Getting The Most Out Of A Flatbed Cutter

GSW – Mimaki

When you want to cut a wide variety of substrates and applications, a flatbed cutter would be your best choice to make. Summa outlines aspects to consider when investing in a flatbed cutter.

1. When size matters

Jobs come in all sizes – large and small – and they all require proper finishing. However, both intricate small jobs and larger than life-sized jobs take up a lot of time, effort and skills to finish manually. This is exactly the point where a flatbed cutter can come in ‘handy’ to not only save you precious time but money as well.

With the current technology, you can obtain excellent accuracy by means of automated cutting systems. When you want to cut a wide variety of substrates and applications, a flatbed cutter would be your best choice to make. But how can you decide which size is best for your business?

Ask yourself the following questions before you decide which size to choose:

• What is your core business; do you focus on specific applications or as many as possible?
• How flexible would you like to be in offering new applications/solutions?
• Which material sizes do you process most frequently?
• How much do you want to invest?
• How much space do you have for a flatbed cutter?

2. Prepare your business for a large variety of jobs

If you aspire to grow your business and achieve greater heights, you have to be ready to take on any job. Whether this means cutting a 1.000 magnetic sticker of the same size or rigid board material for an upcoming sale, your customer wants to promote, you need a method and a system that is cut out for any job, each time, again and again.

Usually, a flatbed system can hold a wide range of tools with a modular tooling system, enabling users to tailor the cutter to everyone’s need. The modules on Summa’s F Series flatbed systems can hold up to three tools at once. This way, an endless gamut of substrates can be processed in an instant. The list below is merely a fragment of what flatbed can finish for you:

• Corrugated boards.
• Foamboards.
• MDF boards.
• PVC.
• Acrylic.
• Magnetic materials.
• Dibond.
• Roll material.
• Textiles (Mesh fabrics, flags, banners).

Look for the following standard features:

Vacuum System to hold the material in place: Thanks to this system with air suction, the material is held down on the table whilst processing to avoid any distortion of the material.

Conveyor System for a controlled feed of the media: a conveyor belt secured around the table in combination with pneumatically-driven media clamps enable to cut large material lengths and make large production runs a child’s play.

Roll Support System for roll-to-roll jobs: Combined with the Conveyor System, the Roll Support System is ideal for processing roll material on flatbed models of any size. The Roll Support System is placed at the back and will hold the rolls sturdy in place at all times.

Tandem Mode to work side by side: With this mode, the active working area can be divided into front and back processing areas, enabling the user to load and unload material on one end of the table while cutting material on the other end. The active loading area alternates between the front and the back, avoiding any idle period.

Operator Zone: this feature divides the working area into two separate zones, a cut only and an operator zone. All material is fed forward to the operator zone automatically. As the cutting head doesn’t move any further than the cut zone, the operator has access to the processed material safely at the front of the machine.

Poster Trim: this feature ensures posters can be cut without the need for any cutting data information. The built-in camera system on all F Series sizes automatically scans the black printed frames and starts to cut immediately.

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