DIGITAL CUTTING A hi-tech plotter for small-to-medium formats and an effective material handling system to automate the entire workcycle. At drupa Zund gave example of its expertise, with an eye to paper converting applications.
Drupa 2012 provided the opportunity to present, with the necessary and effective emphasis, live demos of the latest proposals of the Swiss company Zund, the known global manufacturer of hitec plotters, represented in Italy by Logics (packaging and converting) and ZundLab (graphics). At the center of the stand, the new Zund S3 multifunction plotter-cutter, previewed and launched at the last Fespa and already requested by several users. "Little brother" of that proven G3 system, it primarily features for its small and medium-sized format which makes it particularly suited to produce boxes, bags and other types of packaging, but also for some technical solutions that give the same a particular strength, precision and speed.
Consistent with Zund’s orientation towards designing integrated systems and modules, that enable “simple” ongoing updates, the S3 renews the performance of this category of plotters by adopting systems previously only pertaining to higher level industrial platforms.
The direct motors and the movement on magnetic guides in fact ensure the machine higher than normal acceleration rates and almost total absence of vibrations, thanks to which S3 can operate at maximum speed without losing precision and with "zero maintenance".
The other salient feature is the flexibility of the machine. Equipped with shaft-based roll-off units, the S3 is able to work a very wide range of materials (fabric, vinyl, cardboard, aluminium, films and plastics) with the same level of accuracy.
At the stand at drupa the most difficult processes were performed, such as cutting and finishing of aluminium, 3m wide roll fed fabric and 3D materials up to 50mm thick.
Designed with a view to modularity and space-saving, its application possibilities can be further expanded with the addition of various cutting and creasing tools and a 300W milling cutter; featuring an unbeatable price and quality.
Revolutionizing handling At drupa the visitors to the Zund stand were also able to see a demonstration of the versatility and functionality of the Zund Cut Center software, that features with the S3 and G3 plotters and aboveall they were able to see the Board Handling System (BHS) in action. This is a system for handling panels and boards, consisting of a loading and unloading table that enables the complete automation of the workcycle.
From a technical standpoint this equipment presents a series of original aspects both in handling components (starting from conveyor belts) and in controls and other ancillary features that, overall, increase the speed and productivity of the line, including processing waste management. In addition, and it is no mere detail, in the BHS the advanced automation combines with the accessibility and ease of configuration, enabling switching in the shortest possible time between full production and work samples or pre-series in a manner that is extremely simple for the operator.
Lastly, it should be stated: Zund only presents already tested and readily available systems to the market; in the case at hand the Board Handling System has already been installed at a number of users while the first two orders of the new S3 plotter have already been placed.
Prize technology The Zünd S3 line of cutters earns the EDP Award for “Best Wide Format Finishing Device 2012”. This is the 4th consecutive EDP award for Zünd: 2007 for Best Cutting Equipment, 2009 for the G3 line of cutters, and 2011 for Zünd Cut Center software, in the category for “Best Workflow Management Solution“.
Where the world (of plotters) is heading
«You have to attend drupa, it’s a must! Not so much to discover the latest new features but to verify the trends and tendencies of the international market» says Matteo Redaelli, owner of Logics Srl and official distributor of Zund on the Italian market. «And, from this point of view, the 2012 edition of the fair was ultra-clear. In the stands and at the demos, especially in the digital area, by the operators of the BRIC countries prevailed: droves of Indians, Brazilians and Russians in the role of visitors/potential buyers, and the Chinese on the other side of the fence, as exhibitors (second in number only to Germans, according to Messe Düsseldorf statistics, Ed). " No surprise, then, «but it is one thing to read it in the papers – comments Redaelli – quite another to meet the new players on the global stage in person», from countries that are expressing a growing demand for quality products to satisfy consumers that are aware, refined, demanding and with greater financial resources.
«At drupa those operators were in fact interested in the best hitec solutions rather than in entry level machines, which are now produced locally. Alongside them however and this wasn’t totally expectable, many Italians: virtually absent in the first week of the fair, they came in the second week, in search of high-end, versatile solutions, capable therefore of generating surplus value».
For Redaelli it was a confirmation: «To continue to grow – he has long and convincedly maintained – Italian industry can only develop towards ever higher levels of specialization and establish itself as the best in small amounts of high quality products with a high degree of customization. This is demonstrated in practice: those that have taken this path have achieved good results, while others, in the absence of adequate plans and reactions, have had to bear the brunt of the crisis. In the converting world this is particularly evident. Here skills are crucial; more than automation or the technology itself, it is the ability to produce a quality product that makes the difference. And the example is telling given the tendency of many operators to convert part of their offer into packaging that, as is known, is growing more and more consistently than other more typically "graphic" applications». Positive the attitude of the head of Logics, who concludes: «The Italians must be able to put the cards on the table that made them win in the past: research, imagination, quality … Perhaps we have wasted a bit too much time, but with an effort of planning and organization, and with the right tools, we can make it».