As an industrial designer who first established his business in 2003 and progressed it from the design of exhibition stands, portable displays, banners and flags through to high-end Point-of-Purchase (PoP), Stewart Wilkins has seamlessly evolved his company to meet the trends of the modern marketplace. The nimble and flexible business approach of Splash Display Ltd has now seen the company invest in the latest DYSS X7-1630C digital cutter from AG/CAD.
The Hampshire business, located in the New Forest, has fluidly developed to now find its niche as a manufacturer of complex and sophisticated semi and permanent PoP displays. With a service that encompasses everything from design and prototyping through to production, delivery and installation, the company is an end-to-end supplier of display units for prestige products. This includes working with global companies such as Fender, Marshall and Gretsch in the music industry; Warner Brothers in the entertainment sector; Raymarine in the marine electronics industry; and the sporting goods giant Callaway Golf, to name but a few.
Continuous Growth Justifies Splashing Out on DYSS
With its niche area of expertise, Splash Display has witnessed considerable growth in the last couple of years. This growth has been underpinned by the company moving to a new 7000sq/ft facility and having a DYSS X7-1630C digital cutter and a Jetrix KX6 flat bed printer delivered into the new factory in February, 2018. The initial spur to invest in digital cutting and printing and a factory expansion to house the new investments was based on the company winning a substantial order to manufacture complex PoP stands from 16mm thick honeycomb board for a key client.
Why a Digital Cutter?
Commenting upon why the company purchased the X7-1630C digital cutter from AG/CAD, Managing Director, Mr Stewart Wilkins says: “In the past we have largely been reactive to customer needs and this has often resulted in outsourcing business to subcontractors. We knew we had a need for a digital cutter and having a large order in the pipeline was the catalyst to make a decision. We reviewed the market, but it was an article in a trade magazine relating to the DYSS that pushed me in AG/CAD’s direction. We needed capability to cut everything from aluminium composite, foam-board, Perspex and just about any other hard substrate through to intricately cut paper, vinyl and other sheet materials. We had a demo that went very well and we opted for the DYSS X7-1630C with an X7 Combo Head that has knife cutting plus a high specification routing tool, which eliminates the need for two separate machines. The DYSS allows us to move from heavy-duty routing on challenging materials to intricate jobs on fine substrates seamlessly.”
“The DYSS and Jetrix were installed to fulfil a large contract, which we completed in the first month of having both machines. Without the investment we would have outsourced the work at considerable additional cost. We envisage that the combination of the two machines will reduce our subcontract costs by upwards of £250,000 per year. The 3m by 1.6m bed DYSS covers a lot of bases and it gives our business the opportunity to explore new markets. We have already won new business in the signage, indoor and outdoor large format sectors as a result of the DYSS.”
DYSS Supports Business Consolidation
The installation of the DYSS X7-1630C is helping Splash Display to consolidate its business interests, delivering a multitude of benefits for the company. Referring to this, Mr Wilkins continues: “By giving us the facility to do more work internally, the DYSS has gone far beyond just reducing our subcontract costs. Our speed of response has improved by more than 50%; some PoP projects have a lead-time that has fallen from 5-6 weeks to less than 3 weeks. This streamlines our business, eliminates reliance on external suppliers and gives us full control over costs, quality and delivery schedules.”
“From a prototype perspective, we can deliver instant solutions without reliance on external sources. The DYSS also compresses our development times, meaning we can react to customer design changes with exacting precision and speed. From project ‘brief to delivery’ we had an average turnaround time of 8 weeks; this is now less than 5 weeks. Contributing to this time saving is the ability to continually refine designs and prototypes in-house for clients. Before getting the DYSS, continually refining prototypes could get expensive. The process is critical as it allows our customers to better qualify the design of the project by seeing exactly what they will ultimately receive, which makes the customer journey and commitment process more robust.”
KASEMAKE Streamlines Design Process
The KASEMAKE CAD software developed by AG/CAD was integral to the purchase and subsequent success of the DYSS X7-1630C. As Mr Wilkins continues: “The KASEMAKE CAD package is a massive plus point for the DYSS machine. As they are the software developers, AG/CAD provide direct support for the CAD system which is really easy to use. The software is configured with thousands of templates for standardised boxes and packaging solutions as well as PoP displays and non-standard designs. The system comes pre-configured with all the FEFCO codes, which are the European Corrugated Packaging Association’s standard templates. By simply inputting industry standard codes, we can identify standardised templates and manipulate the dimensions accordingly if necessary. This parametric system can also be applied to shelving and other designs that can give us a print ready file for the customer.”
“Taking this a step further, we can wrap artwork around designs and provide the clients with virtual 3D PDF mock-ups, something that further reduces our design times and the overall lead-times of projects. Tying this in with the facility to print and cut everything in-house is something that is enabling us to reduce our internal costs and hours and pass these benefits to our customer base. Not only are we passing these benefits on, but the cut quality and precision afforded by the K-CUT vision system on the machine are enhancing the quality of every project we undertake,” concludes Mr Wilkins.
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