Systems keep up with new, fast digital flatbed printers and help to eliminate bottlenecks in the finishing department
Miamisburg, OH (USA) – One of the challenges in the production of wide format displays is making sure that the finishing department keeps up with the digital presses. Esko announces that Holland & Crosby Limited, a company that specializes in the design, manufacture and distribution of P.O.P. signage and displays, has invested in two Kongsberg C64 finishing tables to keep up with its new, high speed flatbed printers.
Founded in 1932, Mississauga-based Holland & Crosby Limited and their 53 employees provide a complete range of services from creative and structural design through to storage and distribution, including digital, screen and litho print production as well as prototyping and finishing. Their new, purpose-built, 71,000 square-foot facility for both production and distribution is ideally located with access to all major highways and Toronto's Pearson International Airport. Earlier this year, Holland & Crosby acquired the assets of screen printing company Colormark Limited, a company with a longstanding history of excellence and service, and—like Holland & Crosby—a legacy of being environmentally responsible.
Holland & Crosby had recently invested in highly productive Inca Onset X-Series flatbed digital inkjet printers to accompany their Durst 320 Rho 3.2 meter roll-to-roll printer. The two finishing tables they owned had been able to keep up with their previous printers however, Holland & Crosby knew they would jam production. "By increasing the throughput in our presses, we knew we needed to match it with our cutters, or we would create a bottleneck in our finishing department," explains Scott Crosby, Holland & Crosby VP, Sales and Marketing. "Our existing finishing tables were eight years old and out of date compared to most other cutters. Our investment in new presses almost doubled throughput. We needed new tables that were fast and reliable."
After looking at tables from a few suppliers, Holland & Crosby invested in two Kongsberg C64 finishing tables. One has been outfit with automation on the front end. The other has been fitted with a router and an adaptor for roll stock. The Kongsberg C64 is a state-of-the-art, super-wide (126" x 126") digital finisher that offers the highest possible performance. Precision and productivity over ten feet are guaranteed thanks to the carbon-composite traverse beam, which is unique to Esko. The Kongsberg C also is the only super-wide finisher with a 3kW continuous duty high-performance milling unit.
"The Kongsberg C64 was the best combination of the things we were looking for," remarks Crosby. "It offered us quality, speed, reliability and a vision going forward. We are ultimately looking for lights-out automation. We want to be able to shut off our lights, feed a full skid of material, and return in the morning with cut, unstripped product. Esko is working hard to get there for us. We were also looking for local service, and it was very important for us that Esko has service in area. We don't have the time to be down."
Holland & Crosby has been operating its Kongsberg tables since January. "It's exciting to see the speed. Our operators have a hard time keeping up with them, and stripping out the material, before the next sheet," observes Crosby. "The two tables are 2.5 times faster than what we were running before. Cutters are always going to run a bit slower than the presses, so we run them for two full shifts, while the presses run about 1.5 shifts. However, there is no longer a bottleneck with the cutters." With these investments, the company predicts as much as 50% improvement in throughput.
Holland & Crosby has also noticed that Kongsberg knives and tools are more substantial, with more durable blades that cut more efficiently and are replaced less frequently. Clients see better pricing while the push to faster production has helped their speed to market. As Crosby is fond of saying, Holland & Crosby provides miracles, and their equipment helps.
The company is still working on improving its workflow. "Before, printing was the bottleneck. Then, finishing, distribution, and getting our orders and preflighting them," notes Crosby. Holland & Crosby had previously invested in Esko i-cut Suite, and hopes to spend time refining the system to help them preflight jobs faster and more efficiently, as well as imposing jobs for more efficient use of substrates and printing time.
"The Esko Kongsberg tables have a very sound company behind them, from sales to service to execution. They know that the sale cannot end at completion of the sales order," concludes Crosby. "They got it in and made sure everything worked. Esko has been awesome. They do what they say they are going to do."