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Cutting Corners

(April 2012) posted on Mon Apr 09, 2012

PrismTech Graphics has utilized digital cutting technology to increase efficiency and expand clients’ imaginations.

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By Britney Grimmelsman

With no experience in the world of digital cutting, PrismTech approached the new technology with caution. “We were unsure how to bill for the services. So, we carefully began to learn the machine and its capabilities; but we didn’t want to charge our customers for us to climb the learning curve. Once we were familiar with the equipment and had a foundation of expectations, we began to weigh the labor and consumable costs against the alternative methods of production. We still determine this on a case-to-case basis now,” explains Beaton.

After gradually realizing the efficiency the new technology offered, the shop was able to shift a significant portion of work from other departments. To determine what work will be done digitally, Beaton weighs the quality of work that the alternative units will offer. “For instance, the die cutter will crush foam core-type material, while using a vibe knife on the Kongsberg allows us to get the job done.”

While Beaton usually won’t market the specific capabilities of cutting and routing to new clients, the technology does play a significant rule in the development of many projects.

“We don’t try to influence our national client’s work to fit the Kongsberg – we simply use it to play any role in the completion of the work that may arise. However, we work closely with the agencies involved in the project and we tour them through the facilities prior to working with them for the first time. When they see past projects in our shop, I’m sure it influences the designs we do together. I notice that as we work with agencies repeatedly, they begin to expand the scope of how they can make use of cutting within the design.”

Niche development
With the help of digital cutting technology, PrismTech has developed somewhat of a niche with custom display stands and standees. Recently, for instance, PrismTech was approached by a Whistler, British Columbia-based software developer looking to furnish the area with cut-out standees of fantasy characters.