Advanced Machinery makes its mark

The printing and packaging industry has seen a dramatic shift in recent years, not only from the volumes and run lengths, which it had come to take for granted but, in the fact that the printing is only one aspect of the total job. Printed jobs are often part of a larger and far more encompassing package or campaign. Unless they are happy to simply concentrate on the print aspect, many printers are being forced to consider other associated avenues in order to retain their clients by offering them additional value-adds. One of the options that some printers are considering is cutting and engraving systems. This allows them to not only expand their product offering to their existing clients, but given the versatility and flexibility of these devices, also to open up new business avenues. This gives them the ability to counter some of the negatives they may have experienced in their core business over the past few years. As with any type of technology nowadays, there are different types of technology for companies to choose from, while the purchasing criteria are as varied as the uses of the machines and the substrates which they can cut. Some people opt for laser cutters, while others opt for mechanical cutters. Advanced Machinery in Jet Park offers the market both options according to the needs, specifications and preferences of the customer. Eric Yin, the owner of Advanced Machinery, knows that it is only a matter of time before some forward-thinking packaging and printing companies see the advantages which this type of system can offer. He commented, ‘Printers and packaging manufacturers are looking for new products for their customers. Cut and engraved products will allow them to show their customers new opportunities.’ Advanced Machinery has, in just a few months, managed to install a number of systems in and around Johannesburg, and is looking to open an office in Cape Town to be able to take advantage of the high levels of interest it has received from the Western Cape. One of its customers in Johannesburg is Intense Design, a company which specialises in event stage planning and building. Four months ago Intense Design took a leap of faith and installed a cutting and engraving machine from Advanced Machinery, not really sure whether it would be able to do everything that Eric promised. Within one month it became obvious to the team that Eric had under-sold the machine. Said Mark Preiss, ‘The cutter is only limited by your imagination. If the finished product can be drawn and plotted, it can be cut. We started out producing very basic cutting projects but soon realised that we were not using it to its full potential.’ Prior to the installation of the cutting machine, all cutting work at Intense Design was done manually. This often involved multiple cuts to achieve a single result. With the cutting machine the element or design to be cut can be programmed into the computer and then the only manual intervention which is required is to place and remove the substrate onto the vacuum table. Optional automatic dust or vapour removal means that the work surface and environment remains clean and safe for the operator. Since installation, the highly labour intensive process of cutting has meant that the six people employed to do this are now freed up to do less strenuous finishing processes, thereby speeding the overall production time. The cutting machines are available in a range of cutting heights and sizes designed to allow different sizes of products to be cut. Mark added, ‘We have been experimenting more and more with the machine and everything we have tried has been easy to handle with our expectations being exceeded. We did have some initial problems understanding the capabilities of the machine, but Eric knows and understands the machine and he has helped us to find the right solutions when we have had an issue or a particularly tricky job to handle.’ The range of materials that the cutting machine can handle is virtually unlimited. As long as a cutting bit can go through the material it can be cut. Not only that, but given the fact that all jobs can be stored as a cutting programme, repeatability is as simple as reloading the job onto the computer and pressing the start button. For printing and packaging manufacturers the only hindrance to adopting the use of this technology is the limitation of imagination. By finding new and exciting ways of meeting clients’ needs or providing them with alternative offerings, they can draw on innovation to expand their business and once again regain the unique factor which originally set them apart from all of their competitors. Contact Mark Preiss at Intense Design to find out more about how the Advanced Machinery cutting system has helped to change its business. E-mail intensedesign@ffg.net or call 011 826 1786. For more information on the CNC Routers and other CNC machines contact Advanced Machinery on 072 222 2211 or visit the informative website http://am.co.za/