IGS demonstrated the Titanium 0906 B2 cutting table at Heidelberg’s open house, having flown the machine in from Shanghai at the weekend before.
The machine joins the B3 format model and larger format machines that have features to compete with Zund and Esko equipment, but being made in China, are considerably less expansive.
IGS has held the agency for around a year, installing a handful of the B3 0604 models in that time and a few of the larger machines. These have been kept below the radar, says IGS director Steve Charlesworth. “We have left them in place for a year and there has been no issues with them whatsoever,” he says.
It is, however, the B2 machine that is generating most interest and is expected to become a best selling product with a list price of £22,000. For this, the printer will get a Chinese made machine with multi-tool head, powered knives, auto feeder and automated operation. A camera reads settings from a QR code, picking up the cutting and creasing file from the network and using this to drive the machine.
There is no need for a makeready sheet, says Charlesworth, pointing out that the machine will work through 750 different sheets without intervention. A sheet can be processed in around 30 seconds depending on the complexity of the digital die.
It is already proving attractive to B2 litho printers interested in the carton market. It is becoming unacceptable to send out business cards in plastic boxes, preferring to use board instead. “And they are looking for a machine that can produce the cartons,” he says.
“And we think there’s a growing market for short run packaging. This does not produce any scoring that might be seen with a laser cutter and creates a true crease in board up 0.1mm thick.”
“This is a bigger machine than the Titanium 0604 and is a much better, more powerful machine, that is also very compact,” says IGS managing director Peter Flynn.
JWei is one of a number of Chinese suppliers that have learned what is needed to build for customers in the West. It has recruited European production managers, styled the machine with a European look and feel, and understands the importance of service and support back up. More will be plying their wares at Drupa.
Flynn has long experience with Chinese engineering, having been associated with Highwater’s ground breaking Chinese-built Platinum platesetter. “This is the first machine of the new model outside of China,” he says. With at least one customer due to visit Brentford to check that the reality matched his expectations, it will not be the last.
By Gareth Ward
The B2 version of the JWei Titanium cutting table is attracting a great deal of interest from companies that are starting to offer carton printing in short runs and as an alternative to using plastic says IGS.