Dies Direct has increased production speed by 40% following a £12,000 investment in new kit and the appointment of a new manager.
Victor Britton has nearly 40 years’ experience in the die-making industry and was promoted from studio supervisor to manager in September 2014 at the Suffolk-based foil blocking and embossing die manufacturer.
Britton instituted a reorganisation of the company’s workflow and invested £12,000 in ArtCAM software by Delcam Systems and a top-of-the-range PC last month, to work with the company’s CNC machines. The company also runs Macs for die design but Britton says the PC is much quicker.
“We’ve rejigged the production side of things and are more and more effective. We had a good turnkey system and are more efficient – jobs get processed straight downstairs, finished and turned around in 48 hours,” he said.
“Using our CNC we’ve increased turnover by 40%. Jobs that took an hour a year ago now take 40 minutes.”
The company produces specialist dies including Securigrafix, Photografix, half-tone tint and textures, flat and fluted dies, multi-level embossing and microembossing, as well as plastic moulds.
Britton said the investment led to crisper images and the opportunity to create custom work that is very difficult to copy. The firm has seen an increase in security printing orders, involving bespoke dies for clients such as Tesco and Waitrose, which are looking for brand integrity in their print jobs, so that nobody else will easily reproduce logos and other brand identities. Techniques such as hot foiling, fluted foil and 3D images were increasingly popular, he said.
Britton added that the new kit is boosted by top artworkers. “We’re second to none really.”
Dies Direct, which is part of national foil blocking specialist company Blockfoil, employs nine people; two who have joined this year. It produces more than 20,000 dies a year. Both companies are based in Ipswich, Suffolk. Blockfoil also has sites in Nottingham and Manchester and has a £1.2m turnover.
Britton speciales in the production of brass CNC dies and the use of ArtCAM to achieve high quality artwork for CNC engraving.