Global Imaging's Kongsberg i-XP Finishing Table Upgrade Adds More Capacity

Global Imaging, located in Mississauga, ON, a suburb of Toronto, specializes in wide-format graphics, offering everything from interior displays, tradeshows, POP, exterior signage, and vehicle graphics. In 2008, it installed a Kongsberg i-XL to partner with its Océ Arizona 250 GT flatbed printer. In June 2011, after adding two new Océ flatbed printers, it needed faster cutting speed, and upgraded to the i-XP 24.

"We easily doubled our cutting speed," says Scott Saunders, one of Global Imaging's owners. "It's so fast that for a typical job, two printers will not keep up with the table. Even complicated cuts pose just a minimal challenge to the machine's speed."

The Kongsberg i-XP 24's throughput, including job preparation, tool changing, and idle time—along with its maximum 66 inches per second cutting speed—is helping to move jobs through the shop in record time. It lets Global Imaging offer on-demand production with quick turnarounds.

Phenomenal Speed

"We just finished a massive job and it was hard not to notice the phenomenal speed of the machine," says Saunders. "It took us half the time to get the job done. We were cutting sheets in 10-15 seconds. For a 1,000-sheet job, instead of cutting 100 sheets a day, it meant we were cutting 200-250 sheets per day. That's easily double the throughput."

Global Imaging's Kongsberg i-XP 24 is integrated with the i-cut Vision system. "With the i-cut Vision system we can register work on the table," says Saunders. "We perform a lot of contour cuts; the machine automatically registers sheets so it produces clean contour materials every day, every time. It will even compensate for slight misregistration of the sheet before it makes the cuts."

With a total of 10 employees, Global Imaging runs two shifts, seven days week, pumping out one million square feet annually; 70-80 percent of which is cut. "We generate a lot of materials through here and we (the three owners) actively operate the equipment," says Saunders.

Versatility is Key

The digital finishing system's versatility is critical to Global Imaging's operation in a variety of ways. First, the Kongsberg i-XP 24 is able to cut a raft of materials, from vinyl to heavy-duty corrugated, from MDF to aluminum, styrene, Sintra, foam boards, and banners.

Also, the Kongsberg allows for intricate contour detail cutting. And with more than 10,000 on-demand templates available, there's virtually no limit to the shapes Global Imaging can offer its customers.

Finally, with a maximum working area of 87x126 inches, the i-XP 24 can easily handle 10-foot sheets. It's larger area "gives us more area to play with," says Saunders.

Ease of use is also a key component of the Kongsberg i-XP 24. Not only is tool changing quick and easy—"I can go from one tool to another very quickly," says Saunders—but the machine's toolbit touches down and automatically sets the correct height of the substrate. "The fact that the tool does it automatically, not manually, is awesome," he adds. "It saves us a lot of time in production."

Says Saunders, "A lot of the i-XP 24's features are like second nature to us because we had the previous machine for so long. It's a great machine. I like the way it operates. I like the ease, speed, and the versatility of it. It's reliable, fast, and accurate."