Star product: Esko Kongsberg XN cutting tables
By Jon Severs Friday, 27 April 2012
This new series combines the best of existing and new Esko technologies
What does it do?
The Esko Kongsberg XN is a new range of digital cutting tables from Esko, designed to cut a wide range of materials, including substrates up to 25mm thick.
When will it be launched and who is it aimed at?
The range will be launched at Drupa next month year and, available in a wide range of sizes and configurations, is aimed not only at display and sign printers, but at packaging printers too. "You can have the XN as an entry-level machine for a cutting and creasing operation, or you can have it fully equipped with a camera and a shedload more tooling for sign and display and point-of-purchase (POP)," explains Esko business development manager Stuart Fox. "It can be configured for the application."
What are its USPs?
The key development on the XN range, says Fox, is its new Multicut-HP tool head, which can also be retrofitted to Esko’s Kongsberg XP cutting tables. Enhanced spindle technology allows the Kongsberg XN to handle tougher substrates at a much higher speed than the previous generation of milling technology. It makes the cutting table up to three times more productive than the XL, says Fox. "The XL table does the job if you’re cutting materials like aluminium di-bond, foam PVC and acrylic, but people were saying it wasn’t fast enough," says Fox. "The XN gives higher productivity while maintaining quality."
The XN also has a larger maximum bed size, reports Fox, to allow printers greater choice in selecting a table to suit their application.
How does it differ from other Esko cutting models?
Fox says that although the XN is a new machine, it shares many of its best features with the XL. He also says that Esko’s XP digital cutting table range is better-suited to some applications. "The XN range is designed to cover the more common requirement of a table that enables lots of different types of cutting from one day to the next," says Fox. "If you are a general sign and display company doing everything on a whole range of materials, speed isn’t necessarily the most important criteria; versatility is. But if you have a specific performance requirement, like a big POP manufacturer who makes hundreds and hundreds of supermarket POP stands a day, the XP will be the best machine for the job."
How much does it cost?
The XN range starts at £65,000. "The big attraction for a lot of customers will be that the price is not dissimilar to that of the XL," says Fox. "So a general mid-sized sign and display customer will now be able to attempt a wider range of materials for the same price."
How easy is it to use and what training is on offer?
The XN range employs Esko’s standard icut Vision system, which makes the cutting table easy to use, says Fox. Although they may have come from a finishing department, most operators aren’t highly skilled in this area," he says, "but we train them up – that takes one to three days, depending on how complex the machine’s configuration is."
What service support is on offer?
"All our machines come with a 12-month warranty," says Fox, explaining that Esko has six dedicated engineers and software specialists to offer remote support in the UK. "We do different types of service plan for customers, depending on their confidence and type of machine. Generally, once printers have had the machine a couple of years, they don’t need us – they know their way around it."
What are sales targets like?
Fox estimates that Esko will sell around 25 XN units at Drupa and around 150 into Europe by the end of the year. "When people see the new machine with the new high-powered milling, they’ll be really blown away," says Fox. "When customers look at our new milling tool, they’ll do a double take. It’s a real step forward."
Max speed 50m/min
Max acceleration XN20, 22 & 24: 5.6m/sqm; XN40, 44, 46 & 48: 5.4/sqm
Work area size From 1,680x1,270mm (XN20), to 2,210x6,550mm (XN48)
Max material size From 1,740x1,750mm (XN20) to 2,270x6,930mm
Max material width From 1,680mm (XN20) to 2,210mm (XN40, 44, 46 & 48)
Standard traverse clearance 50mm
Optional traverse clearance 95mm
Price From £65,000 (XN20) to £175, 000 (XN48), although bespoke configurations will cost more
Contact Esko 0121 667 4200 www.esko.com
The modular G3 digital cutter us designed to be highly flexible and adaptable, says Zünd. The machine cuts materials up to 50mm thick and, says the manufacturer, the selection of sizes, modules, tools, and material-handling options is extensive.
Maximum speed 84m/min
Maximum acceleration 9.1m/sqm
Work area size (11 different sizes) Medium 1600 model: 1,600x1,330mm; 3XL 3200 model: up to 3,200x3,210mm
Maximum material width Medium model: 1,610mm (63in); 3XL model:up to 3,490mm (137in)
Standard traverse clearance 60mm
Price Dependant upon size and configuration, but a typical G3 configuration starts from around £66,000
Contact Zünd 01727 833003 www.zund.com
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