Ghent, Belgium - UK based wide format digital printer Data Image Group Ltd is the first operation to invest in the Kongsberg C automated robotic production system from Esko, a global supplier of integrated solutions for the packaging, labels, sign and display industries.
Data Image Group Ltd serves the cosmetics, fashion, retail and automotive industries and has a wide range of digital printing devices as well as the largest installation of digital cutting tables in the UK.
Data Image Group Ltd chose the newest Esko Kongsberg platform to keep pace with rapidly evolving customer requirements, including more creative designs and broader substrate options. “Adding the level of automation delivered by this solution future-proofs our business,” states Data Image Group Director Robert Farfort.
Fast, accurate cutting
Data Image Group Ltd has a long-standing relationship with Esko and works with a variety of Esko software solutions for a highly automated prepress workflow. In addition, the company has two Kongsberg XP cutting tables for fast and accurate cutting of its digital work.
This production capacity will be further expanded with the new addition of a Kongsberg Robotic Cell. Robert adds, “Automation is really important to the future of our business ensuring that cutting keeps pace with our ever accelerating print capability. Being able to automate what has predominantly been a manual process of loading and unloading materials means we can gain better efficiencies out of our cutting operation.”
Aiding that automation is Esko’s new Device Manager, which provides the ability to monitor job status in real-time as well as the ability to manage and prioritize queues for all connected devices, including Data Image’s new Kongsberg C table. This moves operational control upstream to the prepress department, enabling smoother integration of digital finishing operations into the overall workflow.
“Device Manager is a truly unique feature that only Esko offers,” says Robert. “It’s an excellent management tool that provides us with information on how to do things differently, and it gives us the transparency we need to make the right decisions in real time.”
Eliminating manual steps, fast table set up, job prioritization and optimized material handling all contribute to reducing lead times, managing short production runs intelligently, cutting material waste and optimizing equipment output.
Next revolution in cutting
Farfort states, “I believe Esko’s new automated cutting technology is the beginning of the next-revolution in digital finishing. Having worked with Esko’s solutions for many years, we know the advantages and gains we achieve with them. But we were looking for an even closer integration between our machines and software in order to take automation to the next level. And Esko has delivered that in spades.”
“Forward-thinking companies like Data Image give us great feedback and insight that helps us continue to innovate and extend our product portfolio,” says Stuart Fox, Director Digital Finishing of Esko. “Their insight and guidance, combined with our industry knowledge and expertise, is a winning combination that ensures we bring solutions to market to enable companies to operate ever more efficiently and profitably.”