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COVER STORY
Cut-to-print print
problems solved with
AXYZ CNC solution
Bradford-based Whiteghyll Visual Fabrications is a leading supplier of bespoke
retail display and visual merchandising products, the quality of which is
reflected in the company’s impressive customer base that includes major high
street retailers like Morrisons, BHS, Ann Summers, Argos and Habitat. To
help boost productivity and reduce costs, the company recently installed an
AXYZ cut-to-print CNC solution at its graphics department
H
aving begun the move from traditional
screen-printing to digital printing over a
year ago with the purchase of a large-
format VUTEk UV printer, Whiteghill was
confronted with the same issues about
finishing as other owners of these versatile
printers. The main problem was how to
accurately cut out prints that had been created
using rigid materials like foamed board, acrylic
and medium-density fibreboard (MDF).
At first, this was not perceived as too much
of a problem since the company already owned
two CNC routers from AXYZ International. A
Pacer 3020HDS installed in 2004 and an
AXYZ 4008 purchased in 2006 were already
proving their worth in the plastics fabrication
and woodworking departments. Foamed board
like FOAMEX and acrylic panels printed on the
VUTEk were easily cut on the Pacer machine
that can machine acrylic up to 15mm thick in a
single pass with an outstanding quality of edge
finish. The remaining problems, however,
concerned registration (namely, how to
position the printed sheet in order to cut out in
exactly the right place on the router), with a
further complication arising as a result of non-
linear distortion (stretching) of the material.
This was caused not necessarily by the printer
but more likely by changes in the material due
to temperature and humidity variations.
These problems contributed to significant
material wastage caused by misaligned cutting
and were further exacerbated by product
damage and increased labour costs incurred by
moving materials between production
departments. Furthermore, in spite of running
three 24/7 shifts there were problems over
capacity due to the increased workload and to
the absence of a knife-cutting facility on either
12 SCREEN PROCESS AND DIGITAL IMAGING l November 2009 Visit us at www.spdi-online.com
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