Vinyl cutters represent a solid investment, with many advantages to be gained including a rapid return on investment. They are very durable devices, often subject to hard labour for ten years or more in the field and when they eventually do need replacing, most sign and graphics companies are keen to reinvest to ensure vinyl cutting operation continue in their business.
We take a look at some of the leading products available for cutting, with a particular focus on integrated printer/cutters, which provide versatility and a breadth of applications. An integrated machine allows sign-makers to extend their business offering with the ability to produce printed graphics alongside cutting capability within the same machine.
For the sign-maker, this offers the benefit of saving space and cost by having two key pieces of equipment within the same machine. The manufacturers provide the software to make this easy to manage and with the right ink and media, sign-makers can add a host of new applications and faster turnaround to their portfolio. Being able to offer additional applications and services to both new and existing customers is critical to success in an ever more competitive marketplace.
Brett Newman, Chief Operations Manager at Hybrid Services, the exclusive distributor for Mimaki in UK and Eire, says, “Mimaki’s cutting technology has a strong heritage in the sign and graphics industry with a broad range of products from entry level cutting plotters up to production-level integrated printer/cutters. This cutting technology, which for many years has been incorporated in its integrated printer/cutters, has recently been added to its UV printer line-up, with the new UCJV series printer/cutters sporting built in cutting capability.”
Mimaki’s range of both standalone and integrated print/cut machines is very impressive. This choice is important for sign-makers who all have their own specific requirements in terms of budget, space and the type of work they specialise in. The integrated machines in particular enable sign-makers to diversify into new business areas more easily, such as vinyl lettering, vehicle graphics and labelling.
He adds, “These state-of-the-art machines offer sign-makers and print-service-providers an unrivalled opportunity to diversify their product range using just the one machine with the new UCJV capable of producing cut vinyl, printed and cut stickers, signage, point-of-sale, banners, canvas, and even textile backlit output. Mimaki is also pushing the development of integrated cutting software and recent advances have been made in the packages that are included with all Mimaki cutters to incorporate bar-coding into registration marks for print and cut applications.”
Newman concludes, “The reliability and flexibility of Mimaki’s standalone cutters and integrated printer/cutters offers significant productivity benefits, enabling the sign-maker to set a job running and then attend to other areas of the business, safe in the knowledge that the inbuilt automation will accurately and consistently reproduce the artwork. Choosing separate machines or an integrated print and cut solution is very much down to the workflow requirements of the business and personal choice; Mimaki’s portfolio presents solutions for both.”