St Albans - Bobcat Digital has installed a Zünd G3 L2500 as part of an investment package from CMYUK, which will help it expand and evolve at its own pace.
The Newport Pagnell-based print company was founded around three years ago by Robert Blackburn and Louise Owen, who spotted the growth of digital print and signage production while working at a litho printing business. Until recently Bobcat Digital, which is now a team of nine, was relying on a 1.3m-wide Mimaki printer, a small Xerox production printer and hand tools for cutting.
It has a customer base spanning retail, exhibitions and, increasingly, construction – hoardings and health and safety signs are now regular work for Bobcat Digital. To meet demand the company decided to invest in a new EFI VUTEk wide-format printer from CMYUK, but this presented the problem of keeping up with additional output using hand-finishing techniques.
"We wouldn't have been able to handle the additional work by hand-cutting," explains Robert Blackburn, "so we went to Sign and Digital UK 2016 and looked at several cutting machines on show there.
"We saw the Zünd and then spoke to a number of local companies who use Zünd equipment – there's obviously a reason why so many people buy them!"
The Bobcat team visited Zünd's demonstration centre in St Albans to see the Zünd G3 in more detail.
"That was a real eye-opener," says Blackburn. "The flexibility of the machine's modular construction means that we can see what it can do then add to it and change it at a later date, without a big initial layout."
Like all Zünd digital cutting tables, the Zünd G3 is designed with robust components and tools that can be combined to create the perfect system for each individual customer, while allowing changes, expansions and upgrades in the future. Its adjustable, energy-efficient vacuum generators help materials up to 50mm thick stay where they are during processing to produce the perfect finish, and intelligent safety features protect operators from its powerful cutting tools.
The Zünd G3 L2500 was installed at Bobcat Digital around two months ago and has proven its reliability, quality and production speed. "It's going really well – brilliant, really," says Blackburn. "It does the work of about four people."
Currently the Zünd cutting table is used mainly for X-Y cutting on standard Foamex board and routing and engraving on acrylic, wood and thick Foamex to produce commercial signage. The business hopes to expand in 2017 after further exploring the Zünd's present capabilities – and how additional and alternative tools can better serve Bobcat's customers.
"We're open to whatever people want, so we will see what the Zünd can do and look to building up the machine next year. The modularity really was the winning point for us," says Blackburn.
"As Bobcat Digital discovered, Zünd machines are not just built for high-performance, precision cutting for the highest quality output – they are also designed to grow with their owners," says Peter Giddings, Sales Director, Zünd Plotting Systems (UK) Ltd. "Our Swiss engineers are constantly developing improved designs too, so our customers know they can upgrade their Zünd without having to buy a whole new system. They're also very user-friendly machines, and operators' knowledge that they won't have to learn a whole new system as needs change is even more beneficial."