Nessan Cleary takes a look at the automated cutting tables as they return to the UK market.
Many readers may remember seeing the DYSS X7 series of automated cutting tables when they were launched in the UK last year. However, the tables have been hard to get hold of since the original distributor, B&P Graphics, went into administration. But earlier this summer a new distributor, AG/CAD, took up the baton and has since installed a demonstration model at its Cheshire office.
South Korean firm DYSS started off in 1989 making screen printers but has since developed its own range of Apollo UV flatbed and roll-fed printers and more recently branched into automated cutting tables with the X7 series. The X7 table is a very solid looking machine, built on a welded steel frame and with a reinforced honeycomb bed. The smallest, and most popular one, is the 1624 with a work area of 1650 x 2450mm, which will happily take 8 x 4 boards. This starts at £37,000 but they can go up to £100,000 depending on the bed size and configuration.
Product manager Nick Reed advises that as printers are getting wider and faster you might want to consider the 2616, which with a work area of 2650 x 3050 also takes 8 x 4 boards, but in a landscape rather than portrait format, giving you a lot more options. All will take substrates up to 50mm thick and run at speeds of 60-100mm/second depending on the tool and media in use.
You have a choice of two main cutting heads. There’s the Triple head that allows you to take three different types of tool at the same time so you can change quickly between different jobs without wasting time retooling. Then there’s the Super head, which has two positions for tools such as creasing wheels and knives but also cuts with a 1kw routing spindle. The heads are interchangeable so you can swap from one to the other, but they’re expensive so it’s worth spending time at the outset to decide which will be best one to start with.
There’s a good range of cutting tools including a Tangential knife tool for solid materials like display board, an oscillating tool that's designed for thick spongy material like rubber or cardboards like Dufaylite and a Kiss cut tool. There’s also a V cutter tool, which allows you to create a fold leaving a skin one side so that it looks like a hinge. It will cut a wide range of materials, from acrylics to banners, textiles and PVC. The only thing it doesn't cut is metal apart from Dibond, as the grease needed to cool the bit would interfere with the vacuum system holding the media in place.
There’s an optional conveyer system, which gives a form of semi-automated working with roll-fed media when it’s combined with a camera system. The conveyor system will automatically advance the media to be cut, using the camera system to register the position until the job is finished.
When it comes to sheets there’s a feeding system on the rear, which can load the material to the bed and then automatically cut without any human intervention.
For the camera systems, AG/Cad mainly use the iCut system but you can specify the OptiScout camera if you prefer. However, AG/Cad is also in the process of developing its own system, CutQ, which is a touch screen system and has a list of profiles for different materials to control the cutting. Reed says: “It gives us more control as to what goes on and we can deal with customer feedback and requests a lot quicker than going through iCut.” This should be available later this year.
The X7 tables were well received when they first appeared so it’s good to see them back again.