Standard8 team with the new Kongsberg digital cutting table
Standard 8 has invested in a Konsgberg X24 Edge from CMYUK. The new digital cutting table will be used primarily to handle the company’s growing acrylic work.
Situated to the West of Brighton on the UK’s South Coast, Standard 8 designs, manufactures, and installs cultural exhibitions, information graphics, and bespoke pieces for projects in prime national and international locations.
It was founded by furniture designer Tom Snell, who started out constructing outdoor exhibitions for photographers, a niche but highly successful enterprise, which led to the formation of the business 15 years ago. The 2008 recession forced the business to diversify into producing lavish marketing suites to promote the glut of empty offices crying out for tenants.
“It became a bit of an arms race in terms of marketing these. They had reasonable budgets and were a combination of furniture making, print, and sculptural elements. They were like mini exhibitions that were promoting and selling the building and its location,” says Tom.
The marketing suites provided the company with exposure to design agencies, which resulted in working on wayfinding and signage solutions. “We can be quite diverse, taking us to placemaking and more sculptural pieces. It’s been a strange evolution, an organic growth, guided by our skills, the machines, and bits of kit we’ve acquired along the way.”
Wide format digital printing was an add-on, bought in-house when it no longer made sense to contract this activity out. The first printer the company installed was a Mimaki. “All our print was large format, and we were just doing outdoor exhibitions. This one printer did everything, we could print onto vinyl, mount that onto a substrate, and then laminating it for weatherproofing. It was totally appropriate for our outdoor work,” says Tom.
For its interior work, the company uses Epson water-based, wide-format printers outputting top quality print for highly detailed, close-up, fine art, and photographic displays.
Tom refers to the Kongsberg X24 Edge as his ‘clean machine’. It was purchased primarily to handle the growing amount of acrylic work, leaving the company’s existing CNC machine to deal with wood and metal in the messy basement workshop.
“We do lots of mounting onto acrylic, and to be able to print registration marks, cut it all out, polish the edges, has been absolutely brilliant, a real step forward for us and we're doing more and more of it,” says Tom.
While many Kongsberg users cite speed as a top feature, Standard 8 is a project, rather than volume-based business, so the lure of the Kongsberg is about precision and lack of wastage. Now all the company’s large format work is cut on it.
Standard 8 was no stranger to CMYUK as it had bought materials from it over the years, so when it came to buying a cutter, Tom knew exactly where to go. He had already decided that the only option was between the two top of range cutter manufacturers – Zund and Kongsberg.
“The Kongsberg pricing was just right for us, but in addition, I know other users who speak very highly of this digital cutter, telling me that it’s transformed their businesses,” says Tom.
The Kongsberg X24 is a highly reliable digital cutter perfect for signage and display production. It comes in two versions – basic – without milling, and one with the MultiCUT tool head (the model Standard 8 has purchased), which offers milling productivity and camera for forensic accuracy.
It’s also a modular system that enables users to add tools as and when required. The MultiCUT head combines all tool insert options with a milling spindle up to 45.000 RPM, while a switch-operated bit exchange eliminates the need for hand tools. The X24 Edge handles an extensive swathe of materials with absolute aplomb including wood, corrugated board, foam, plexi-glass, acrylic, MDF, textiles, vinyl and adhesives, aluminium, honeycomb, plastics, carpet, rubber, and more.
The sheer breadth of its capabilities provides Kongsberg users with the potential to seek and deliver innovative opportunities, in turn building future resilience into their businesses.
Says Tom, “We’re interested in the additional services that we can offer with this equipment, which means a steeper learning curve for us. We’re thinking for example, about how we can use it for alternative displays. We also want to look into the Braille option, as that’s something that comes up quite a bit. There is so much to explore, and at the moment, we’re just scratching at the surface.”
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