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Trade Comment

Hybrid Finishing Technologies

There are a number of hybrid finishing technologies available and for printers to look into. Genevieve Lewis asks: "What are the prime benefits of investing in this technology and what is there on offer?”

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Robert Marshall, vice president (market development), AXYZ International

Maximise opportunities

The principal benefits of hybrid print finishing technology to wide-format print specialists are founded on cost savings that can be made in production, coupled with the ability to enable companies to maximise new market opportunities that exist in, for example, the packaging, print wear and promotional products and short-run labelling sectors. Using a combined routing and cutting print finishing system also obviates the need for companies to invest in two separate machines to carry out these functions, thereby enabling a much needed reduction on capital equipment expenditure and workplace space availability.

The principal benefits of hybrid print finishing technology to wide-format print specialists are founded on cost savings

The launch of the AXYZ Trident hybrid routing and cutting system marked AXYZ International’s entry into the rapidly expanding print finishing sector, thereby expanding the companies CNC machining options and enabling owners of this latest machine to achieve these twin objectives. A particular strength of AXYZ International and one that sets the company apart from other suppliers is that all of the machines are manufactured for and distributed direct to customers, with no third-party reseller intervention.

AXYZ has also recently announced a number of upgrades to further enhance the appeal of Trident. These machine refinements include a redesigned routing/cutting head that is said to be much easier to operate and easier to service together with improvements to the tangential and oscillating knife-cutting units that now enable much higher routing/cutting speeds and the ability to handle a much larger range of rigid, semi-rigid and flexible materials. These include aluminium and other non-ferrous metals, aluminium composites (ACM), acrylic, plastics and their derivatives, foamed and corrugated board, vinyl, cardboard and paper, all of which are widely specified in the sign-making and wide-format printing sectors.

Cost benefits

Phil Kneale, director, Graphtec GB

The benefits of investing in print finishing technology for wide-format print specialists are based on the degree of market diversification that it enables for a relatively modest additional outlay. For example, the combination of a digital flatbed or roll-fed digital cutter such as that supplied from the wide range of options from Graphtec GB with a complementary digital printer will provide a comparatively low-cost but highly productive print-and-cut solution for applications as diverse as sign-making, graphics production, labelling, packaging and print wear and product marking.

Such equipment also requires little time to set up and operate by comparison with other similarly positioned production equipment, whilst removing the need to employ an outside supplier to complete finishing requirements. This enables savings on manufacturing costs as well as ensuring the quality and reliability of the finished product.

An important addition to the cutting/finishing solutions provided by Graphtec GB has been the latest F-Mark Automatic Digital Die-Cutter. This is based on the popular CE6000-40 cutting plotter incorporating dedicated F-Mark hardware and software. It has been designed for the high-speed cutting of a wide range of digitally-printed media. A key benefit of the machine is that the die-cutting process is carried out automatically, thereby eliminating the need for owners of the F-Mark to purchase expensive cutting dies.

Such equipment also requires little time to set up and operate by comparison with other similarly positioned production equipment

The F-Mark allows contour-cutting of adhesive sheets and digital prints applied to a variety of substrates used extensively in the graphics and wide-format printing sectors. The integral automatic sheet-fed table allows up to 120 sheets of material to be loaded simultaneously, thereby enabling the machine operator to engage with other work. A camera equipped with F-Mark technology ensures precise media registration with print data, as well as compensating for any distortion that might occur during the printing process.

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