Kingdom Signs provides a broad range of signage and promotional items, to customers ranging from one-man-bands through to household names like First Great Western, the NHS and Oxford City Council. The company has grown rapidly from its launch in 2001 to become the substantial business it is today.
That growth has brought challenges, not least in the area of cutting sheet materials to size, as Dom Martin, Director, observed. "When we started out, we bought everything cut to size," he recalled. "That suited us well at the time, but as the business grew and we took on more work, we needed greater flexibility."
Buying sheet materials in, cut to size, meant longer lead times and, with the cutting service charged on a per-cut basis, increased costs. It also meant greater delay when mistakes were made or customer requirements changed.
Dom was aware that a vertical panel saw would give the company the flexibility it needed, but choosing the right one required some research. "It was one of those 'right place at the right time' moments that led me to Sagetech and their Koolkut range," he said. "They called us to introduce their Koolkut vertical panel saws - their timing couldn't have been better."
Sagetech told him about the Koolkut range. Series 1 Koolkuts, running off a standard 13 amp domestic power supply, are designed for light to medium use. Series 2 machines, with a 5.5hp three phase motor as standard, are intended for medium to heavy use. Series 3 units are heavy-duty saws designed for continuous use, featuring a twin-blade scoring power head for ultra-clean cutting of faced boards. These units also have transport rollers for easy loading and unloading of heavy sheets.
Completing what is probably the widest range of vertical panel saws available today is the ZK8 portable panel saw from Zapkut, Sagetech's sister company. This 'go anywhere' folding platform accepts a wide variety of power heads, including cordless units. Complete with dimensioning scales and quick stops, the ZK8 caters for all signmaking materials in sheet sizes of up to 8' x 4' and thicknesses of up to 44mm, subject to the limitations of the power head in use.
"The Series 1 Koolkut saws sounded ideal," Dom recalls, "And Sagetech were really helpful, especially in arranging a demonstration. Seeing the machine in action was a great help in understanding what it could do for us."
Kingdom Signs ordered a Series 1 Koolkut KK16, capable of horizontal, vertical and diagonal cutting to the full length and breadth of a 10' x 5' board. The saw has been in operation since early 2007 and Dom is impressed, particularly with its versatility.
"We're cutting a wide variety of materials," he noted. "Because of our broad range of services, we need to be able to cut Dibond, solid aluminium, composites, acrylic and 12mm chipboard. The Koolkut copes superbly with all of them, giving a very clean cut. Cutting small pieces is much easier than you'd expect and the saw's quick stops make dimensioning quick and easy, and save loads of time when making duplicate cuts."
The Koolkut is now an integral part of Kingdom Signs' process, fundamental to the way the company operates. "By holding stocks of sheet materials on site and using the Koolkut to cut boards to size as we need them, we have not only reduced our costs but also removed significant delay and unpredictability from our process," Dom commented. "As a direct result we can now guarantee to deliver within seven to ten days, and normally achieve delivery within three or four. That's a real plus in the eyes of our customers."
"All in all, it's a great saw at a really impressive price. I'd recommend it to anyone needing to cut sheet materials," he summed up.
For further details on Sagetech Industries' Koolkut range of space-saving vertical panel saws, please visit www.sagetech.co.uk or call 0118 970 1950.