"The other thing that we promote—what provides more value to the end user—is what we call our interchangeable cutter head platform. That means they can buy a wall machine and they get a selection of heads that will cut [various substrates] because they all require a different kind of head. What we promote is that you can buy a unit and hold onto it for twenty years and that machine will never become obsolete because of the new cutting heads that we come out with that can be adapted to that machine. So we try to promote longevity of investments for the smaller shops."
Kirsch discusses how the design of their products improves flexibility: "MultiCam constructs the table to maximize machine rigidity so printers can take full advantage of the routing side of the Digital Express. Use it on heavy substrates without sacrificing productivity or cut quality. Companies also benefit from the high-speed servo-drive system while knife cutting on light substrates. With the wide range of cutting head attachments MultiCam offers, printers may configure machines based on their specific application and production requirements.
"In the past, contour cutting was an application reserved for long-run production as no economies of scale existed in the short-run production market. Now with the use of its MultiVision digital registration system, MultiCam offers economical contour cutting for the short-run market," says Kirsch.
Woodtli addresses the importance of flexibility and offers advice to those searching for the right product for the company.
"A lot of customers, especially new customers, have the tendency to look at what they do right now. Maybe they work in a niche or maybe they have one big account that accounts for a lot of their sales and they buy equipment with that specific application in mind. They don't look out of the box. They don't look at what possibilities a digital cutter actually gives them," says Woodtli. "They should always invest in a system that can grow and adapt with them. There's nothing more frustrating than having all this productivity out there and then they are limited by equipment and they have to make huge investments again just for the machine to adapt."
"A digital cutter does not just cut, it is a cutter, it is a router, it is a creaser, it is a droid – all of these things that give customers huge opportunities and possibilities if the equipment can grow with the ideas and the development of the customer."
Woodtli also points out that the PSP should focus more on productivity versus speed as there are many factors that need to be considered. "The second point is productivity versus speed. Some customers focus on speed. The top speed is not what really counts. What counts is your throughput. How simple is it to set up a job? How fast can you change between jobs? All these factors are almost more important for productivity. Speed doesn't count that much. If it takes you 10-15 minutes to upload and set up a job, that's more time than the average job runs."
Fletcher-Terry continues to produce semi-automated systems with an eye toward the future.
"We're still in the category of being a semi-automatic we're not an automated cutter we're not into the contour cutting capabilities, says McNickle. "That's not our gig. We're into straight line 90 degree cutting."
"The philosophy we're taking in a marketing direction which we developed about a year and a half ago is 'follow the substrates, follow the money,'" says McNickle. "What that means is that these common substrates used in common industries are all crossing over. Wherever the substrates go, that's where we're going to go because they need to be able to finish it and cut it. We get people buying our cutters that are making U-Haul trailers. It's a substrate—I don't care how it's used it still needs to be cut in a uniform, clean finish."