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Digital Finishing Roundup

 

Routers, Cutters, and Engravers

 

By Kim Crowley

 

Part 2 of 2

 

The first part of this series provided information on a variety of digital finishing devices. This half continues were we left off.

 

Mutoh America, Inc.’s new Kona cutting plotter family includes the Kona 760, 1400, and 1650; 29.9, 55, and 64.9 inches in width, respectively. The devices offer the opportunity for traditional vinyl cutting for lettering jobs, contour cutting of pre-printed stickers, and a cut-through feature for individual stickers. The cutters accept material measuring a maximum of one millimeter thick. All three devices offer a maximum cutting speed of 39.9 inches per second (in/s) An automatic sheet-off feature allows for the slicing of media at the end of each job.

 

Océ North America’s ProCut digital cutting tables offer automated finishing for display graphics on a variety of rigid and flexible media. They also create freestanding point of purchase (POP) displays and custom cut and creased items, such as exhibit components and packaging prototypes. They use universal cutting, kiss-cutting, electric oscillating, routing module, creasing, driven rotary, pneumatic oscillating, and v-cut tools, handling media up to 2.3 inches thick. ProCut tables feature intelligent nesting to true shape to significantly reduce media waste, as well as an innovative modular tool system to maximize flexibility and upgradeability. The tables use Océ’s proprietary software for automating the cutting workflow, which includes software to prepare registration marks, barcodes, and tool assignments; nesting for optimal media usage; and accuracy software. Océ ProCut digital cutting tables come in ten sizes from 51x63 to 128x124 inches, with prices starting at $65,00. Tool holders, tools, knives, and accessories are available at an additional cost.

 

Roland DGA Corporation features the Roland GX-640 vinyl cutter—MSRP $6,995—used for vehicle restyling, signs, banners, decals, labels, floor graphics, and decorated apparel. It handles materials up to 40-mil thick and 72 inches wide, with a cutting width of 65 inches. Noteworthy features include an Autocut function that automatically cuts the sheet after each job is finished; an Overlap feature that cuts the same graphic up to 11 times; and the Overcut feature that cuts thicker materials by adding a margin of one millimeter to the beginning and end of a vector. Roland CutStudio Design Software, supported by Roland VersaWorks RIP Software, powers the cutter.

 

Roland also offers desktop and professional engraving machines as well as print trimmers. The Roland VersaCUT and VersaCUT CR print trimmers come in manual and crank-assisted models and are used to trim finished graphics up to 100 inches wide. The VersaCUT manual trimmer cuts materials up to three eights of an inch thick and the VersaCUT CR crank-assisted trimmer cuts substrates up to half an inch thick. The trimmers use industrial strength razor blades and feature magnetic catches for easy material loading. Prices are $699 for a 44-inch manual model and $1,329 for a 72-inch crank-assisted model.

 

Summa, Inc. OPOS-CAM tangential cutters are designed for demanding production environments, high-volume contour cutting, signs, labels, decals, aircraft marking, stencils, and masks. They utilize Summa’s OPOS contour cutting alignment system with advanced camera optics technology and CameraControl recognition software. The OPOS-CAM cutters use standard drag, tangential, thick material, and double-tip knives to cut a maximum width of 57 inches and up to 56 in/s diagonally. They use WinPlot or MacSign Cut software, CutterControl parameter software, and CameraControl marker recognition software. Prices start at $10,999.

 

Available this Fall, is Summa’s 63-inch F Series F1612 flatbed cutting tables. The tables are geared for high production environments, prototyping, packaging, aircraft marking, stencils and masks, textiles, and POP displays. Highlights include Bluetooth wireless remote control, OPOS-CAM optical marker recognition, vacuum pump, and laser pointer positioning. They cut at up to 39 in/s and handle media up to 65 inches wide with a maximum cutting width of 63 inches. The F series tables use AxisControl software, SummaFlex, or SummaFlex Pro front end production software.

Techno Inc. supplies CNC Routers for routing, sign making, and extracting digital images from printed media such as sintra, gatorboard, or diebond up to two inches thick. Router sizes range from two by two feet up to 6.5 by ten feet. The routers offered are oscillating knife, tangential drag knife, and vinyl cutter. The Techno CNC interface is upgradeable for free for the life of the machine. Techno’s LC Series 4896 model with 5HP spindle, vacuum table, pump, and Techno Vision software, installed and setup sells for under $40,000.

Universal Laser Systems, Inc. manufactures laser cutting and engraving systems used in signage, fabric conversion, awards, woodworking, print-and-cut, non-basic shapes, and extremely fine details. The systems work with any graphics software program. Unique features include the Laser Interface+ print driver for ease of operation; tool-less Rapid Reconfiguration of Lasers; and Automation Interface to trigger events on ULS systems from external devices—especially helpful for integrating laser processing into production line. The ILS model also features a patented Pass-through option for processing oversized items and features a 48x24-inch engraving area. The laser cutter/engravers handle media up to a half an inch thick, depending on laser wattage and other factors.

 

Zünd America, Inc. is known worldwide for its digital cutting systems. The Zünd Digital Cutting System offers a variety of cutting tools and processes, including but not limited to routing, knife-cutting, kiss-cutting, scoring, creasing, and more. There are several sizes and configurations available, up to the G3 3XL-3200, which accommodates a cut area of 126x125 inches. The Zünd tables process material at a maximum of two inches thick. They use a large selection of compatible knives and router bits as well as crease wheels. The Zünd tables are driven by the latest in Vision software, such as Zünd Cut Center or Touch & Cut. Zünd G3 cutting systems are designed to be extremely robust systems for 24/7 production and include a two year warranty. G3 systems start at $125,000.

 

Finishing Touches

Digital routers, cutters, and engravers add the finishing touch and bring large format print to life. The equipment is imperative to the busy sign shop, as they process cut vinyl, rigid prints, and complex contour cuts.

 

Click here to read Part 1 of this exclusive online series, Finishing Touches.


Click on the link above to get more information on the vendors mentioned in this article.

Oct2010, Digital Output DODF1010

 
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