Director Lee Egan said, “We have a range of printers that can cope with materials up to 3.2 metres wide, but our cutting machine could only cope with materials up to 1.6 metres so larger jobs had to be hand finished which is both labour intensive and time consuming. The demand for wider printing is growing and we have several UV and dye sublimation printers so we are now printing onto a range of card, fabric and Dibond aluminium composites. We therefore needed a multi-functional finishing machine that could cope with different materials in widths up to 3.2 metres.”

The Mastercut Versa-Tech machine, supplied by British manufacturer Blackman and White, has a nominal cutting area of 3.2 metres2 but as the cutting bed is conveyorised, it can accommodate very much longer lengths of fabric materials. The bed incorporates a vacuum which locks the material in place for fast and accurate cutting.

The Versa-Tech incorporates a computer controlled multi-tool head so both blade and laser cutters can be used on a single machine. This means a smaller shop floor footprint and eliminates the need for having a separate machine for each function.  The laser cuts with an accuracy of ±0.02mm, and as it’s not in direct contact with the material, it means that even though it operates at speeds up to 1100mm/second, there’s no dragging of the material so cutting is far more accurate than with a knife. Many display graphics are printed onto vinyl or polyester textiles, and as the laser simultaneously seals the edges of these materials, large banners can be finished without hemming or sewing, which further speeds up production time.

The cutting head can also be changed for a 2.5 KW water cooled router which is capable of running at 60,000 rpm for prolonged periods.  This ensures a very clean cut on heavy duty materials such as acrylics, Foamex and composites such as Dibond without causing material break up.

Egan added, “We have built a reputation for a very high standard of service in our industry. This multi-functional cutter and router means that we can continue to provide a superior service to all our customers both now and in the future.”

Blackman & White