep pace with the fast throughput from the printing machines, which caused a bottleneck and extended project lead-times. Secondly, the existing cutting tables couldn't cut precision profiles and forms. This resulted in either the highly skilled staff taking more time to cut simple profiles, or the company just having to turn work away or subcontract it out. Finally, JCT was limited by the materials it could cut. For example, E-Flute Board, Foamex and Corex beyond 5mm thick were impossible to cut by hand whilst retaining edge quality whereas materials such as Di-Bond, acrylic, wood and PVC were a non-starter.
The company was fully aware of its limitations and the bottlenecks being created on the shop floor, so Julian Turner investigated the market. He continues: "We knew what we were looking for and after extensive investigation, the DYSS X7 ticked all the boxes for our business. As soon as we installed the machine, the benefits just kept stacking up."
An example of the immediate impact the DYSS has had at JCT can be noted on a Prêt-A-Manger poster project that is printed from a 50m long roll. Previously, this would have taken over 2 hours to cut by hand. It is now done on the DYSS in less than 30 minutes. This is partially down to the rollers on the DYSS X7 that makes set-up and cutting more precise and faster to process. With dozens of similar examples, the instant impact of the DYSS enabled JCT to relocate an employee from full time manual cutting to only using the DYSS for a few hours a day with significantly improved productivity. With a bed capacity of 1700mm by 3400mm, the DYSS X7 1630C fully complements the 1600 by 3200mm print capacity at the Ringwood company.
Julian Turner continues: "What used to be a production bottleneck is now a complete role reversal. We installed a large Screen digital printer at the same time as the DYSS and another shortly after. The two new printers would have eventually made hand-cutting a full time job for two people. However, the DYSS is so fast and precise, it can take everything our printers throw at it. In fact, it can be cutting within minutes of jobs being printed, which now means our printers struggle to keep pace with the DYSS. With our rate of growth, alleviating bottlenecks and improving lead-times is a huge advantage."
With 10 staff in-house and another 10 staff continually on the road installing projects, JCT sees projects from concept through to final installation. This 'all encompassing' printing and fitting service is a factor behind its continued success in the retail, restaurant, coffee shop, shopping centre and shopping mall advertising and POS sign and display graphic sectors. However, turnaround times are a key factor for JCT - and here the DYSS has really supported the business.
For the recent Goodwood 'Festival of Speed', JCT was involved in large projects to print and apply graphics to stands and buildings for Ferrari and Audi. For Audi, the event was part of its promotion of the newly launched RS3 car. Commenting upon this, Julian Turner says: "It was an extremely prestigious project and one that demanded a fast turnaround service. Our team worked 24 hours a day to complete the project and without the DYSS, it wouldn't have been possible. We are making a 10 fold saving in cutting times."
This may well be a bold statement, but on another recent project to produce Pizza Hut promotional magnets, the sheets were cut in 4 minutes as opposed to 3.5 hours by hand - instantly quantifying the 10 fold saving.
The addition of the DYSS now enables JCT to cut Di-Bond, Acrylic, PVC, E-Flute corrugated board, Foamex, Corex and even wood in thicknesses beyond 15mm. This wasn't previously possible and work above 5mm in most materials would have been subbed out. Unfortunately, this had lead-time and cost constraints that would have restricted the growth of the business. As Julian Turner continues: "We now have the confidence to pitch for any type of work regardless of material or the complexity of the shapes of each job. The DYSS can handle everything we throw at it. It is now down to us to sell the benefits of the DYSS to customers. So far, many of our customers are overawed by the capability of the machine - as the possibilities are almost endless."
With such bold statements, printers and sign-makers may be wondering what the potential of the machine actually is. At JCT, the company specified the SuperHead' machine with three tooling stations that can accommodate kiss-cut tools, routing, knife, creasing and pen tools. For JCT, the DYSS delivers the ability to cut through thick or rigid materials with the powerful routing tool or alternately use the high speed oscillating and static knives to carve through corrugated and Foamex boards. With regard to the kiss-cut, pen and creasing tools, these are precisely directed around the work area for marking, folding and cutting complex designs and shapes.
The DYSS works in synergy with the KASEMAKE CAD suite that has thousands of pre-prepared templates for boxes, folders and display units. At JCT, this innovative software and the creasing/folding tools have enabled the company to supply projects such as leaflet holders that wouldn't have previously been possible.
Julian Turner concludes: "Our customers are delighted with our print and finish quality and our ability to complete projects in-house with the DYSS. We are now taking on more diverse work from existing customers and it is down to us to sell the benefits of the DYSS to existing and new customers."