By Max Goldbart, Tuesday 31 October 2017
Graphics specialist KartDavid has invested in a Zünd S3 L1600 flatbed cutter, its first digital flatbed cutting system.
The Bristol-based outfit, which specialises in karting graphics, spent around £80,000 on the machine. It was installed at its premises around six weeks ago.
Founded by kart-racing brothers David and Michael Rubie-Todd in 2007 when they were just 17 and 19 respectively, Zünd UK managing director Stuart Cole said the seven-staff outfit had now developed into "market leaders".
“We’d been wanting a flatbed cutter for a while, to be able to die-cut all graphics, and this gives us a better finish and speeds the whole process up,” said Michael Rubie-Todd.
“We looked at three in total but the Zünd has got much better modularity. It seemed to do everything we wanted it to do well and the service from Zünd seemed better. We’ve got a couple of cutters at the moment but the fact that you can add bits on and extend the workspace really attracted us to the machine.”
The 1.8x1.6m-cutter is run by Cut Centre software and can be extended with Zünd’s modular routing and creasing tools. It can cut a wide range of media, but KartDavid typically runs thick self-adhesive vinyl in a variety of custom finishes including carbon fibre, glitter, chrome and holographic.
Partnered with KartDavid’s roster of eco-solvent machines and Summa vinyl cutters and laminators, the £300,000-turnover outfit has called a halt to its investment plans for the time being.
Initially launching the business to help fund their karting habit, the brothers have seen it expand into a full-time endeavour, with a number of global high-profile karting clients, offering graphics, stickers and other accessories, along with design services.
“We wanted to stay involved really so we created KartDavid to create graphics primarily for karting and it’s grown from a room in our parent’s house to seven people with clients all over the world,” added Michael Rubie-Todd.
“It’s a very grassroots sport but at national and European level it’s very professional and there’s a lot of money being spent in most sport in general. It’s the Lewis Hamilton effect, dads want kids to be the next Hamilton or Jenson Button or whatever so there are plenty of people who want to do that and who are prepared to spend the money to do it.”
Earlier this year, Zünd UK became an official subsidiary of Zünd Systemtechnik and changed name a few months later.