As a manufacturer of personalised products, ring binders, boxes, folders and much more, British Loose Leaf (BLL) has now invested in a DYSS X5 digital cutter from AG/CAD.
Despite being a business that was founded over 100 years ago, BLL is not stuck in the past. Instead, the company has a unique blend of state-of-the-art production equipment and expertise that sets the Kent based company apart from its rivals. This narrative is evident with the purchase of the DYSS X5-1310T, which has been acquired for production and to support BLL’s in-house designer and sample maker.
With over 40 staff working at the 20,000sq ft facility in Erith, BLL purchased the DYSS to expedite the production of samples and prototypes for its ever increasing customer base. Furthermore, the company is expanding its high quality ‘paper-over-board’ products with the launch of a new personalised presentation box portal (see www.yourmemorykeeper.co.uk).
The recently delivered DYSS X5 with its compact 1.3 by 1.0m bed easily handles SRA3 digital to B1 Litho sheetswith room to spare. Purchased to handle solid greyboard, Folding BoxBoard, PVC, paper, cloth, polypropylene and many other book binding materials the machine has already made a significant impact.
As BLL’s Keith Crawford comments: “All our samples used to be drawn out and cut by hand. Whilst some samples could be turned around in 30 minutes, more complicated designs could take 2 to 3 days. This was a significant resource commitment from BLL, especially as the projects were often at the quoting or prototype stage.”
These prototype production times are for an employee with over 30 years’ experience. For someone with less experience to produce these samples, the time would be significantly longer. In some cases, the sample complexity would make it a complete impossibility for someone less skilled. However, the arrival of the DYSS would see a 30 minute hand cut sample produced in less than5 minutes on the cutting table. A complex, multipart, two hour hand cut sample can now be designed on AG /CAD’s KASEMAKE CAD software, cut out and assembled all in well under 30 minutes.
Flexibility is the Key
Whilst the DYSS X5 and KASEMAKE combination has massively reduced the design, drawing and production times of samples, one of the key benefits is flexibility. As Mr Crawford continues: “In many cases a customer might overlook a critical design element, or BLL could suggest prototype enhancements during the process. This would result in changes to the initial brief and the production of additional time-consuming and labour intensive samples. With the DYSS, we can make a few tweaks on the KASEMAKE CAD software and run a complete variety of samples in minutes. This scenario also applies to customers that needmultiple samples of similar designs. Furthermore, some designs have irregular curves and forms that are really difficult to hand cut, the DYSS eliminates these concerns.”
For small orders of around 100 or so, BLL can now use the DYSS X5 for production with the machine creasing, scoring and cutting the complete run, no matter how complex the design. Before the arrival of the DYSS, BLL would get the prototype approved and then commission an external supplier to produce a cutting forme. The cutting formes would typically have a lead-time of 1-2 days and then the forme would need to be set up on the company’s die-cutter to run the job, adding further time and cost. Since the arrival of the DYSS X5, the requirement for cutting formes has fallen to less than 15 a month mainly for high volume jobs. This is giving BLL a 1-2 day time saving, a cost reduction in the region of £1,000 to £2,000 per month, and also a floor space saving with the reduced cutting forme storage requirement.
Justifying the Investment
The huge saving in costs is justification enough for the machine purchase. However, the benefits are far more reaching than this. As the supervisor for the prototyping and hand binding department, Mr Crawford states: “We now have the facility to produce up to 10 different samples in a morning;this would have taken more than 3-4 days of cutting using manual methods. Additionally, the cutting would have required the use of a shop floor guillotine. To access one of our guillotines, I would be interrupting production runs to get our samples processed. Now, I can do samples rapidly and efficiently on the DYSS X5. This gives me more time to oversee production in the binding department as well as contribute over 3 days a week to production output, time that would have otherwise been spent hand crafting samples. The DYSS has genuinely transformed my working life.”
The hidden benefits
As the company looks to develop its personalised presentation box business and enter new market sectors that complement its stationery product lines, the flexibility of the DYSS is a huge benefit to BLL. As Mr Crawford says: “The sales team have drawings and high quality physical samples ready for customers much faster than ever before.This reduced lead-time on prototypes is a huge selling point for our team, a USP that is followed through with immediate production of short batch runs. The next step is for our business to investigate the 3D features in AG/CAD’s KASEMAKE software. The software will enable us to go beyond 2D drawings with full 3D rendered dynamic visuals that show the proposed or finished artwork on designs, prior to making a physical sample, we will even be able to drop these 3D model into an appropriateproduct environment to show what it might look like in the real world. This will be a game changer for our sales team, just like the machine has been a revelation to my department.”
Sharing this sentiment, BLL’s Rob Kayabasi says: “We looked at a number of digital cutters to enhance our flexibility and throughput requirements with our new product lines. However, it was AG/CAD that stepped up to the plate with the most suitable and cost-effective machine and software design solution for our needs. The service and technical support has been second-to-none. As well as supplying the scoring tools and the rollers for creasing board, AG CAD even developed a bespoke 45 degree tool geometry for creating a precise mitred fold for our boxes. This demonstrates how AG CAD is prepared to go above and beyond for its customers.”
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