AdministratorMarch 27, 2021 at 5:16 pm
I am a bit out of touch with this machine. I first looked into getting one of them about 13 years ago! But even back then I found them impressive. I also saw them briefly at a couple of exhibitions since, Fespa and maybe Sign & Digital or ISA. I forget now but wasn’t that long ago. what I noticed was they had a ton of extras added since I first looked. and I mean loads!
Obviously, extras mean extra cost, but what I liked the idea of is having a table I can expand on once you have found your feet with it. If you know what I mean?
When you take the Braille add-on alone, I don’t have a customer for this type of work, but being able to offer it if required by an additional bolt-on purchase is great!
My issue was I could not justify the cost of the table for what my requirements were.
I really only wanted the Esko for print finishing, contour cutting large format graphics, and thick vinyl films, such as 3M diamond grade, etc. I am not a print house as such, so all the great extras that the machine could offer were not something I required. I already have a CNC router so that side of things was not required either.
Plus, as much as the videos and all else show a perfectly clean working environment and what appears to be a flawless vacuum system on the machine. that’s NOT going to be the case in a real-world situation. I can’t think of anything worse than router cutting foamex sheets in the same room as self-adhesive vinyl being prepared, never mind actually using the same table for both.
I also considered the Summa flatbed at the time. From memory that was around £40k.
There is also the Zund, but from memory, in comparison at the time I’m sure, the Zund was a fair bit more expensive than the ESKO.
At the end of the day, it really depends on your requirements.
That said, Full automated production setups are the way forward in manufacturing in our industry, and machines like this let companies like us, start going down this route. If a machine can replace one or two members of staff in trimming and finishing alone. that’s half your machine paid in its first year!
MemberMarch 28, 2021 at 8:00 pm
I have been in this industry for many years now and I never realised you could have braille signs manufactured like this! I saw it done a few times over the years and it was always done by hand with tools. now i know!
MemberMarch 29, 2021 at 4:53 pm
Thanks guys, I’m seeing it tomorrow but I have been for a demo at AXYS for a CNC and also to Zund so have decided a cutting table will suit us a lot better than a dedicated CNC. The ESKO seems a really good middle of the range machine but at £90k it’s nice just to hear other users experience but I know ESKO is a really good machine and am happy to go with it.
Thanks for taking the time to reply.
MemberMarch 29, 2021 at 6:25 pm
We’ve had ours for around 11 months now and it is by far the most impressive piece of kit we’ve ever invested in. It is extremely accurate, just works perfectly time after time, every time.
Firstly a simple one in that the ability to cut through loose stickers is excellent, of kiss cut and cut through. Then when you stick a 50m roll on it and come back a short while later and all xxx thousand stickers, or xx drops of wallpaper are all in the collection basket then it puts a smile on you face every time.
Rob – the vacuum really is as good as the promotional videos, having used our other CNCs for years it’s great to almost not even have to worry about vacuum issues, masking things out etc.
We’ve knife cut some seriously tough stuff on the machine and it works with everything we’ve thrown at it, prismatics, foils etc. Tracking issues don’t exist.
The 1kw router is much better than the power rating would suggest, not as powerful as those on dedicated CNCs but great for trays, thick acrylics etc. We cut up to 24mm acrylic for LED block letters ( you need to take out the knives so it will fit), multi-pass of course but the sides of the letters are totally smooth without chatter patterns on them – that is very impressive.
The software suite is intuitive, easy to use, and the nesting tool is the best I’ve seen.
The v-cut knife is great for making correx bollard covers but Its a little fiddly to set up, the engraving bits work really well. Overall the Esko blades last ages and the router bits they sell are very balanced, precision bits. They aren’t cheap and we’re trying some others at the moment. The acrylic polishing bit cost a fortune but the finish is excellent.
We will get the reciprocating knife next, and possibly the Braille attachment down the line.
Any snags, no. Does it seem as fast as it once did, no. Can you speed it up, yes (seems too expensive to me to upgrade though). Can it do the work of 3 people faster and with higher quality, yes. Is it paying fir itself, yes easily. Would you recommend Sue and Nick at CMYUK, yes excellent team. Do you regret anything, yes didn’t get the 3.2m wide version!
Ask any more questions you want.
MemberMarch 29, 2021 at 6:33 pm
Also we have the machine just a few metres away from a flatbed applicator table and flatbed printer and we have no issues with contamination when cutting acrylic, PVC or alicomp. That said if we want to cut MDF or ply we do that well away on the other CNC in another room. The vac dust extraction is very good but wouldn’t trust it with MDF dust near a printer. As mentioned the vacuum bed hold is really really good
MemberMarch 30, 2021 at 12:16 pm
Hi all ,
Sorry to hijack the thread , but wondered if anyone had used one of these machines to cut out printed boards , either Foamex or ACM , when not directly printed ? I mean where printed vinyl is applied to a full sheet of substrate on a flat bed applicator before being cut up into multiple signs .I have seen this done loads of times on print to board work but am concerned that the vinyl would lift or tear using this method .
MemberMarch 30, 2021 at 2:24 pm
Have done it many times as you describe with no issues – mounted prints on correx, PVC, ACM, and acrylic. Works equally well knife cutting or routing without damaging the vinyl. On ACM we’d normally use reg marks and edge detection, flip the board over, edge detection again and then rout with an upcut bit. The reg mark / edge detection process is quick and simple and it will account for you mounting prints at a crooked angle.
CMYUK have a really good demo set up – suggest giving them a call. We wanted to see lots of specific examples and they took time to work through everything we wanted to see. Ask for Sue Hayward and she’ll get it all organised for you.
MemberMarch 31, 2021 at 5:54 am
Hi David ,
Thanks for the information , it certainly seems like the right piece of kit for the job.
I have known Sue for years , so will give her a ring once things are open again regarding demo suites and the like .
MemberMarch 31, 2021 at 10:09 am
I have now been looking at these on youtube. is there anything they cannot do?
Very expensive, but what an addition to add to your capabilities!
Yes, I can only look on in envy. 😮
MemberMarch 31, 2021 at 12:56 pm
Well I had the demo yesterday and at the end of it signed on the dotted line. The CMYUK team are great too. There is no doubt in my mind this will help speed up production, improve quality and vastly expand the range of products we can sell and manufacture in house.
I just have to wait for it to arrive now 😉
Thanks for all the replies
MemberApril 7, 2021 at 9:32 am
These machines appear to do so much. I would love to have something like this in my workshop.
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