Diametric, a precision badge, label, and nameplate producer, recently acquired the Kongsberg X20 as part of a strategic upgrade at the company’s manufacturing plant on the Isle of Wight.
After introducing its new Kongsberg digital cutting table, Diametric saw a boost in productivity with extensive efficiency gains and was able to pass on cost savings to customers. Graham Steele, Managing Director of Diametric, said that the digital cutting solution was already delivering a significant return on investment.
‘It has totally exceeded expectations, and really opened our eyes to the possibilities,’ stated Steele. ‘We knew there was a need for new technology because the cut shop has always been a bit of a bottleneck for production, so understanding the capacity of what we can actually put through has been a revelation. Whenever you get a new piece of equipment there’s always the anticipation of how it will fit into the existing workflow process, but once the engineer had been in to deliver the training, the machine has not stopped.’
Steele said the Kongsberg X20 had an immediate impact on productivity and efficiency. ‘The instant advantage we saw was the minimal set-up time required, particularly for repeat orders, where you can recall the programming,’ he explained. ‘Then there is the accelerated running time. Because you can index cut on the X20, where the only limitation is the sheet size, we can also look at a larger yield on the sheet without worrying about registration issues. Previously we’d have had to do a lower yield cut because we had to be conscious of the fact the cut needed to be accurate across the whole sheet. But with Kongsberg automation, we can maximise our materials.’
‘We’re also bringing costs down for customers because we can get the job through the department at a faster rate, as well as cutting more products from one sheet,’ he said. ‘Pre-Covid, we ran an extensive secret shopper exercise and discovered that our set-up costs and tooling were proving an issue. Now we’ve brought the Kongsberg in, we’ve eliminated a lot of those costs. We’re already passing those savings on to our customers, which has opened the door to some without the same budget as large international brands, but now with the option of good quality branding on their products.’
Steele explained that when looking for the new equipment, the company identified appropriate machines and then effectively gave them a road test with the materials that the business use regularly. ‘Our industry sits apart from others,’ he said. ‘Everything we were looking at for cutting was for foam, board, or packaging, whereas we manufacture product branding, so we have myriad of materials on the shelf at any one time. We needed something that could handle most materials, meeting the requirements of what we do.’
‘The build quality really stood out. When we saw the Kongsberg machine it was evident it was built to last,’ he added. ‘For us, that robustness, the fact that it was a little weightier, made it the clear choice. It meant we knew it could hold its own with the materials we were using without pushing the limits of the machine.’
‘We have a remarkably diverse client base, so we are also looking to meet their needs in terms of packaging, protective inserts, and any other requirements we identify. With investment in this innovative technology, we are confident we can grow our business further.’