Traceability Solutions has brought the Kern Laser Systems to South Africa. South African sign manufacturers now have access to the most versatile sign making equipment ever designed. This dream machine, specifically designed for the visual graphics industry, is the Kern large format laser cutting and engraving system.

Kern Laser Systems is a family owned and operated company that has been manufacturing large format laser systems since 1982. The Kern product line has earned a reputation throughout the USA and Canada as being the machine of choice for sign makers, plastic fabricators and visual graphic facilities. In the last three years, Kern has extended its reach overseas by establishing distributors in the United Kingdom, Australia, the Middle East and Southeast Asia.

‘We knew it was important to focus our attention on finding a distributor that had a good amount of laser experience and would be able to provide a high level of customer service to the South African market,’ said Derek Kern, Vice President of Sales & Marketing, Kern Lasers. ‘Traceability fits this mould perfectly and we feel very fortunate to have established a partnership with such a first class company.’

Traceability is well positioned in the South African laser market and has been providing smaller format machines to the visual graphics industry since 1992. With a team of friendly laser associates and knowledgeable service technicians Traceability enjoys their ability to work with their customers well after the sale is completed.

Like Traceability, Kern has always focused on providing a reliable product with exceptional customer service. ‘Great customer service prompts customers to share their experiences with others,’ said Kern. ‘Our marketing campaign did not involve tradeshow appearances or advertising in magazines until 2008. Much of our early success as a company was due to word of mouth which was only possible by providing a product and after sale support which was above and beyond our customers’ expectations.’

Lasers are well known to be very productive machines for one pass cutting of acrylic with a flame polished edge quality. However, the capabilities of the Kern machine reach far beyond simple plastic cutting applications. A popular application that is making news in the sign industry is using lasers to make LED edge lit signage. This process is accomplished by lightly laser etching acrylic panels with logos, words and shapes. A LED light strip is then attached to the sides of the panel. When the LED strip is turned on the etched portions of the acrylic surface illuminate. Dots or lines can be etched and a thin translucent plastic sheet can be placed over the panel to diffuse the light evenly over the entire panel surface which can be used for different backlighting applications.

Another key advantage of the Kern laser machine is its ability to integrate the i-cut Vision Pro system. This vision package is a fully integrated hardware and software solution that transforms the Kern laser machine into an advanced digital finishing system. The process starts with a nozzle mounted camera which automatically measures the distance between registration marks on printed materials. The system then uses these measurements and the registration marks of the original cutting file to compensate for distortion and rotation. The slight adjustments that i-cut makes to the cutting file result in a perfectly matched cutout in the material being processed.

Kern’s product lineup includes tables with working areas of 1320 mm x 2540 mm, 1524 mm x 2540 mm and 2032 mm x 3048 mm. Smaller size machines are available and are popular among prototype applications, educational facilities and customers with limited floor space.

‘Kern’s complete range of CO2 laser systems meets the needs of our customers in a large variety of industries,’ said Kyle Parker, President, Traceability Solutions. ‘Traceability technicians are well trained and we anticipate the South African market to welcome the Kern product line with open arms.’

Popular materials that are cut and engraved with lasers are acrylic, textiles, wood, foam and light sheet metal. Up to 25 mm acrylic and wood can be cut with a single pass of the laser beam. The metal cutting capabilities allow users to cut up to 4.8 mm mild steel, 3.3 mm stainless steel and 1.3 mm aluminum.

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