If print is at the centre of your signs and graphics business, it may be time you looked at ways of adding real value to it…

If your signs and graphics business revolves around wide format printing in some form or other, you’re in the majority. Most businesses similar to the one you operate, and those on the fringes who practice a deeper, but related, specialisation, all do so by turning to a wide format or flatbed inkjet printer.

In recent years, print hardware leveraging the power and versatility of UV inks has been in the ascendant. Such printers are capable of delivering exceptional quality output by printing direct to a very wide range of flexible and rigid materials. So, in addition to what you might choose to call ‘business as usual,’ printing on flexible self-adhesive materials, this class of hardware may find itself putting images on materials such as rigid plastics, metals and even wood.

The scope of application for images on rigid materials is simply huge. The markets with an appetite to buy such output is very buoyant, they value creative content and are always looking for something new. If you’ve spotted this opportunity, you may not be in the majority on this occasion. Instead, you may be in the vanguard of companies who’re going to make a growing market grow even faster and profit from that growth accordingly.

Key to joining the value added print sector is a means to ‘finish’ print or, in other words, to turn it into something other than a printed sheet of vinyl, foamed PVC, aluminium composite sheet, ply or whatever. To do that you’ll need a digital cutter. To do it brilliantly, you’ll need something with a bit more muscle, a lot more versatility and a much bigger future.

Digital cutters are, typically, flatbed devices fitted with knives of some design or other, and which are able to cut printed flexible materials. These devices usually come with a system to ensure what you print is then cut in register. They’re designed to do a job, they do it well, but they are very narrowly talented and only able to address a small part of the opportunity for adding value to print, particularly from flatbed UV print hardware.

Digital cutters are products of the lightweight school of mechanical engineering because they’re designed to deal with lightweight materials such as self-adhesive vinyl. Start burdening such a lightweight machine design with hardware designed to do a man’s work and the whole plot begins to look over-tasked and underpowered. You just can’t put a powerful cutting tool on a lightweight machine without compromising it.

Why would you want to?

As we’ve established, there’s a big market appetite for imaginatively finished rigid printed materials. If you print on a sheet of acrylic for example, being then able to cut, shape and process it means you can produce valuable articles from it. The same thing applies to wooden sheet - 20mm ply for example. How about 10mm thick aluminium? Or aluminium composite?

To fully exploit the opportunity that awaits, to tackle everything from fifty-micron vinyl to 20mm metal, to address the market as it stands today and dominate all that it might become, you need a digital cutter with much more muscle and versatility than any lightweight can offer. That’s why Tekcel hardware from Complete CNC Solutions belongs on your shopping list - as we’d be happy to demonstrate.

Tekcel hardware comfortably keeps its feet planted in two closely related camps. Anything with Tekcel on the label is, and one and the same time, both an extremely capable production router, and an incredibly versatile print-finishing digital cutter. It falls to you to configure it to suit your current needs. We’re there to upgrade its feature set when you need it to do more.

Tekcel comes in all shapes and sizes because businesses and budgets do too. There’s a platform that’ll suit you. All share heavyweight engineering DNA. Massively muscled and stiff chassis. Over-specified drives and components. Durably engineered construction. All this, comes as standard with every Tekcel system.

Tekcel hardware can handle the cutting power we give it. That’s why you’ll find powerful spindles capable of pushing router tooling through all manner of resistant materials that choke up lightweight digital cutters. You’ll find waste extraction systems to match. They remove prodigious amounts of cutting waste that lightweights simply can’t cope with. That’s why a Tekcel system, such as our [EXR Platform] cheerfully power through work that you won’t be able to say ‘yes’ to should you go the lightweight route.

Tekcel can be configured to do the job you need it to do. Our OptiCam system works with your output so you can cut it in incredibly tight register. Automatically. It works with a variety of [specialist knives] in our cutting bay. Or it can pick up a [routing tool] from the system’s [auto tool changer,] if that’s what the material demands.

Teckel cuts. It carves. It engraves. It works with your print hardware to profitably deliver any job that walks in the door - not just the easy stuff. It’s a system that’ll do everything you need now, and it has a spectacular upgrade path that takes care of your future needs too.

All this muscle, versatility and capability comes at a price. It’s one that you can afford and very often less than you’d pay for a much lighter digital cutter that can only do a small part of the work you’d need it to do. We can introduce you to competitive sources of funding too.

The digital cutter you think you want today is probably not the one you’ll need some months from now as your business grows and more profitable business comes your way. The system you need for the future has Tekcel on the label and can be configured to suit the needs of whatever comes your way. It’ll take your business into profitable new markets. It’ll prove to you that ‘print finishing’ is where the future starts. The wider horizon is where it takes off.


We like to extend you an invitation to visit us at Complete CNC Solutions and put the Tekcel routing and digital print finishing through its paces. We won’t just say the system can do something - we’ll show you how. Bring us your work and we’ll show you how it gets done with Tekcel on the team.