FD Signs ups efficiency and quality with Kongsberg spend

Richard Stuart-Turner
Friday, July 23, 2021

FD Signs has quickly secured new business after installing a Kongsberg X24 Edge digital cutting table.

Delaney: "I ask myself, why didn’t I buy one before?"
Delaney: "I ask myself, why didn’t I buy one before?"

Supplied by CMYUK and installed at the Uxbridge business last month, the additional machine has greatly increased efficiency and quality and, in the first fortnight of operation, was responsible for over £20,000 worth of business.

The company is currently producing and installing hundreds of Perspex sneeze screens and desk dividers for a national telecommunications client, in preparation for the return of staff to its offices.

“The response to our social media around this job has been immense, and as a result we’re getting phone calls every day about our Perspex work from both our existing and new customers. We’re definitely going to see an upturn in sales,” said FD Signs managing director Fintan Delaney.

Regular work for a longstanding customer that involved the printing and cutting of 500 banners used to take a day and a half. With the Kongsberg that job now only takes a tiny fraction of the time.

“I ask myself, why didn’t I buy one before? The savings are huge, but it’s not only that – it’s the quality of work that we’re sending out. Every single one of those banners is the same size,” said Delaney.

“If you’re cutting by hand, it doesn’t matter how good or skilled you are, by the time you get to 50 or 60 you’re going to get distracted. Now when you’re bundling them up, you can tell that each one is perfect. They are far easier to package and better to present.”

Landing a huge contract in the early stages of the first coronavirus lockdown to supply large volumes of interior and exterior floor graphics for London Underground stations led to the purchase of the Kongsberg X24 Edge.

“It was just enormous, crazy, and we really struggled to produce the numbers which was something like 7,000 per day and we did these using three vinyl roll cutters,” said Delaney.

“We ran about trying to see if any other sign companies could help relieve the burden but so many of them decided to stay closed.”

He added: “Word got around that we were doing these. We were working 24/7 and everyone was really piling the pressure on. It was at this point that we thought there must be an easy way of doing this if this happens again, and we realised it was time to take a step up.”

FD Signs purchased the router, utility and kiss-cut knives, and is running i-Cut software for optimised workflow efficiency.

The investment has enabled the company to take on new business and diversify into new areas. It also no longer needs to outsource any work.

“The quality of what we can now produce will generate more work for us – it already has. We can create new revenue streams with new products, and by doing so have built-in real business resilience,” said Delaney.

“If we ever get into a situation like we did at the start of the first lockdown, we would be able to deal with this no problem and without having to work 24/7. We can also upgrade what we’ve been doing for existing customers by showing them fresh alternative versions that just look so much better.”

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